Pre-Treadmill Run Checklist
By Simon Gould
There are essential items you need before going for a run on a treadmill. Maybe you don't use a treadmill much. You prefer running outside. There will always be a time when the treadmill will be the only run you can get. Maybe the weather is too good or bad or you simply want to do some speed work to enhance your training.
You may have a treadmill at home or you have one you use at a gym. You think you've got everything ready and you're about to jump aboard and run. However, stop right there. There are some important things you need for a treadmill run that you wouldn't necessarily need for an outside run. So we provide this list to help you survive your treadmill experience.
- Water Bottle - Hydration is so important and you know this already for the training you do outside. But a treadmill is in a building and buildings get hot. Especially when there's someone running on a moving carpet that we like to call a treadmill. Dehydration is meant to cause an impact on your performance at 2%. Whatever the true figure is you do need a regular drink and even more so on a treadmill.
- Towel - For the same reason that hydration is especially important inside so is the towel. That sweat will be dripping off you so clean it up. Wipe it off your brow as you run to keep yourself close to comfortable. In a gym this is even more vital as you need to wipe down the equipment after use. There's nothing worse than using a treadmill after someone's sweated all over the start button. Clean it up.
- Entertainment - Treadmills are notoriously boring to run on (we disagree entirely, we prefer them!). However, if they do make you bored then some entertainment will keep you occupied. For most this will be the latest running songs blasting out on your ipod. Or if a television is nearby then a favorite show will pass the time or a DVD. Some people read or use an ipad while running, whatever works for you.
- Fan - Some treadmills have a fan within the console. These aren't usually very powerful but any cool air is appreciated. In a gym maybe one of the treadmills is under the air conditioning. If so then grab it straight away. At home you might have a fan you can use, if not, buy one. A lovely breeze as you run is really nice.
- Running Plan - Some of you know exactly what runs you will be doing. It could be your tempo day and you know the speeds off by heart. If not then have a plan of what you want to do. What are you trying to get out of your treadmill run. If you're a beginner then our couch to 5k plan might be a good one to follow.
- Running Shoes - You should have some already and you still need them for a treadmill. You're doing a run just like outside so it makes sense to use your proper running shoes. If you don't have any running shoes yet, then you really do need them. Even if you only run on a treadmill. They are designed to help prevent injuries and provide you with vital support.
- Variety - Didn't you know variety is the spice of life? It's also the spice of the treadmill to keep you engaged. Introduce some variety in your treadmill runs. You have the opportunity to use some incline so use it and introduce some hill work in to your workouts. You can specify an approximate percentage so it's good for hill practise.
- Toilet - The last but easily the most important one on this list. The last thing you want to do is stop your run and visit the toilet in the middle. You really don't want to feel you need to go so visit the toilet before you get running. So go beforehand. Once you get used to this it will become second nature and your runs (!) will never be interrupted again.