During this time of social distancing and national lockdown, opportunities for you to run may be few and far between, so if you’re lucky to own or have access to a treadmill, then it’s important to make sure you make the most of it!
And don’t forget the challenges here at Virtual Runner can be completed ANYWHERE! so the treadmill is the perfect opportunity to chase your medals.
Here are some top tips to get the most out of your treadmill runs:
Some runners struggle to carry their outdoor form inside onto the treadmill, maybe your staring at your phone screen binging your favourite show, keeping a close eye on the control panel, or watched one too many You’ve Been Framed episodes and you’re hesitant of flying off. Whatever the reason, try not to hunch over on the tread mill, stand upright, allowing your chest cavity to open up so you can take in more oxygen and help improve your overall form. If you have a mirror, check yourself out and make sure your posture is on point.
Avoid heel striking
Heel striking is when your feet land heel first, to such an extent that your foot is landing in front of you rather than beneath you. You need to make sure you’re avoiding this, as you’re essentially putting the brakes on! You want to make sure your foot is landing right underneath your hip to reduce waste energy and risk of injury. Film yourself if needs be to get a real look at your motion whilst you run.
Monitor your cadence
Use this time of isolation as a running boot camp and treat the treadmill as your training ground, experimenting with ways that could improve your running. One way you can do this is to increase your cadence, which is simply how many steps you take per minute. Using the clock on the treadmill count how many times your right foot lands for 15 seconds, and simply times that by four. You’re looking for 90 or above here. A higher cadence will make you faster, more efficient and will reduce stress and fatigue on your body. You’d think that as your pace drops later in a run, that your cadence would drop too, but you can train yourself to keep your cadence high whilst running at a slower pace
Not just a point to make during the current Covid-19 pandemic, but something to adhere to continually, is to keep that treadmill clean. As, well as your hands of course. Studies have found treadmills can have up to 74 times more bacteria on them than a public toilet tap! Daily, after use it would be advised to wipe down the control panel, as well as handles with a damp cloth, warm water and some antibacterial spray. Every week or so you should also vacuum under the running belt and under your machine just to get rid of any built-up dust and foreign materials, as these can damage your motor and shorten the life expectancy of your treadmill.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your first steps onto the treadmill and work towards your next medal. Maybe try Virtual Runners Exercise Motivation Medal to start off. It’s only £5 to enter and 20% from every entry fee will go to Solving Kids’ Cancer.