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The 10 golden rules of treadmill running

Not everyone is accustomed to treadmill running – especially when you live in a place like Sydney, with so many beautiful parks, trails and great weather all year round that really encourages outdoor training!

So we’ve put together 10 tips on how to better run on a treadmill. We hope you’ll find them useful for your Corporate Treadmill Marathon training!

1.  Warm up

Run or walk at a slow, easy pace for 5-10 minutes. It’s tempting to just jump on the treadmill and start running, but you should allow time for a warm up. Why not do a quick jog from your office to the gym before the event?

2.  The 2-Hour Rule

Wait for about two hours after a meal before running.

“For most people, two hours is enough time for food to empty from the stomach, especially if it’s high in carbohydrate,” says Colorado sports dietitian and marathoner Cindy Dallow, Ph.D. “If you don’t wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting. You can probably run 90 minutes after a light, high-carb meal, while you may need up to three hours after a heavy meal that’s high in protein and fat.
Also, just stick to familiar food. Don’t eat or drink anything new before or during a race or hard workout!

3.  Find the right incline

A slight inclination of 1% to 2% is ideal when running on treadmills. A too steep incline (more than 7%) may lead to Achilles tendon or calf injuries.

4.  Don’t hold onto the handrail or console

Some people assume that they need to hold onto the handrails when walking or running on a treadmill. The handrails are only there to help you safely get onto and off of the treadmill. When running on the treadmill, practice proper upper body form by keeping your arms at a 90 degree angle, just as you would if you were running outside.

5.  Don’t lean forward

Make sure to keep your body upright. It’s not necessary to lean forward because the treadmill pulls your feet backward. You need to pull your feet from the belt before they are driven away by the belt.

6.  Pay attention to your stride

Keep your stride quick and short to help minimize the impact transferred to your legs. Try to maintain a mid-foot strike to make sure you’re not heel striking and sending shock to your knees. You may need to exaggerate the heel lift because the lack of forward momentum means your feet won’t be moving in a circular path.

7.  Work on improving your stride count

The more steps you take per minute, the more efficiently you’ll run. Elite runners run about 180 steps per minute. Determine your stride count by counting how often one foot hits the belt in a minute and then doubling that number. Try to improve your stride count during your run by focusing on taking shorter, quicker strides and keeping your feet close to the belt.

8.  Don’t look down

It’s hard not to continually look to see how much time or distance you have left, but if you’re looking down, your running form will suffer. Don’t stare at your feet either. You’re likely to run hunched over, which could lead to back and neck pain. Looking straight ahead is the safest way to run, whether you’re on the treadmill or running outside.

9.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

You can lose even more water running on a treadmill then you would if you were running outside, since there’s little air resistance to help to keep you cool. The gym can get hot, especially when there are so many people in one area. Keep a bottle of water within easy reach.

10.  Don’t forget to cool down

It’s easy to hop off the treadmill when your workout is done and your heart rate is elevated. If possible, allow your heart rate to slow down before you get off. Cooling down will help prevent dizziness or the feeling that you’re still moving when you step off the treadmill.

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