Getting started with running can feel overwhelming. During winter months is a perfect time to give treadmill running a try before you pound the pavement outside.
If you have never been on a treadmill before, take some time to get used to how it feels. Slow down to a super slow walk before getting off to avoid filling dizzy or like your feet are still moving. Here are a few other tips for getting started on a treadmill.
Ask Questions – If you are trying a treadmill for the first time at a gym or even to buy one for home use, don’t be afraid to ask questions. They can help show you the different programs available on the treadmill and familiarize you with its safety features.
Start slow – begin at a pace of only 2.0-2.5 to make sure you feel secure. Then increase your speed to 3.0-3.5 to what feels like a comfortable brisk walk for you. You can play around with speed and incline levels to get a good cardio workout before you even start to run.
Pay Attention – Look down at first to get a feel for where your feet are hitting the treadmill. Keep your body centered and make sure your progress is toward the front of the treadmill so you don’t feel like you could fall off the back. Limit the distractions of a TV or magazine until you feel very steady on the treadmill. If you feel the need to stop for any reason, don’t try to jump off the treadmill. Instead, hit the stop button. It’s a good idea to use the safety strap when you are first learning the treadmill. It makes the treadmill stop immediately should you fall.
Don’t Look Down – Once you feel comfortable, try not to look down anymore. Keep your chin up and eyes forward. Holding onto the handrails is OK for balance at first, but then try to let go so you can move freely. If you are at a speed where you feel you need to hold on, then slow down. Whether you are walking or running, keep the proper form with a heel-to-toe motion.
Here is a treadmill workout for beginners to try. Work with treadmill speeds that feel good to you. If 6.0 is too fast, pick a speed that works for you. This just gives you an idea of how you might break down your initial runs into walk/jog/run intervals to help you build up length strength and stamina. Check out this post about good running form tips for beginners too! Most of all, have fun!