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How to Run on a Treadmill

How to Run on a Treadmill

According to Yahoo Finance last year, sales of treadmills increased by 549%, partly because of the UK Covid-19 Lockdown and also associated with uncertainty and fear of returning to the gym. Almost one year on, and with the pandemic still with us in an ever-evolving guise, some of us are still reluctant to return to the gym while others simply prefer to work out from home as ‘the new normal’. So where do you start on your treadmill purchase journey?

Whilst there is a lot of information available online about which treadmill to buy and how to use it, a lot of content is generic and not specific to you, your body and your limitations or wish list for your new purchase. Before you buy a piece of home fitness equipment, you should ask yourself four key questions:

  1. How often do I intend to use it?
  2. How much space do I have?
  3. Do I want a high-tech piece of kit?
  4. What is my budget?

Elaborate marketing campaigns are designed to influence our purchasing decisions, yet no algorithm can currently answer the above four questions – well, not yet anyway. So, once your treadmill arrives, make sure it is set up correctly and that there are no errant cables blocking the way. For any Roger Black Fitness Easy Fold or Gold Treadmill purchases, some helpful set-up videos are available to view at the Roger Black Fitness YouTube channel.

How to run on a treadmill for beginners

There may be different schools of thought around starting your running journey but before you step on your new treadmill, make sure you have the right trainers for your feet and ensure that you have worn them in for a week or so, or you could get blisters. Also, check that you have a water bottle to hand, a towel and, ideally, that the space where you are exercising is suitably ventilated. You could also approach a local personal trainer to help you build your knowledge and confidence on the treadmill.

Every treadmill will have a manual setting so start out by walking at a comfortable pace and if you feel unsteady for any reason, hold on to the handrail until you get your stride. If you are a regular walker, you may be familiar with your miles walked per hour. A manual speed of approximately 6.5km/h (4.0mph), for example, means you will jog or walk at a pace of 15:00 minutes per mile. Anyone starting out should aim for a pace of less than 5.0km/h (approximately 3.0mph) as a warm-up and then increase gradually, although don’t be alarmed if your pace might be slower or quicker than outdoors. Walking, jogging or running on the road is a different experience to running on a treadmill.

After a five-minute warm-up at a comfortable walking pace (either at one consistent pace or manually increased and decreased as your confidence increases), start to increase your speed. If you don’t feel ready to go faster, you can always opt for the same pace with a slight incline, if your treadmill has a manual incline option. 

If you go for a faster speed, then gauge what you are comfortable with in terms of time/pace, aiming for a maximum of 15 minutes for your first few weeks of running, between once and three times a week, as well as an additional cool down period of five minutes. Never under-estimate the importance of a warm-up and cool down, without which you may be more prone to injury or even blood sugar fluctuations.

How to make running on a treadmill fun

Well, the expression, “no pain, no gain” springs to mind although any form of exercise should be enjoyable and help you to release some of those feel-good endorphins along the way. Making running fun is a very personal experience although you want to ensure that you can still concentrate on your pace and stability whilst on the machine.

Many people like to listen to music, podcasts and create running-specific playlists on Shopify when they exercise. Psychologically, music can get you in the zone for exercise and your brain automatically associates those sounds with physical activity and can be great motivators. Sharing or comparing playlists with friends and family can also be enjoyable if you are working out together or have a little wager on your progress!

How fast should you run on a treadmill?

As your confidence and ability increases over time, you will develop your own running or jogging rhythm and style. If you are hoping to run a half or full marathon as a target or milestone, there are specific running guides usually shared by the event organisers or running magazines that can be great points of reference.

If, however, your journey is more of a personal one, based on increasing fitness or reducing weight or cholesterol levels for example, listen to your body and know your limitations. Most running machines have a maximum speed of 16.0km/h (10.0mph) so don’t over-exert yourself or you could cause an injury.

What speed should a beginner run on a treadmill?

Above 8.0km/h (approximately 5.0mph) is deemed a reasonable running speed when starting out. You can always adjust the speed and experiment. You should still be able to conduct a conversation as you run although this will also depend on whether you suffer from asthma or have any physical limitations that require a more prescriptive approach to your running learning curve. Listen to your body and acknowledge your achievement of starting out with a pat on the back and even a nice long bath after your workout. Exercise should always be enjoyable and beneficial, both physically and mentally. Just imagine where you could be this time next year?

Always seek advice from a medical professional prior to exercising. If you are looking for a local personal trainer, why not employ a qualified running coach or personal trainer from your local gym, or use social media to seek recommendations for great trainers.