How to Run on a Treadmill (9 Tips for a Perfect Workout)

If you got a superpower but didn’t know how to use it properly, then it can be your biggest enemy.

The same applies to the treadmill. If you don’t know how to run on a treadmill, it may cause pain or serious injuries. So, before climbing on the machine, you must know its proper uses and technics to get the most out of it.

Related: The Ultimate Treadmill Buying Guide 2021

In today’s article, I’m sharing with you nine simple tips on how to run on a treadmill to get the most effective and safe workout session.

So, let’s dive in!

How to Run on a Treadmill: 9 Tips for Beginners

The treadmill is one of the most effective cardio equipment, but only when you know its proper uses. Otherwise, you may get serious injuries. So, let’s learn how to use a treadmill in the right way.

1. Warm-Up

No matter what kind of training you’re going to perform, 8 to 10 minutes of warm-up is a must before starting your main exercises.

A simple ten-minute warm-up will help you to supply blood to muscle tissues and increase joints mobility. Basically, it raises heart-rate and makes your body warm for an intense workout session.

sample warm-up is like stretching your legs, waist, arms, shoulders before starting your treadmill, and then ON your treadmill to walk or jog for five to seven minutes. Now you can perform your workout without getting injuries.

2. Wear Quality Running Shoes

When we talk about running, it’s always essential to wear good quality running shoes to avoid ankle pain and future injuries.

So, investing in a top-quality shoe is very important and totally worth it when avoiding injuries and maintaining joints health for the long run.

3. Right Way to OFF Your Treadmill

Whether you’re learning to drive a car or running on a treadmill, the first and most crucial step to know is how to OFF or STOP the machine.

In the treadmill, there’s two way of stopping it: 

  1. Straddle: The one way is the jump-off and straddle. Let’s say you’re doing intervals of 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds and you don’t want to wind the treadmill up and down every single time. So what you might do, set the treadmill whatever speed you want to run, then jump on, hit your run workout and jump off when you rest.
  2. Speed down with key: The straddle off is very good to practice, mostly when you’ve done it before. But if you’re not comfortable with it, you can do it by gradually down the speed with a build-in speed control button or key.

4. Know Your Treadmill

Before climbing on your treadmill, it’s essential to know about its key elements and their functions. It would be best if you looked out:

  • Console: The treadmill console is a crucial feature where displays important workout feedbacks such as distance, burned calories, heart rate, and much more. So, you should have a look at the console and see its functions.
  • Workout Programs: Most popular treadmills features an HD touchscreen with pre-set workout programs that you can choose from different plans according to your desired goals.
  • Treadmill Speed: Generally treadmill speed measures “mile per hour”. You can choose the treadmill speed according to your fitness level and training intensity. If you’re counting speed minute-per-mile, check the chart below.
Treadmill Speed (mph)Time per Mile
4.0 MPH15 minute/m
5.0 MPH12 minute/m
5.5 MPH10:55 minute/m
6.0 MPH10 minute/m
6.5 MPH9:14 minute/m
7.0 MPH8:34 minute/m
7.5 MPH8 minute/m

5. Use Incline Smartly

The incline is an exciting feature of a treadmill that adds extra variety to your workout. You can up and down incline with build-in keys on the console. It’s about percent of the gradient, and typically manufacturers provide 0 to 40 percent incline in the treadmill.

Treadmills don’t have any push off, so what you can do is kick the incline up to about a one to two percent grade, it’s going to mimic your outdoor setting more.

Now get the speed going and do a slow build-up with walking, then gradually up the pace and start running. After you are comfortable, you can up the incline 5 to 7 percent, and if you feel good, you can up the grade even more or mix up accordingly.

6. Running Form

How long or age you’ll run it very much depends on your running form. A correct form is very crucial, especially when you’re running on the treadmill. A wrong form can cause your joints, ankle pain, or even severe injuries.

So, make sure your form should be perfect. Those are the things you really should be focused on while running on the treadmill:

  • Legs Movement: When you’re running on the treadmill, make sure your feet should pointing straight ahead and your toes turned out, or make sure they are tracking right in front of you.
  • Arm Swing: Another thing is a lovely relaxed arm swing that also gives you some power, so crossing in front is not doing anything, but if you can keep those arms straight forward and back, that’s perfect.
  • Don’t Look Down: When you’re running on the treadmill, don’t look down. Make sure you look forward and straight in the front of your eyes.
  • Don’t Lean Forward: Lastly, our head and chest should be nice and upright, no leaning over or looking at the treadmill that’s not doing a lot for us.


7. Use Emergency Stop

All treadmills have an emergency stop button. As a beginner or treadmill runner, you must use an emergency stop. It’s usually just a magnet, hooked up to the console with a string which you can clip some way to you.

Basically, when you pull the things off, or you’re running and about to fall, the string will detach from you and immediately stop the treadmill.

8. Stay Hydrated

When you’re running mostly on the treadmill, you’ll lose more water (as sweat) than regular outdoor running. Although some treadmills provide air resistance that keeps you cool, it’s also essential to keep your body hydrated during training.

Keep a water bottle in the machine’s holder that should be within your reach and drink at least 4 to 6 ounces every 20 minutes while running on the treadmill.

9. Don’t Forget to Cool Down Your Body

After stepping off from the treadmill, you may sometimes feel a little dizzy, still moving, or may feel headache because your heart-rate and blood pressure are rapidly down. So, a proper cooldown is very necessary to get rid of these symptoms.

After a quality running (hard effort) session, your cool-down routine is like this:

  • 5 to 7 minutes of easy effort running or jogging.
  • 3 to 5 minutes of brisk to gentle walking.
  • 3 to 5 minutes of total body stretching.

Just as you gradually raised your heart-rate at the beginning by warm-up, the same way you need to cool it down at the end slowly. After completing a hard-core running session, 5 to 10 minutes of walking or jogging is a must with lite full-body stretching.

I hope these simple tips on how to run on a treadmill helps you to run in a proper form for the long years without inviting any pain or injuries.

If you have any questions or queries regarding treadmill running, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I’ll love to answer your questions!

Happy Treadmill Running!

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