Treadmill Running Tips for Beginners

25 Responses

  1. Kevin says:

    These are all great tips. I would also add to hydrate, but not over hydrate. I have found a good measure for me is between 10 – 20 oz of water per hour of running, depending on how hot and humid it is. I try to start increasing my water intake a few hours before I plan to run, then cut back about 30 -45 minutes before. Then do as Tyler says in tip #5 (very important!) and just sip on water during the run when you feel thirsty, but don’t over do it or you will get sloshy stomach!

  2. Peanut says:

    Good treadmill tips! Like Kevin said, I’d also say to stay hydrated… you don’t want to run out of water while running on the treadmill!!1

  3. Tyler says:

    See Kevin, that totally slipped my mind! Staying hydrated is insanely important. I keep a huge water bottle with me at all times, in AND out of the gym. I go through about 20 ounces of water during an hour long gym session.

    Now that I think about it, I probably go through 100+ ounces of water a day. I used to “hate” drinking water, but now I can’t get enough of it.

  4. Nick says:

    10.1: Go to an actual running specialty store to get your running shoes. Do you know what your actual foot type is?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_type

    A good running store will be able to diagnose the correct shoe for your foot type (self diagnosis is possible, but I got myself wrong when I attempted the “wet foot test”). This really is valuable information if you plan on running any amount of distance.

  5. Lee says:

    Hey keep up the good work. I am bigger guy in the middle of my weight loss too. When starting I transitioned from the eliptical to the treadmill too. Remember to focus on your heart rate too. Interval training (run, walk, run walk) helps keep your body in fat burning mode. It has a couple major benefits; 1. Increased level of oxygen intake. Slower periods help your body take in more oxygen for recovery and extended runs.
    2. MOST IMPORTANT; interval training improves your fat buring capabilities. HUH? Wouldn’t running with no stops doe more? No, intervals allow you body to use carbohydrates in the body as the primary fuel. What happens when your done? Hours of using FAT as a replenishment for the carbs burnt. You now have begun burning more than you would have running solid through.
    3. HGH – human growth hormone also increases during interval training. Which is great as it helps recover and build new muscle tissue for you and your next workout.
    4. Interval training reduces the body’s need for insulin. Remember that when you intake simple sugar foods and or have a spike in insulin your body stops burning fat during the few hours after. So keeping the body from producing insulin stops glucose from moving into the body as fuel (causing the body to use carbohydrates from fat cells again.) So this is also great news for diabetics.
    Sorry for the long post; just some tips I learned along the way.

  6. Joy Manning says:

    Good tips. The only other thing that comes to mind for the beginning runner is to go a little slower than you think you can–it builds endurance.

  7. Jim says:

    Whenever I’m running or jogging or even just walking briskly, I get my breathing into a pattern. When running/jogging, I usually inhale for 2 steps and exhale for 2 steps. It helps keep the breathing regular and allows me to concentrate more on my actual workout than worrying about breathing enough.

  8. Matt says:

    Here is a little add on to the breathing tip. I used to get a stitch in my right side. I found out that this can be attributed to exhaling when your right foot hits the ground/treadmill. I made it a point to monitor my breathing and work on exhaling on the left step instead. Take deep breaths, and every once in a while let out a long slow exhale like you are blowing out birthday candles.

    All of your points are great.

    How are you doing on the treadmill? what speeds / distances are you up to? How are you pushing yourself harder with it?

  9. Chris says:

    You don’t only need to find a specialty shop (not Foot Locker or other mall stores), you need to be seen actually running. My foot seems to have a high arch, but it collapses under my weight so I’m effectively flat-footed and need appropriate footwear for that. That reminds me I need to resume my PT exercises to strengthen the muscles in my arch and lower calves.

  10. kate says:

    To add to Matt’s comment, the stitch on your side can be easily duplicated on the left side. Best way to avoid that I’ve found is alternating which feet you land on per exhale. And I’m one of those people that needs to pay lots of attention to my breathing and I do that by inhaling for an even count and exhaling for an odd count, ie 2 count in, 3 count out.

    Good luck as always!

  11. Chris says:

    (Clarification – it collapses under my weight -when running-. It’s fine when standing around or even walking at a regular pace. The impact from running is a different story.)

  12. Chris says:

    > Just keep a low, steady, “piercing stab” so to speak with your feet and make fast, low, quick forward snaps with your feet underneath you.

    If I understand what you’re saying that’s something you do -not- want to be doing long term. (Or I could be misunderstanding you.) A gliding step where your feet barely leave the ground is a cheat and like all cheats it will only get you so far. In this case you use your muscles in funny ways and aren’t developing the reflexes you need in the real world outside — even the best roads and sidewalks are far more uneven than a treadmill.

    The usual advice I’ve seen is to do an easy jog in place where you lift you feet enough to, e.g., clear a sidewalk gutter, but not much further. Then just lean forward while keeping your body straight. That is, you want to look like a /. Gravity will do the rest. Your foot always be landing beneath you and on a treadmill your foot should be tracing a smooth oval.

