Skip Nav

Common Treadmill Mistakes

An Equinox Trainer Shares the 5 Biggest Mistakes He Sees People Make on the Treadmill

Photographer: Kat Borchart

It's tempting to just jump on the treadmill and start jogging. But if you don't play your cards right, you won't see great results from your running efforts, whether you're trying to lose weight or just be a faster, stronger runner. We spoke to David Siik, creator and director of Precision Running at Equinox, who gave us some useful tips for making the most out of your treadmill session.

"Always have a workout plan. It changes everything," David told POPSUGAR. "The number one mistake is not having a plan before you step on. The one true way to erase 'treadmill boredom' is to have a goal and a plan and focus on that." Don't know where to start? No worries! Try this 30-minute Precision Running workout or this 20-minute session.

There are four other common mistakes David sees people making over and over again.

  • Being distracted: "Overreaching for entertainment value is another mistake," David said. "It's OK to listen to your favorite music or glance at the TV, but keep your main focus on the workout." Try not to get too distracted by your phone when you get a text or email. In fact, you're better off putting it on silent and giving all your attention to your run.
  • Running too close to the monitor: David says this is extremely common. People get nervous they won't be able to run fast enough to keep up with the speed, but when you shorten the distance between yourself and the treadmill, you don't allow your arms to move fluidly, which is key to getting your legs to move quickly. Leave a good amount of distance between your body and the monitor. Your form will look so much better!
  • Stepping on and off a fast-moving treadmill without accelerating or decelerating: This could be dangerous and might cause you to fall off your treadmill. Gradually reducing your speed after a sprint rather than just jumping off to the side will also train you to have more control over your body as you're running.
  • Not using enough incline: "Many people aren't sure how to prescribe the right inclines for the right speeds," David said. This matters a great deal, though, because incorporating more hills into your workout will help you reach your goals much faster. If you don't know how to use incline, try this 45-minute incline workout.
Latest Fitness