Treadmill is the most popular workout equipment in the gym and it is an excellent alternative for runners when issues of safety or weather make it impossible to run outside. Follow these 5 Important tips for safe running On a Treadmill.
It’s all too easy to just jump on the treadmill and start cranking away at your set pace…forgetting that when you run outside your body naturally rolls into its optimal pace. Here’s a basic warm up to help make your workout as safe and effective as possible:
- Walk for 3 minutes: Start easy and build it up to a brisk walk in the last minute.
- Jog for 3 minutes: If you know your marathon pace, this effort is about 1 to 1.5 minutes slower per mile.
- 3 x 20/40s: This is 20 seconds fast, 40 seconds recovery. Goal here is to get the blood pumping and have you ready to hit your intervals / training session at 100%
Don’t Forget to Cool Down.
Also don’t not forget about cooling down too. Ideally you’ll be able to walk your run out. The basic golden rule here is one minute for every mile run; a five miler will net you about five minutes of easy walking. The cooling will help prevent dizziness or the feeling that you are still moving when you get off the treadmill.
Don’t go Barefoot.
There is heat and friction created by the moving belt on a treadmill and the feet need to be protected from these elements. Burns, scrapes, and blisters are common ailments of exercisers who use the treadmill barefoot. Everyone should wear properly fitting shoes when they exercise because their shoes help to absorb the shock of movement and take stress off of their joints. Feet can get caught where the side of the moving belt meets the machine and serious injury may occur.
Watch Your Form.
A common mistake many treadmill runners make is constantly looking down at the “dashboard” or their feet. This is likely not your natural form, and it can lead to neck/back pain and bad form. Try to mimic your “road form” when using the treadmill, concentrate on keeping your back straight and looking forward. Allow your feet to strike the belt just as you would if running outside, and be careful not to shorten or lengthen your stride.
Keep Children Away.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 8,700 documented injuries to children every year are caused by exercise equipment in their home. Machines with moving parts are dangerous for children and should be stored in an area that is away from where children play. Treadmills often cause injuries to the hands and arms of children who are curious about them and put their hands on the belt or between the belt and the rest of the machine. It is best for parents to only use their treadmill while their children are being supervised by another adult.