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Tips for Running on a Treadmill

For some people, fall's crisp air has blown in and running outside doesn't seem like a fun option. If you'd rather not bundle yourself up to stay warm, you might want to move your runs indoors and use a treadmill. I personally love running on the treadmill. You get to watch TV, don't have to worry about car fumes or harmful UV rays, and no matter what the weather looks like outside, you can always get in your workout. Plus sometimes it feels safer to run indoors!


Here are some things to keep in mind when running on the treadmill:

  • Make sure you have sneakers that provide enough support and cushioning. If you have been running trails all summer, your shoes might be shot. To prevent shin splints due to the change in running surface, you may need to purchase new sneakers for treadmill use.
  • Before hopping on the machine, make sure your sneaks are tied tightly with no stray laces hanging down. Tripping on your shoelace on a moving treadmill = no fun (been there).
  • Running on a treadmill is a lot different from running outside, and even marathoners may have a hard time making the switch. If running on a treadmill feels too jarring, take the time to amp up your runs up to your usual time and pace. If you miss the challenge of hills, you may want to pump up the incline to be sure you're challenging yourself on the treadmill as much as you do when running outside.
  • Always warm up with five minutes of walking or jogging slowly to get your body used to the movement of the treadmill. Then gradually increase to your desired speed.

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  • Make sure to keep your body upright and don't lean forward. You want your shoulders directly above your hips. This will help prevent lower back pain.
  • If you're watching TV while running, be sure to have the screen right in front of you, so you're not twisting your neck. If you run while constantly looking to one side, you're going to end up with one sore neck.
  • Listen to your body. If you start to feel any pain in your knees, shins or other areas, stop running, decrease the pace and walk. Do not run through pain.
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