Treadmill Running v2

They’re waiting for you. Sitting quietly in forgotten condo and office gyms, beside the laundry room in your hotel, there might even be one in your basement: a treadmill is waiting for you.

Treadmills are easy to find, and they’re an effective way to stick with your running goals. I’ve asked physiotherapist and coach Brad Spokes from Zone Physiotherapy for his top treadmill running tips:

Warm Up

It’s tempting to just jump on the treadmill and start your workout but just like with outdoor running it’s important that you warm up before getting into the more challenging part of your run. Find an open space to execute your dynamic warm up before jumping on the treadmill. This will help to prepare your body and mind for the workout to come.

Know Your Treadmill

For many runners the speed and RPE (rate of perceived exertion) can vary significantly from outdoor to indoor running and treadmill to treadmill. Be flexible with yourself and adjust accordingly to the goal of your run.

Use a Slight Incline

If you are looking to simulate the muscular and physiological demands of running outside, set your treadmill to between 1 percent and 2 percent of incline. Since there’s no wind resistance indoors and the belt assists in pushing your leg back, a gentle uphill better simulates outdoor running. If you are new to treadmill running or running in general it is ok to set your treadmill’s incline to zero until you build up your fitness and confidence.

Form Practice

The treadmill is an excellent opportunity to work on your form. Use mirrors or video feedback to evaluate your running posture and stride. Rarely do we get the opportunity in running for immediate feedback. Take advantage. Take note of your stride rate and the noise your feet make striking the belt. Simple changes as increasing your stride rate and reducing noise can go along way in improving your running efficiency.

Entry and Exit

Sounds silly but it happens. One of the biggest causes of injuries on treadmills is jumping or falling off a moving treadmill. If you need to get off the treadmill bring it down to a complete stop and lower the incline. Step off the back of the treadmill once stationary. Do the same when you get back on; don’t try to pick up right where you left off.


You will probably lose more water running inside on a treadmill than outdoors as there is very little air movement. Using fans can help with this, but be sure to keep your water bottle close at hand. Most treadmills have a handy little sport to store your bottle safely. Throw some electrolytes (Nuun) tablets in your bottle to add some flavour and re-stock what you lose through sweating. Try and aim for drinking 4 to 6 ounces for every 20 minutes you are running.

Thank-you Brad!

If you want to take a treadmill for a spin, and don’t have one lurking in your basement, stop by Brainsport and pick up a free 7 day pass to Goodlife Fitness. Think of it as a 7 day “Get Out of Winter Free” card.