Sports Medicine The Best Treadmill Workout Tips for Boosting Performance By Sports Medicine, June 5, 2018 Are you looking for the best treadmill workout? Most people assume that running outdoors is preferable to treadmill training, but that’s not always true. Treadmills can help you increase speed, focus on incline training, and improve your pace. Here are five tips to do just that. To learn more about treadmill training, talk to a specialist at UPMC Sports Medicine. 5 Tips for a Better Treadmill Workout 1. Adjust to the machine While running on a treadmill has its advantages, it can become unsafe or difficult if you don’t pay attention to your pace or the machine’s incline. Start slowly by setting the treadmill to a minimum 1 percent incline and work your way up. Increase the incline before you increase your speed. Gripping the handrails can help get you started. But, holding on to them throughout your workout may cause you to develop an unnatural running stance. Once you find your balance, work on your posture and practice proper running form. 2. Focus on cadence Your running cadence may be slightly different on a treadmill than it is outdoors. To determine your cadence, count how many times one foot strikes the belt in a 15-second time frame, then multiply by four. Subscribe to the UPMC Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics Newsletter Enter your email to subscribe Sign Up I understand that by providing my email address, I agree to receive emails from UPMC. I understand that I may opt out of receiving such communications at any time. Over time, your goal is to optimize your cadence to maximize speed, so you may need to adjust the length and quickness of your stride. Once you’ve calculated your cadence, focus on slowly increasing it by one or two steps per week. 3. Let it push you When you run on the open road, a burst of energy or fatigue may set in that causes you to speed up or slow down without you noticing it. And that affects your training. One of the best treadmill tips for monitoring your pace is to set the treadmill to one speed so that the belt won’t slow or increase unless you change it. Keeping your treadmill pace steady is a great way to improve your endurance. 4. Work on speed Adding interval training to your treadmill workouts is an effective way to improve your speed. Be sure to warm up for a few minutes before starting your speed workout. Intervals can be measured by time or distance in speed workouts. For a time-interval workout, focus on three- to six-minute intervals starting at a lower-medium pace. For distance intervals, consider using quarter-, half-, and full-mile distances. Gradually increase your speed with every interval, allowing equal recovery time between each one. 5. Add variety to your training routine Jumping on a treadmill and running for 60 minutes at the same speed may be the perfect way to improve your endurance, especially if training for a marathon. But it can get boring! Add variety to your treadmill workout by shuffling sideways or slowing the treadmill down to work on lunges. No matter your goal, the treadmill can be a positive training tool to take your fitness to the next level. To learn more about improving your workouts, including treadmill training, contact a specialist at UPMC Sports Medicine.