Starting to use your new treadmill for running can be a rewarding and fun experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges for beginners. This guide offers fundamental tips on warm-up routines, suitable clothing, and post-run cool down techniques to ensure a safe and effective workout.
If you start running without warming up, you are likely to injure yourself. A proper warm-up is essential in preparing your muscles for the activity ahead. It increases your heart rate, improves circulation, and enhances the flexibility and efficiency of your muscles. It reduces the risk of injuries and improves your overall performance. Remember, the goal of warming up is to prepare your body for the exercise, not to exhaust it. So, keep the intensity low, focus on your form, and listen to your body.
So how long should you warm-up before running?
You should walk or jog at least one-third of the time of your actual running workout. For example, if you plan to run for half an hour on your treadmill, warming up for 10 minutes is a good practice.
While fancy running clothing isn’t necessary for a good workout, a high-quality pair of running shoes is crucial for your health, injury prevention, and comfort during your runs.
There are mainly three things to look for when choosing a new pair of running shoes:
Weight of shoes: Lighter weight shoes are great for long workouts.
Cushioning: Shoes that are heavily cushioned are great for new runners and make you feel comfortable, but the extra thickness usually comes with extra weight.
Flexibility: It must be flexible enough for delivering a comfortable running experience.
Other than a good pair of shoes, we recommend synthetic running socks to prevent blisters, and if you’re a woman, you should wear a supportive sports bra that fits properly.
Also, avoid wearing 100% cotton t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts, as these materials retain moisture once you start sweating. There are running clothes made from special fabrics that wick away sweat and keep you dry.
Cool Down Routine
After you finish running, avoid stopping immediately; instead, allow your heart rate to slow down gradually. Most treadmills feature a cool-down function, which slowly slows down the treadmill (usually by 0.5 mph every minute) and lets your heart rate drop. After lengthy running sessions, spending 3-5 minutes walking and stretching can help speed up your recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and lessen your risk of injury.
One of the most common questions from new treadmill users relates to what they should eat before, during, and after running.
Before a run: It is best to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein.
During a Run: Replace your lost fluids by drinking water.
After a Run: Your post-workout meal often depends on your fitness goals.
- Are you trying to lose weight? Then you should have a low-calorie meal.
- Are you trying to build muscle? Then you should have a higher-protein meal with enough complex carbohydrates.
In both cases, you should replace your lost fluids by drinking enough water.
To Sum Up
Here’s a quick summary of essential tips for beginners starting to use a treadmill for running:
- Warm-up: Begin with a warm-up that’s a third of your total running time.
- Clothing: Use lightweight, well-cushioned running shoes. Wear synthetic socks and avoid cotton clothing.
- Cool-down: Gradually slow your heart rate post-run and spend a few minutes walking and stretching.
- Pre-run: Eat high-carb, low-fat foods.
- During run: Stay hydrated.
- Post-run: Choose meals according to your fitness goals, always rehydrate.