  13. Lee says:

    All of this talk about arches has me thinking about my feet problems. Look into plantars fasciitis, it is a VERY painful arch issue that many of us may deal with.

    If you feel a very sharp pain on your arch of your foot; don’t take this lightly and please look this up. There are a lot of tips on how to avoid this problem. Trust me; you don’t want this. It is painful, delays your training, and easily avoidable!

    Please take some time for this; especially as new runners. I am still learning as I go. Feel free to email me or post on here I will give you some of my tips too.
    *not my websites below, just a decent link or two*

    http://www.time-to-run.com/injuries/thebig5/plantar.htm

    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-286–6710-0,00.html

  14. Tyler says:

    Those are some awesome tips, guys!

    Chris — I don’t mean don’t lift your feet and be lazy. I just mean make precise, clear steps — somewhere in between hiking and skidding along the treadmill. I never heard of that comparison to a sidewalk, but that’s just about how much I lift my feet off the ground — about 3 to 4 inches.

  15. Whit says:

    You can wear short socks and be pain free…

    Band Aid brand makes a product called friction block. I found it in the pharmacy section of my local Target. It’s like a little deodorant stick that you rub on your achilles heel.

    It has petroleum in it and has been really effective for me.

  16. kate says:

    @Chris – I have high arches too. Try focusing on rolling your feet. Almost like you’re running on sand. You can also tape your arches up. A running coach could show you how to do it. It’s a pain in the butt but it does support them. I haven’t looked but I’d assume there are braces in lieu of tape for this problem as well. There are also some pretty decent Dr Scholl’s inserts that have both extra padding for the heel and extra arch support.

  17. Valerie says:

    For those who are too intimidated to even begin…just give it a try! Start slow. If you can only walk for 5 minutes, do it. Then add another minute the next time, and the next time. If you want to start running instead of just walking, start out jogging 30 seconds and walking 2 minutes. The first time I tried to jog, I thought I was going to DIE after 60 seconds. Now I run 5Ks on a regular basis. It’s still tough, but competing against myself makes me want to be better!

    So, long story short – do what you can, start slow, work your way up, and have FUN!

  18. Susie says:

    You can wear short socks without blisters while running!

    Head to a running shop and drop a few bucks on running socks. I used to just use any old gym socks and since making the switch my feet feel infinitely better. They get less hot, and running socks don’t chafe. They’re usually quite snug and are designed to stay up, stay on and stay comfortable while running. I’ve got three pairs and will often wear a pair twice before washing them with no ill results, and it’s way way nicer feeling than regular socks.

  19. Tyler says:

    Looks like I’ll be taking a trip to the local running store. The things you can learn from the interwebs. Thanks, Susie!

  20. cybrbanana says:

    I’ll second what Susie says about running socks. Just got a pair (Smartwool brand) and love them. No pruney toes or shoes eating my socks. (They are a bit pricey, though.)

  21. Mer says:

    I find that it’s much easier to pace your breathing than it is to pace your stride. I take really short strides and have found that breathing to the beat of the music I listen to makes it much easier to run distances, rather than pacing steps to the music.

  22. Jeff D says:

    As a guy who used running to lose a good amount of weight while training for a marathon, I’ll offer a few tips.

    Treadmills are great, especially in winter but don’t be afraid to get outside and run. Treadmills force you to maintain the same pace, which can lead to some of the cramping mentioned above. When you are off the treadmill you naturally vary your pace a bit.

    It might be a mental thing, but I think it’s easier to breathe outside as well as opposed to the gym.

    Last, a visit to a running store is definitely a good idea. Don’t be self conscious, in my experience the workers are always willing to help someone who is just getting started and make sure they get the best shoes possible for them.

  23. Cole says:

    I have a problem with treadmills and I bet you can help me out Tyler. I have no problem with running, walking, going to the gym etc, but treadmills seem to be a big problem.. mainly in the way they’re designed. I’m not sure if this is only my problem or not, but since you were a big guy (now smaller than me, geez), maybe you had the same issue. So, I get on the treadmill and I start to run or walk or any movement at all, and occasionally, the tread “slips” on the rollers. I’m not talking about a minor jerk, I’m talking about a substantial jerk of the tread that makes me think I’m going to fall over. Since it constantly feels like I’m going to fall over, and it’s also pretty hard on the knees and just jolting in general to have the tread slip like that, I usually stick with elliptical. Have you had this problem? It essentially makes a treadmill useless for me, and I was wondering if it was just me. I have used treadmills before where it was less of a problem or it rarely occurred, but it ALWAYS occurs, whether frequently or just a couple times per workout.

  24. Bridget says:

    I have this same problem, with the treadmill slipping! I’ve asked others & no one seems to be able to give me an explanation of what’s happening. Am I running/jogging too fast, too slow… don’t have a great treadmill?? Any feedback is appreciated!

  25. Ivy says:

    Hi, I started my walk and run program Monday, it’s hard for me to run for more than 2 min but hopefully I’ll do better. One question, is it the same running with the treadmill and outdoors?thanks, keep up the good work

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