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How to Treadmill Better

How to Treadmill Better

Many of us are addicted the repetitive thud of the treadmill. You’re not wrong to think that the treadmill is torture, considering that it’s roots began in the early English prisons. When we spend so much time doing one tedious action it can be easy to lose yourself in a cloud of boring determination, but there’s hope. Here are 3 tips for the indoor runner who wants to step up their treadmill game in a really simple way.

Keep Trying to Improve Your Stride

We are never taught how to run as children, we just went for it. But at some point, we were taught proper mechanics and never veered from them. But as our bodies change, so should our stride. Re-examining your running form is the best way to ensure you have both long lasting and successful treks. Ashley Mateo, professional marathon runner and author at Runner’s World, focuses on the following tips to improve your form. The impact of your feet should be on the ball or middle of your foot, not the heel. Avoid landing on your heel which causes a shockwave that is sent directly to your hips. While running, slightly lean the entire body forward without bending at the waist - imagine you are constantly pushing yourself off of a starter platform letting your chest lead you forward. Also, keep your chin, shoulders, and arms down and relaxed. There are also many exercises, such as butt kicks and core strengtheners that can help you perfect your stride. With time and practice you’ll find you can run faster and can push yourself even further without pain, meaning more miles clocked and calories burned.

Don’t Skip Your Warm Up

Start with dynamic stretches, or stretches which involve movement such as lunges. Static stretching, when you hold a pose for a period of time, has been linked to injury if done pre-run. Work your stretching into the beginning of your run. For example, start by walking, then lunges, and progress to larger, faster movements like butt kickers or side-stepping. Warming up loosens up your joints and muscles while increasing your heart rate at a steadier pace, which leaves you feeling more alert, energized, and ready for anything.  

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Be Prepared for Your Workout

Have a plan before you even hop on that treadmill at home or get in the car to go to the gym. Write down what you want to accomplish; this will hold you accountable and increase the likelihood of accomplishing your goals. It can be as simple as breaking up the intensity into intervals of time or as complex as determining the speed and incline. One mistake many people make is pushing too hard at first. Try using a technique by B.F Skinner, a renowned psychologist, who coined the term “shaping,” as a way to progressively increase the complexity of a task. The same principle can be applied to your run. Starting low and increasing slowly will trick your brain into making progress more consistently. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the few example workouts below, or check your nearest search engine for a “Treadmill workout plan,” there are thousands of easily accessible routines that will give you direction.

Run correctly. Warm-up. Plan ahead. Get to your goals faster. Even if you don’t enjoy running, there are always ways to improve to start running more efficiently, and maybe a bit faster, with  less stress to your joints. Who knows, running may even start to feel less like torture, and more like fun.

BONUS TIP:

Ever feel a weird pain on the right side of your stomach after you run for a while? It is actually due to your liver and lungs interacting when your right leg lands on the floor. You can help prevent this by breathing in when your left foot hits the ground. Weird right? Try it.

Ex. 1

  1. 1 mile at 2-percent incline

  2. .75 mile at 3-percent incline

  3. .5 mile at 4-percent incline

  4. .25 mile at 5-percent incline

  5. .5 mile at 4-percent incline

  6. .75 mile at 3-percent incline

  7. 1 mile at 2-percent incline

Ex. 2

  1. Warm up for 10 minutes

  2. Run 5 to 10 reps x 90 seconds at 4-percent incline (Start with 5 reps and work up to 10 as you progress) Recover for 2 minutes at an easy pace between reps

  3. Cool down for 10 minutes

Ex. 3

  1. Warm up for 10 minutes

  2. 20 minutes at 5-percent incline

  3. 10 minutes at 1-percent incline

  4. 20 minute at 5-percent incline

  5. Cool down for 10 minutes

Via. Active.com

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