Are You Making This Treadmill Mistake?
Not exactly. Not being aware of the subtle differences between running on the treadmill and asphalt can set you up for aches, injuries and fewer fitness benefits.
Here, three big-time bad habits and how to avoid them…
1. The Treadmill Is Easier
“The treadmill belt moves with you, helping your legs turn over, and that impacts your pace per kilometre,” says Susan Paul, exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation. Set the incline to 1 to 2 percent so you better simulate the physicality of running outside on a flat course, suggests Paul.
2. You Are Distracted
On the road, you’re paying attention to traffic, fellow runners and other safety issues that keep you mindful of your performance. Indoors, with a TV in front of your face and your earphones in, it’s easy to lose track of your pace and intensity and not score the fitness benefits you’re used to, says Paul. Think about it: you’re less likely to pick up the pace or increase the incline if you’re zoning out.
3. Your Form Starts To Slack
It’s super common for runners to hunch over, hold the bars, or wing out their arms when running indoors and not even realise it, Paul says. Each tweak to your running form is enough to make your run less efficient and score you less of a muscle-building, kilojoule-burning payoff. And when you do head back outside, all that running on the treadmill’s softer surface can set you up for injuries. “Some of the hardening, toughening and conditioning that occurs to our bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles does not happen to same degree when treadmill running,” says Paul. Take it a little easier and cut back your distance so you adapt to the harder surface of the road.