Running is a strenuous exercise, but there’s a reason so many people choose to do it daily. It’s a way to build your endurance, improve your heart health, and become healthier overall. Both running outdoors and treadmill running can be pretty difficult, especially for beginners. Here are 10 tips for making treadmill running easier.
Invest in proper footwear.
Running on the treadmill can feel like the worst decision you’ve ever made if you’re not wearing the right shoes. If you’re experiencing pain from the shoes, improper arch support, or they don’t fit properly, you’re not going to have an enjoyable experience. There are plenty of other things you can be focusing on while running instead of how much your feet hurt.
Proper running shoes can be expensive, but they are an investment. If you’re struggling to find a pair you really like, visit a specialty store and get shoes properly fitted for you. Once you have the right shoes, you can really begin to love running.
Weight train and practice yoga.
Building muscle and stretching can help make your time on the treadmill easier. Increasing your strength can increase how fast you can run and reduces the risk of injury. Strength training will make your body more efficient, so you should be able to run faster and further before feeling fatigued.
Yoga is a wonderful way to stretch out your muscles and can feel amazing being incorporated into your running routine. When you are going for a run, warm-up for five to ten minutes and then stretch out your muscles to help improve your run.
Related: 12 Best Yoga Poses For Runners
Be patient with yourself.
When you pick up a new hobby or start to exercise for the first time (or the first time in a long time), you should give yourself grace and room to be a beginner. No one starts out as an expert, so you might feel frustrated by how challenging running can be, but it does get easier with time.
When you run outdoors your leg muscles push you forward. While running on a treadmill, the treadmill wheel pulls your body forward. When you first start running on a treadmill the “pulling forward” takes a little bit of time to get used to. Take it slow and easy into the overall speed you start running with. If you’ve never run on a treadmill before I recommend running about 1-2 minutes slower than your easy conversational pace.
Sticking with it is the simplest way to become a running pro.
Set goals and have a plan.
In the beginning, it can be beneficial to set goals and envision your run. Even if your goal is to reach five minutes without stopping, that’s a great goal. Continually trying to improve on your times and how you feel can help make running easier.
Engage your core.
Engaging your core when you’re running will help you feel lighter. Taking shorter strides while using your core will help running feel a bit easier plus improve your overall cadence. It’s a bit of a learning curve, and you may not have actively done this in the past, but it’s a great habit to get into.
Opt for a comfortable speed and incline.
Going too extreme too fast will cause you a lot of discomfort, and it will be challenging for you to maintain. Start slow and choose a speed that feels comfortable and that you can maintain for a while to make it easier. Increasing the speed and incline a little each time will help you improve without it being too drastic.
Here is a conversion chart from mph to pace:
Treadmill Pace/Speed Conversions
- min/mile = minutes per miles pace
- mph = miles per hour
- min/km = minutes per kilometer pace
- kmph = kilometers per hour
Use Run-Walk Intervals If You need To
Run-Walks aren’t reserved just for road running, you can easily implement a run-walk or a walk-run (more emphasis on walking than running) technique. If you want to use a 3:2 run-walk interval simply run at your desired pace for 3 minutes then reduce the speed on the treadmill somewhere between 2.5 mph and 3.5 mph depending on how fast you want to walk.
For a beginner’s guide to walk-run and run-walk intervals check out: A Beginner’s Guide to Run-Walk Intervals
Modify speed and incline if needed.
If you choose a speed that’s too slow or way too fast, you can always change it up if you need to. Some days you may be ready to go up in speed significantly, and other days you may just be able to do a fast-paced walk. Every time you get on the treadmill will help make it easier, so sticking with it is crucial.
Take small breaks.
You won’t enjoy running if you don’t allow yourself to take breaks or force yourself to become uncomfortable. Take breaks when you need them, ensure you’re hydrated, and listen to your body.
If you become dizzy, extremely fatigued, or cramping, take a break and drink some water. The treadmill will be there when you’re ready to get back on it.
If your goal is to run five miles, take a break after each mile. It may take you a little longer, but you’re still meeting your goal and getting it done without your legs becoming totally overwhelmed.
Create a playlist that gets you pumped up.
If you’re the type of person who loves to listen to music during a workout and it gets you amped, put all your favorite songs together on a playlist for your time on the treadmill. Grab your earbuds, Smartwatch, and smartphone. Sync up and let the music stream from your device and into your ears filling your body with base boosting tunes! Music can be an excellent form of motivation, and the right songs can help pass the time on the treadmill without you even thinking about it.
If music isn’t your thing, you can keep yourself entertained by listening to audiobooks, your favorite podcasts, or watch or listen to some YouTube videos.
Practice makes perfect with many things in life, including exercise. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. It takes time to build up your endurance and cardiovascular health, and it won’t happen overnight. If you can stay dedicated to running, it will become much easier over time.
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YouTube video - 30 ways to make your runs less painful!
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