Running Machine Tips

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A running machine, or treadmill, is an alternative to running outdoors. Often, beginning runners choose to train on a treadmill to build up stamina, speed and miles before attempting to run outdoors.

During extreme hot or cold weather, a treadmill allows runners to keep training indoors despite the temperature and outdoor conditions.

Vary Your Workout

Most treadmills have a number of programs to choose from. Examples include interval training, 5-kilometer loop and hill running. Whether or not you use the programs is up to you; in fact, beginner runners might prefer controlling their speed and incline with a manual program. Using different programs can help mix up your workouts, making them more interesting and challenging. If you don't like the programs, try varying your stride or combining sprint and incline intervals to your workout to add variety.

Ignore the Display

One of the biggest mistakes runners make on a treadmill is constantly looking down at the time, speed and distance displays. Not only does this create bad running posture, it can also distract and discourage. Covering the display with a magazine or towel puts it out of mind and helps you concentrate on running rather than keeping track of the time.

Distract Yourself

Running on a machine can be boring, especially if you are used to running outdoors with weather, traffic and scenery. This can make your run seem longer than it necessarily is. Distract yourself by loading your MP3 player with your favourite high-tempo workout songs and running to the music. If you're in a gym, switch the television to your favourite show and concentrate on that.

Warm Up and Cool Down

As with any exercise, warming up and cooling down is essential when running on a treadmill. Doing this can help prevent muscle strains and aches. Walk slowly for at least two minutes at the start of your workout, gradually increasing the speed. Start slowing down at the end of your workout and walk at a moderate pace until your heart rate slows down. Stretching following a cool down can also prevent injuries.