The treadmill is one of the most popular indoor devices. But how do you run effectively, what is the difference to outside and how do you get into training? All tips for getting into the flow indoors.
For hardcore runners who are always out and about, the treadmill is the hamster wheel of Homo sapiens: nature is left behind – the running technique. But many others get into meditative flow while doing sports without distraction and excuses.
Yes, on the treadmill, you roll your feet differently than when running on dirt roads or asphalt. And yes, the fresh air is missing, and the experience of nature can be taken off with sweaty people in a crowded gym.
But that’s why the running band is still a whole training part, and there are many good reasons for training on the treadmill – and thanks to different running programs and modern entertainment electronics, it can even be entertaining.
Quick check: 7 advantages of treadmill training
- The ligaments are well damped and flat – this reduces the impact loads on the ligaments, tendons, and joints.
- You are entirely independent of weather and road conditions. You can train yourself when it is freezing, smooth, or even icy outside.
- Darkness doesn’t matter. You can exercise at any time of the day or night.
- Even if you live in an area that is as flat as the northern German lowlands, you can incorporate mountain runs, and endurance runs into your training.
- You can only train capable of hill climbing. The downhill running, which is particularly stressful for joints and ligaments, is no longer necessary – in nature, this is not possible.
- The load can be dosed precisely because you can set the pace exactly and watch your heart rate exactly.
- Interval runs can be trained very accurately, especially fixed velocities are easier to maintain on the treadmill than when running outside.
Treadmill: It’s all about the slope
When you train on the treadmill, there are a few things you should be aware of – because the running technique is different from running in nature, where a strong footprint is required to achieve a forward movement.
A completely different rolling behavior is necessary because, with the treadmill, the surface moves under you – regardless of the strength of the footprint. To still have a similar movement sequence, you should set a slight incline to achieve an existing footprint.
Even if you want to do a training run through flat terrain, set an incline of between 1.0 and 1.5 percent. In addition to the better impression behavior, a second aspect comes into play: You have no air resistance on the treadmill because you stay on the spot. Due to the incline, your pace is more comparable to the speed at which you are outside.
This is how beginners should train on the treadmill. Beginners train 15 to 20 minutes two to three days a week. And the first thing is monotony and low speed instead of variety and interval run.
Once you have got used to the movement sequence and the changed rolling movement, you can gradually increase the training frequency first, then the volume, and finally, the intensity.
It is most useful to run in the optimal training pulse range. You can quickly determine it with our heart rate calculator. Or with the help of a trainer in the gym.
Although running is a simple movement, some running style techniques can cause discomfort. Our video and picture gallery shows you which mistakes you should avoid on the treadmill.
Important: Always start with a moderate warm-up at about five minutes and only then increase your target heart rate. You shouldn’t stop abruptly after long-running sessions on the treadmill, but instead run out slowly, as a kind of calm down.
Treadmill training for strength athletes
Many athletes also use the treadmill in the studio. To warm-up, for example, before strength training. This makes a lot of sense because, in contrast to the bike ergometer, even more muscles are involved in the movement while walking, and blood flow is increased accordingly.
Usually, short units of 10-15 minutes are enough to get your circulation going correctly. The same applies here: start slowly and then increase a little.
And don’t be surprised if you sweat profusely very quickly: in contrast to running outside, the cooling running wind is missing, which allows our sweat to evaporate more rapidly. In the studio, however, sweat drips off the skin faster.