Any exercise routine has the potential to become stale after a while — and the treadmill is certainly no exception. Let’s face it, you’re not running through a beautiful field or sandy beach. Sometimes it can feel like your running nowhere fast and you might not be getting the most out of your workout. ELLE Canada enlisted the help of Nike’s Rock Run program consultant Deborah Moore for tips on how to keep the treadmill exciting for both your mind and your body.
1. Warm up and cool down properly
Five minutes should be allowed for at the start and end of your session; this will not only help ease your cold muscles into a workout to help prevent injury, but it will also allow your heart rate to increase gradually and safely.
2. Don’t focus on a fixed object
Try to allow some movement in your eyes and head as you run on a treadmill. If you stare at a fixed object such as a TV screen, you could end up feeling dizzy with motion sickness. Use music to motivate and distract you instead.
3. Vary your workout
To prevent boredom and to increase your chances of continuing a great treadmill running program, change up your pace or the incline every so often. This also helps to kick start your metabolism and encourage weight loss. Also, make sure that some of your runs are easy – by going hard all the time, you may risk being “over-trained” which can lead to injury and exhaustion.
4. Progress sensibly
Increase your workout duration or the intensity by small amounts each workout. A good rule of thumb is a 10-15% increase each week; for example, if you ran for 20 minutes in week one, you would run for 22-24 minutes in week two. This will help to prevent injuries.
5. Run with a friend
Just because you’re on a treadmill doesn’t mean you have to be solo. Recruit a friend to run next to you, and motivate each other to complete the workout, or to even show up at the gym! The great thing about treadmill running with friends is that they can be faster or slower than you, but you’ll always be running together!
6. Cadence counts
Because the treadmill somewhat dictates your leg motion, it’s important to stay in control of your leg speed and stride length. As the treadmill speeds up, focus on first increasing your leg turnover (called cadence). When you are comfortable with the increased leg speed, you can then focus on lengthening your stride. If you try to lengthen your stride first, you may end up over striding, tripping and falling off!
For more information on how to enhance your running workout, visit www.Nike.com