How To Run On A Treadmill

If you are used to running outdoors, running on a treadmill can be quite a challenge.

How To Run On A Treadmill?

You have no changing scenery to look at, it feels different under your feet, and time seems to go a lot slower.

However, there are some tips and tricks that you can use to make it much easier for you to run on a treadmill. 

If you want to know how to run on a treadmill then you are in the right place.

We have put together this useful guide to tell you everything you need to know. Keep reading to find out more. 

Start With A Good Warm Up 

When you run outdoors, you will usually make sure that you do a good warm up.

Sometimes you can forget this when you are running on a treadmill.

However, a good warm up is very important. It can improve your performance and help to prevent injury.

Try a 5 minute brisk walk to get your body warm and your heart rate up. 

Get To Know The Treadmill

You will enjoy working out on the treadmill a lot more if you spend some time getting to know the various settings and functions.

This will help you to create more varied workouts which is much more interesting than running the same 5k every time.

This also helps you to get the most out of your workout as you will be able to incorporate different types of training to improve your fitness and performance. 

Don’t Forget To Use An Incline 

It is not natural to run on a surface that is entirely flat, because even a seemingly flat path has some natural gradient.

Running on an entirely flat surface is not good for your foot posture or your ligaments.

To mimic a flat outdoor path, you can use an incline of one or two percent.

You can use more of an incline if you want some hill training to improve your fitness and your muscle tone. 

Using some incline in your workout is important, but don’t over do it. If the incline is too steep then it can put too much pressure on your hips, your ankles and your back.

Try to keep the incline at 7 percent or less. If you want to increase the incline beyond this point then you might want to try power walking instead. 

Interval Training

Interval training is a very important part of your running training. This includes sprinting, jogging and walking.

Using different speeds in your workout will improve your fitness much faster than running everything at the same pace.

This means that you will notice an improvement in your pace when you do a normal run.

You should also incorporate a mixture of inclines and flatter surfaces.

Using hill training will help you to become fitter, build more muscle and will prepare you for any races you do with a varied gradient. 

Don’t Hold On While Running

How To Run On A Treadmill?

There is a safety handle on the treadmill which can come in useful sometimes.

However, you should not hold on to it while you are running. It will ruin your form and could cause you to trip and fall.

Falling off a treadmill is dangerous and can lead to some nasty friction burns. Some people feel the need to hold the handle because the speed is too fast.

If this is the case, you need to reduce the speed until you have built up your fitness and become accustomed to it. 

Do Not Lean Forward And Do Not Look Down

It is important that you maintain the right form while you are running on a treadmill.

This means that you need to keep your back straight and not lean forward.

You should also avoid looking down – stay looking straight ahead.

When you run outside you keep your eyes on the horizon, so you should do the equivalent on a treadmill.

Work On Your Stride 

Running on a treadmill is different to running outside. When you run outdoors, you need to propel yourself and come up with your own momentum.

On a treadmill, it is impossible to stop running while the treadmill is going.

It can be easy to get carried away and throw your legs out too far in front of you, but you still need to pay close attention to your stride and maintain control over your muscles. 

Rather than trying to make your strides longer, you should try to fit more strides into each minute.

This is the best way to improve your pace, and it maintains good running form. The number of strides per minute is called your cadence. 

Always Turn The Treadmill Off Before Stepping Off

Treadmills can be dangerous if you don’t use them properly. The belt moves very quickly and it can be easy to lose your balance.

Make sure you turn the treadmill completely off before you try to get off the treadmill.

When you get on the treadmill, make sure it is off. Once you are on the treadmill you can gradually increase the speed. 

Choose Some Good Music Or Television 

When you run outdoors there is a lot to look at. When you run indoors on a treadmill it can get quite boring.

To counteract this, you can listen to music or even watch television.

Make sure that what you are watching doesn’t distract you from being able to focus on your form and your performance. 

Some people try to place their treadmill in front of a window so they have something to look at whilst they are running.

Alternatively, you could visualize a route in your head, or use a screen to go on a ‘virtual run’ which allows you to look at scenery and landscapes from all over the world. 

Stay Hydrated 

Most treadmills have a water bottle holder. Make sure you stay hydrated during your run, as you are likely to build up a sweat.

You might find it harder to keep cool with no breeze, so you may want to open a window or use a fan. 

End With A Cool Down 

Make sure you finish your workout with a cool down to prevent a buildup of lactic acid.

This also helps you to be more flexible and develop lean muscles. 


Running on a treadmill can be daunting, but these tips will make it easier. 

Richard Harris