Have these cold, short days got you stuck on the treadmill? Fear not! Treadmill workouts can be quite effective at helping you maintain fitness in the dark winter months. Here are a few tips to keep you moving your running goals forward.
1) Warm up and cool down properly. It’s easy to forget these important steps when running on a treadmill. You can do your normal warm-up and cool-down routines or simply walk for 5-10 minutes prior to and right after your treadmill workout.
2) Use a slight incline. By setting an incline of 1-2%, you are better mimicking the workout you would get outside when you have natural undulations and wind.
3) But don’t set the incline too steep. You want to stay at 7% or below and only for a relatively short amount of time. Not abiding by this guideline can cause Achilles heel and calf problems. No one wants that.
4) Don’t hold onto the handrail or console. Some people think that it is okay to do this, especially when warming up or cooling down. You want to practice proper running form at all times on the treadmill since you really don’t have to worry about some of the other things you face when running outside from sketchy footing to traffic to random dogs.
5) Pay attention to your stride length and foot strikes. Keep your stride short and quick to minimize the impact on your legs. Shorter, quicker strides not only help you run more efficiently but can help you improve your running outside.
Yes, running on the treadmill can be a chore. But anything is better than nothing and these few tips should help you cope with boredom and continue to improve even when the weather outside is frightful.