Running on a treadmill seems like an attractive idea, especially with all the fancy-looking workout you see on the internet or on the TV. However, it is only when you begin running that you realize it is not easy to do it.
Trust us, it IS normal if you can’t even run for 2 minutes straight. In fact, it is pretty common if you are not used to running or to other intense physical exercise. When you finally decide to go to the gym or get a treadmill to run, therefore, you are going to have to build your way up the ladder and get your body to become used to running. While we are at it, let us add that running outside is great, but sometimes, treadmills provide a lot more options that you don’t have access to outside, and at other times, we just don’t have the time to go to the park every day.
Here is how to run effectively on a treadmill, and how to make sure you get the most benefit out of this amazing machine.
Use the right treadmill and use right treadmill lubricant
No, they are not all the same. There are manual treadmills that don’t have an automatically moving belt; there are electric ones that do have a motorized belt as well as other features, and there are hybrid treadmills that are a mix of a classical one and a stepper. The one you choose depends on the level of workout you are on; note that a manual treadmill takes more effort than an electric one.
However, this is not just about using the right treadmill, but also the rightly serviced one. A smoothly running treadmill is one that has been greased properly with a good treadmill belt lubricant. This is a specific type of oil that needs to be used annually or bi-annually. Treadmill lubricant is squirted under the belt to ensure that the belt runs smoothly, does not take extra effort, does not squeak and is not likely to malfunction.
Warm yourself up
Now that you have chosen a good treadmill and are ready to run, warm up! Always begin your workout by walking on a slow pace for 5 minutes. You will thank us for this later when you DON’T have sore muscles!
Build up the incline
The first few times when you run, keep it at 0%. Begin building it up by 1 or 2% at a time to allow your body to adjust. Even when you become a great runner, don’t take the incline past 8% for more than a couple of minutes. This will help you avoid calf injuries.
Don’t hold the handrails
Yes, they are only to help you get on and off, and some check your heart rate from time to time. They are not for holding while you run! To run easily and with the right posture, keep your body straight on bent forward ever so slightly, and your arms on a 90 degree angle to your body, held loosely but parallel.
Alternate running minutes
As a beginner, walk for 1 minute and then run for 1 minute. Build this up, increasing the time periods by 30 seconds at a time, until you can run for 30 minutes straight! This may take several months. Good luck!