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Winterize Your Running: Treadmill Tips

It is a common trend during late Autumn to start moving workouts indoors. Treadmills and spin classes are staples of Winter fitness. If layering up to brave the cold keeps you from running, then move your workout inside, but keep these tips in mind:

  • Ease into your treadmill runs. Don't expect to run as fast or as long on a treadmill as you did outside. Allow your body to get used to the treadmill's movement and surface. Start with shorter, slower runs and gradually increase time and speed until you're up to the level you were doing outside. Running on a treadmill is truly a repetitive action, since the surface never changes, and this is another reason to ramp up slowly.
  • Reconsider your sneaks. Trail runners were made for running outside on dirt paths and aren't exactly the best shoes for a treadmill or an indoor track surface. You may need to purchase another pair that's strictly for indoor use.

For other tips,


  • If running on a treadmill aggravates your knees, opt for using an elliptical instead.
  • Remember that running on a treadmill with zero percent incline can give you shin splints, so set your treadmill to at least one percent incline.
  • Take advantage of the incline on the treadmill to simulate running up hills.
  • Some folks think running on a treadmill is easier, so make it more difficult by varying your speed. This kind of interval training will not only work your heart and lungs and strengthen your muscles, but those sprinting bursts help to burn more calories.

Taking short breaks from training can be beneficial, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get back into the swing of things. If you own a treadmill or elliptical, dust it off, get it out of your basement, or remove the laundry you have hanging from it and start running. If you don't own one, join a gym immediately so you can use their equipment or indoor track.


Join The Conversation
SugarCat SugarCat 8 years
I am going to try and avoid the treadmill if at all possible this winter. I ran outdoors Sunday and it felt awesome, I plan on doing a 4 mile race in March so I need to get used to the cold!
michlny michlny 8 years
I LOVE running outside and I hate the treadmill - it's such a bore. I envy those who can run on it for an hour. I wish I could :(.
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
i can't stress this enough: stretch you adductors and glutes! running on a treadmill makes you feel like you're running in a confined space so basically you're not running using your normal movement but rather a constrained version- that means your hips are going in overdrive trying to shorten your movements which can really damage your hips! stretch! before and after!
Chandler Chandler 8 years
There is a slippery spot on the underside of my treadmill's belt so I have been avoiding it and have taken to running outside. As the snowy and icy weather is fast approaching, I think that I will have to decide between slipping outside or in the comfort of my own home! Does anyone have a suggestion to get rid of the nasty slippery spot?
jdeprima jdeprima 8 years
I can run a lot faster on a treadmill, even on an incline, but I find that my knees are more sore later in the day than if I had run outside. I'm mixing indoor/outdoor runs at the moment, but once it gets really freezing or icy, I'll be indoors for the duration.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
This makes me feel much, much better. I've been getting really frustrated when I try to run on the treadmill at the gym because I can't go nearly as far or as fast. I'm lucky to do a mile without being too winded to continue. However, I ran a 5k a couple weekends ago without walking at all. I was confused, but your post makes it all make sense.
mod16 mod16 8 years
i agree psychobabble
bosworthfan bosworthfan 8 years
I use the treadmill much more than I do running outside. I am trying by running around the local lakes, but I am a treadmill-girl!!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
My goal is to have a treadmill free winter ! :P
darkoblivion darkoblivion 8 years
I never really have to "ease" into treadmill running because it is so much easier than running outside for me. So to equal it all out, I have to run faster with an incline to get a good workout.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
One trick I've used in the gym is if there are tvs around, instead of listening to it (if that's even available), I would make up in my head what they're saying on the screen.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Any tips for beating the mindnumbing boredom of a treadmill?
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I find that a treadmill is much easier on my joints then running outside.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Does using the incline thingie too much hurt your back? I dont run, I walk, but I increased from 10 to 12 and noticed my back starting hurting. I'm wondering if its related.
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