Running is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise. Its natural essence means that you burn fat, improve condition and core strength and develop aerobic and anaerobic fitness. While running in the open air on roads and trails is great fun and has the most benefit, using a treadmill suits some kinds of active people better.
A treadmill, either at the gym or at home, removes the stress of having to deal with the elements. You do not have to face strong headwinds or spend the first ten minutes of a run just trying to generate enough warmth to keep going. For this reason, a treadmill workout can be a good way of getting into regular running for someone who has been a little shy of running before.
The key with treadmill running, as with all running, is to take it at an appropriate pace. If you are an inexperienced runner, begin by walking on the machine. Raise the pace to a level where you can jog comfortably and see how long you can maintain that kind of effort without feeling uncomfortable. This should form your base level and you can use it both as a starting point and as a way of checking progress later on.
In subsequent sessions you can try to maintain your speed for three minutes, before walking for a couple of minutes to rest, before jogging again. As you get fitter, the jogging can evolve into a quicker run and the intervals of rest can disappear all together. With surprising rapidity, you will soon be running comfortably for half an hour without stopping.
Raise the Pace
Once you are able to run for half an hour without stopping it is time to introduce more challenge to your training. Interval running is a great way of burning fat and improving something called speed endurance, which is basically your body’s ability to move more quickly for longer. Intervals are easy to incorporate into your training, especially as treadmills are easy to programme. Look to run as fast as you can for 30 seconds to a minute, then ‘rest’ by running more slowly for one to two minutes. Repeat this process several times.
By incorporating intervals into your training, you will burn more fat and see your speed improve quickly. By now you may well have the confidence to head outside on the roads and trails and really get into running. In order to prepare yourself for this transition, use the programmable inclines on the treadmill to raise the level of challenge. When running outside, you will have to face a headwind. The best way to mimic this on a machine is to set the incline gradient at one or two per cent.
Fitness and Fun
A treadmill is a great way of getting fit and getting into running. With simply programmed ways of training, you can lose weight and improve condition with impressive speed. Make sure that you have a well-cushioned pair of running shoes and soon you will feel able to conquer the world. Running is an activity which can really seep into your soul, so who knows where those first steps on the treadmill might lead.
Zoe is an avid health blogger, who has written this post today on behalf of reebokfitness.info.