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Beginner Runner

Run Right: The Key to Proper Treadmill Running Technique

5 Mins read

Ready to take your treadmill running to the next level? Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s face it, running efficiently is the holy grail of every runner. It’s like finding that perfect rhythm that makes you feel like you’re gliding effortlessly through the air. And the key to achieving this nirvana? You guessed it, good running technique. Not only does it improve your running economy, making every stride count, but it also helps protect you from those dreaded injuries that can put a damper on your training.

But here’s the kicker: proper running form isn’t limited to outdoor running. Oh no, my friend, when you step onto that humming treadmill at your local gym, it’s just as crucial to focus on your form. And that’s exactly what we’re going to dive into today.

In previous posts, I’ve shared with you the fundamental principles of proper form. But this time, we’re going to zoom in on the specific nuances of running on a treadmill. Think of it as fine-tuning your running skills to conquer that stationary beast.

By honing your treadmill running technique, you’ll unlock a world of benefits. Picture this: effortlessly maintaining a steady pace, feeling like a well-oiled machine as you tick off those miles, and, best of all, reducing the impact on your joints. It’s a win-win situation.

Are you ready? Let’s get ready.

How to Run On a Treadmill – Your Guide To Treadmill Running Form

Welcome to your ultimate guide to mastering treadmill running form!

Get ready to unlock the secrets that will transform your treadmill experience from mundane to magnificent. We’ve got a few treadmill running traits up our sleeve that will take your performance to the next level. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Treadmill Technique – 1: Posture

Picture this: before you even start pounding that belt, it’s all about assuming an athletic position that screams confidence and power.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, core engaged, pelvis level, and spine elongated. It’s like striking a pose of readiness, setting the stage for success. Trust me, proper posture from the get-go is the secret sauce to a killer treadmill run.

Treadmill Technique – 2: Avoid Hunching

Here’s a common mistake that can wreak havoc on your form: constantly looking down at your feet or fixating on the dashboard. It’s like a bad habit that sneaks its way into your running routine.

But fear not, because I’m here to break that cycle. Looking down not only messes with your form, but it also invites unwanted strains in your neck and back. Say goodbye to those post-workout aches and pains! Instead, keep your chin up and your head forward, gazing at the horizon like a warrior ready to conquer the miles.

Treadmill Technique – 3: Simulate Outdoor Running

When you step onto that treadmill, it’s your chance to bring the spirit of the open road indoors. Emulate your road-running technique by focusing your gaze forward, as if you’re chasing down your dreams.

Keep that back straight and strong, maintaining a posture that says, “I am a force to be reckoned with.” Let your feet connect with the belt just as they would if you were pounding the pavement outside. Pay close attention to your stride length, making sure not to shorten or lengthen it unnaturally.

And here’s a little tip to take it up a notch: raise the incline to a modest two to three percent. This mimics the natural push-off motion you experience when conquering the great outdoors. You’ll feel like you’re sprinting down your favorite road, even within the four walls of the gym. It’s pure exhilaration!

Treadmill Technique – 4: Let Go Of The Rails

Listen up, my friend: it’s time to let go of those handrails. Yes, I know they might seem tempting, especially when fatigue creeps in, but trust me on this one. Holding onto the rails not only increases the risk of injury, but it also hampers your performance.

Those rails are there for a different purpose—to assist you in safely mounting and dismounting the treadmill. Instead, rely on your upper body to maintain balance, letting your arms swing naturally by your side.

Not only does this promote good form, but it also engages your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and core. It’s a win-win situation! Remember, your goal is to mimic your outdoor running technique and get a workout that rivals the intensity of an outdoor run.

Additional Source – Check this treadmill pace chart

Treadmill Technique – 5: Use Your Arms

Imagine your arms as the mighty pistons driving your running engine. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and let your shoulders relax. Now, swing those arms back and forth, palms facing inward throughout your entire workout.

But here’s the catch—don’t overdo it! You don’t want your body twisting and turning like a wild tornado. Focus on maintaining stability and good form. Not only will this help you develop proper running technique, but it will also strengthen your core and torch those extra calories. It’s like a double whammy of awesomeness!

Additional Resource  – When to replace a treadmill belt

Treadmill Technique – 6: Strike Right

When it comes to running on the treadmill, the name of the game is to replicate your outdoor running style.

Picture yourself on your favorite running route, and aim to strike the belt with the ball of your feet, not your heels. Place your foot well ahead of your body’s center of gravity to ensure a smooth and efficient stride. And here’s a pro tip: keep your feet directly underneath your body, avoiding any tendency to let them trail behind or shoot out in front. Embrace your natural running form and resist the temptation to take short, choppy strides. If things feel a bit off, don’t be afraid to slow down the pace and regain your rhythm. It’s all about finding your stride and letting the belt carry you towards greatness!

Treadmill Technique – 7: No Forward-Leaning

Imagine yourself as a pillar of strength, standing tall and confident on that treadmill. It’s crucial to maintain proper posture and avoid any slouching or curving of the back, especially when you activate the incline option.

Instead, keep your body upright and aligned. While I would typically recommend a slight forward lean when running outdoors, there’s no need to do so on the treadmill. Thanks to the mechanics of the machine, it pulls your feet backward naturally.

Leaning too far forward can lead to unnecessary strain on your back and neck—let’s avoid that at all costs! So, chin up, shoulders back, and embrace that powerful, upright position. You’ve got the posture of a champion!

Treadmill Technique – 8: Run in The Middle

Imagine yourself on the treadmill, pounding away at those miles, when suddenly you find yourself gravitating towards the console at the front of the belt. It’s a common mistake, but one that can wreak havoc on your form and stability.

Don’t let that happen to you! Instead, purposefully position yourself about a foot away from the console, right in the middle of the treadmill.

By doing so, you free up your arm drive and allow your stride to flow effortlessly. Not only will this enhance your overall running experience, but it will also help you maintain your balance like a tightrope walker defying gravity.

Treadmill Technique – 9: Relax

Picture yourself in the midst of a challenging treadmill session. The pace is picking up, your heart is pumping, and you’re pushing your limits. In these intense moments, it’s crucial to find your Zen and embrace relaxation.

Keeping your body loose, limber, and relaxed throughout your workout is the key to avoiding discomfort and preventing injuries. Take deep, calming breaths, allowing your lungs to fill with life-giving oxygen. Stay mindful of how your body feels, and if you notice any tension or tightness, consciously release it. R

remember, running is not just a physical endeavor—it’s a mental and emotional journey as well. So, let go of any unnecessary stress, focus on the present moment, and let the rhythm of your footsteps carry you to a state of blissful tranquility.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to buying a used treadmill.

How to Run On a Treadmill  –  Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re serious about improving treadmill running technique, then today’s post has you covered. The rest is details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.

David D.

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