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How to avoid treadmill running injuries

By on Jul 15, 2013
image of treadmill runner

Treadmill running can play an important role in any runner’s fitness regime. Some argue it can even keep injuries at bay, by replacing hard, high-impact surfaces with something more cushioned and kinder on the body. But get it wrong and you’ll most likely end up injured before too long. We’ve cast our net to find the top tips for ensuring enjoyable, and crucially injury-free, treadmill running.

More information about avoiding treadmill injuries

Today’s article brings together for you some of the best advice you’ll find on treadmill running. We have a couple of useful articles to draw to your attention, as well as a really useful video. Read on for injury-free treadmill running…

Our first article is courtesy of runaddicts.net, which provides a top 10 of the best tips for treadmill running.
Now, arguably, this is one for beginners.

One prime example is the discussion of heart-rate monitoring while using a treadmill. The article urges you not to exceed 85% of your maximum heart rate – something that is reasonable advice for new runners.

But more experienced runners ‘enjoying’ interval training may wish to take a more flexible approach. And they might also be advised to allow for differences in resting heart rates when considering what an appropriate heart rate level would be.

That said, the article provides some useful reminders for any runners. To give just a couple of examples:

  1. The article warns against holding the bar when running on the treadmill. That will alter your running form and expose you to increased injury risk.
  2. A related risk is that runners fail to use their arms properly while running in the fairly artificial treadmill environment. Again, that can distort your running form. It can also lead to loss of balance and some rather embarrassing treadmill mishaps!

Check out the full article here.

…There are a number of bad treadmill habits out there that can lead to serious injuries…

A different take on treadmill running

Our second article today is courtesy of LiveStrong.com.

The article begs one question: have you ever drawn a connection to your running terrain and the injuries you suffer? Well, the LiveStrong.com article highlights the potential connection vividly.

As identified by the RunningAddicts.net article, a common problem is running form. Treadmill runners might lean too far forward from the waist – in sharp contrast to the Chi Running-style bending from the ankles that many recommend these days.

The treadmill itself may be problematic. While it may be more cushioned than other terrain, its flatness guarantees repetitive movements.

As a result, some injuries may be strongly connected to treadmill use.

  1. The article argues that plantar fasciitis is common among those who run on treadmills.
    Shin splints are also a common complaint.
  2. And a range of other injuries, including to knees, hips and the Achilles, are also suggested to be associated with regular running on a treadmill.
  3. Is the answer simply to avoid treadmill running? Not so fast. The author provides a few simple tips – such as adjustments to incline and running speed – that can help keep some of the more common injuries at bay.

For full details, take a look at the article here.

…One of the most common problems on the treadmill is allowing the belt to carry your feet and pull them back…Your focus should remain on lifting the feet quickly off the belt and maintaining a compact stride…

And finally

One last thing. It’s sometimes easier to take on practical running advice through the power video. Check out this short video that will give you a few more treadmill running tips.

Let us know your experience with running on a treadmill. Have you found yourself more exposed to injury? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


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