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Video:How To Run on a Treadmill

with Jonathon E. Stewart

When it's cold outside or precision, speed, or distance is your priority, nothing beats running on a treadmill. Find out some basics to treadmill running, and learn how to run with proper form on a treadmill.See Transcript

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Transcript:How To Run on a Treadmill

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Hi-tech, easy-to-use, and environmentally controllable, the treadmill can be a runner's best friend, especially when it dips down into the single digits outdoors. While running indoors isn't terribly different from the real McCoy, here are a few tips to make the best of your treadmill trotting experience. Check it out.

Movement on a Treadmill

While running on solid ground generally requires you to push off your back foot in order to propel yourself forward, running on a treadmill does most of that work for you. There is also an element of "hopping" on a treadmill jog that's unique to this kind of running. Although in spite of what you may have heard, it's really not at all the same thing as running in place, since you are moving your legs forward to meet the revolving belt. Just remember that even though you're not necessarily moving through space, you're still moving.

Running Form on a Treadmill

Running form on the treadmill is similar in many ways to running form for outdoors: Keep your head level, shoulders back and relaxed, arms loosely swinging at a 90-degree angle at your sides, and feet striking the conveyor belt directly below your knee. Given that no obstacles are in front of you on a treadmill, it can be a great opportunity to focus on every aspect of your form as you run.

Hydration and Treadmill Running

A quick note about hydration here - be sure to drink more fluids during and after running on a treadmill than you would otherwise. Without the passing outdoor air to help cool your body, you might find that you sweat a little more than usual. Unless, of course, you live in Africa.

Treadmill Running Technique

After giving yourself about five to 10 minutes of easy walking to warm up, start off at a gentle gait, and let your body get used to the motion of the machine. Gradually increase the speed as you go, but never accelerate to the point that your form begins to suffer. If you need to stop, grab the rails and move your feet to the stationary sides of the treadmill in a single motion. Letting yourself slide off the back is generally a bad idea. In fact, the absolute best way to dismount your treadmill is to gradually slow it down to a complete halt. But - sometimes - you just gotta make it stop.

Safety and Treadmill Running

Most treadmills feature an emergency stop cord, which will cut the belt drive immediately. Just be careful here, too, as the abrupt stop is, well, abrupt.

One greatest advantage to treadmill running is that you have precise control over speed and incline. And on some machines you can even program a custom workout. Add some dangly electrodes and a crazy Russian trainer and you just might feel like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.

Happy running, and thanks for watching! To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.

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