Running on a treadmill should lead you to a better health not on nursing an injury. Prevention is always better than cure. Thus, we bare common mistakes you are doing when you are running on treadmill. Avoid doing this so you can enjoy the pleasures of running.
- Not warming up or cooling down
Warming-up is vital before doing a treadmill run to help you prepare for the challenging part of the run. Similarly, cooling down at the end of the run is essential to prevent feeling dizzy. Sudden stop can cause light-headedness due to rapid drop of your heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, after you finish running, don’t step off the machine, instead, cool down by walking or easy jogging for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Improper running form
When you run on the treadmill, your running form should be the same whenever you run outdoors. Try to run with your natural pace, and avoid taking short, choppy strides. Likewise, avoid overstriding or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body’s center of gravity. This form creates a braking force with the belt. To prevent this, try to keep your feet under your body, not ahead or behind it.
- Holding onto the handrails
Holding on to the rails while running on the treadmill has detrimental effects on your body. It forces your body to hunch over. This inefficient running form can cause neck, shoulder and back pain. Moreover, doing this habit may make you feel like you can keep up the pace and work harder but what you are really doing is reducing your load and making it easier on yourself. To prevent these ill-effects of running on the treadmill, keep your posture straight and erect. Your head should be up, your back straight and shoulders level. If you are too concerned about falling off the machine, check your running pace and the incline. You might be running too fast or too much an incline. Set your pace properly.
- Not exercising
When you do running on a treadmill, it is advised to include interval training once or twice a week. This way, it will help improve your running performance. You may do the following interval training workouts: treadmill hill workout, treadmill interval workout, pyramid speed interval workout or fartlek interval workout. Of course, don’t forget to perform proper warming-up and cooling down whenever you run on the machine.
- Stepping off while moving
Stepping off the treadmill while it is still in motion is one of the major causes of injuries. To prevent doing this mistake, prepare everything you need before you start your run. This way, you won’t be tempted to hop off the mill. In case you need to go to the bathroom to pee or you feel thirsty while doing the run, slow the machine down to a very reduced pace and lower the incline.
- Running at the same pace for the entire run
Think this way. When you run outdoors, you are running on different speeds due to several factors like wind, hills, and changing weather conditions. So, whenever you train your run on the treadmill, it is recommended not to stick on the same pace to simulate outdoor run. Running on the same pace for the entire run will lead you to boredom. With that, going to varying pace and or the incline throughout the run is recommended. Your first 5 minutes should be dedicated to warm up and end the session with a 5 minute walk or easy jog.
- Running the entire workout on a steep incline
The best way to challenge your run is to run on a steep incline. However, doing this form for the entire run is bad for it could lead to injuries. Do alternate run with an incline and without an incline is the better and safer way to do your workout. Don’t go beyond 7 percent incline because it will put too much strain on your back, hips and ankles.