It’s common for people to adjust their running behaviour when they start using a treadmill, but it’s important to run on it just as you would outside. Perfecting your treadmill technique will help you avoid injury and get the most from your workout.
The most common reason for adopting a different running technique is the fear of falling off. Pardon the pun, but it’s important to get over this hurdle as quickly as possible. Most good quality treadmills are fitted with a safety key, which you can clip onto your shorts or t-shirt - if you do slip, or are heading towards the end of the running belt, the treadmill will automatically cut out.
1. Your gait should be the same as when you're running outside; natural and relaxed.
2. Stop yourself taking short, stunted strides.
3. Also avoid over-striding. You can tell if you’re doing this if your heel is landing first and your foot is way ahead of your centre of gravity.
4. Keep your feet under your body, not way out in front.
5. Try to avoid using the handrails for support or balance. In reality, it will have the opposite effect and cause you to hunch over.
6. Your head should be up, eyes straight ahead, back straight and shoulders level and relaxed.
7. To simulate an outdoor run try setting the treadmill to 1-2% incline.
8. Don’t jump off the treadmill when it’s moving. Slow it right down until it eventually comes to a stop, and then get off.
9. Do this over 5 minutes or so and this has the added benefit of letting your body cool down.
10. Try to use your treadmill at the same time each day, this will help you establish a habit and help you to incorporate exercise as part of your lifestyle; rather than being a chore.11. Finally, try to vary your treadmill workout so you don't get bored; walking, hill running or interval training.
For more treadmill techniques and tips, visit our treadmill buying guide or speak to our in-house personal trainer for advice.