Treadmill Running

Written by Charlie

I have mentioned a few different times about the runs I do on my treadmill. I realize that treadmill running is generally a love-it or hate-it attitude. Many people do it out of necessity, some do it out of eagerness. I used to do it out of necessity (hey, I live in Western NY on Lake Ontario – we get some snow!), but since I got my own treadmill, I have come to really enjoy it. Yes, outdoor running will always be more scenic and enjoyable, but when the wind is 35+MPH and their is snow so deep on the roads that you are not sure if you are on the road, a treadmill can be a welcome platform to do your run on.


ProForm’s Boston Marathon Treadmill

Treadmill Running Being Enjoyable?

Treadmill running can also be enjoyable depending on how you tackle it. If you look at it as a pain, it will be a pain. I have a running buddy who always lists something different that he would rather do than run on a treadmill when I post one of my longer treadmill runs on Dailymile (I would rather shower with a porcupine, etc, etc). He can’t stand the treadmill! I have come to love it for a few reasons:

  • It allows me to run anytime of the day or night (it is in my garage) – I run many times around midnight to 3am
  • It allows me to be near my family when I run
  • My kids sometimes come down and play in the room while I run
  • I get to watch the Yankee games from the previous night on my tablet 🙂
  • I do not have to carry water
  • I can always be done when I need to be done
  • I can talk on the phone while I run (yep, I do that somewhat often)
  • I can read while I run

And the list could go on and on!

How To Make Your Treadmill Workout Enjoyable

There are a few different things that you can do to help your treadmill runs go better:

  • Look for new heights – vary the grade of the treadmill to help your run to have variety
  • Look for speed – try different speed tricks. My favorite speed trick is to start running at a set pace and then increase the pace .1 MPH every 1/10th of a mile. I will do that for 1 – 2 miles and then decrease it at the same rate.
  • Stretch out – work on your stride. Try extending your stride because runners shorten their stride when running on a treadmill for fear of falling off! Pay attention to the length of your stride.
  • Don’t watch the numbers on the display – if you are doing a long run on the treadmill, put a towel over the display for the first few miles so you do not become depressed with how slow the time goes by. 🙂
  • Get a tablet to watch things on while on running – any tablet should do. I use the Scosche Tablet Holder (you can get it for $30 from Amazon with their coupon)

What To Look for in a Treadmill

As with just about everything else in the world, you most often get what you pay for when it comes to treadmills. There are treadmills from as little as $200 to $6,000 or more. What type of treadmill you should get will depend on what you are looking to get out of it. If you are going to do runs of no more than 2 or 3 miles, you can get by with a treadmill with a smaller motor than if you are going to put heaver miles on.

  • How fast do you want to go? Most treadmills will go up to 10MPH (6:00 min/mile pace). If you need to go faster than that, you will need to pay more for a treadmill that goes up to 12MPH.
  • Do you want to do a lot of hill work? Only more expensive treadmills have decline in addition to incline.
  • How long will you spend on the treadmill? You may need to look for a heavier duty motor to properly handle your workouts.
  • What is your typical stride length? Some treadmills come in 48″, then 60″ and some 80″
  • Will you hook up a MP3 player? Check for on-board speakers.
  • Will the treadmill be in a hot area? Check for fans on-board!
  • Will the treadmill be in a confined space? Look for a treadmill that folds up

As you can see, there are a lot of variables when it comes to treadmills. Make your list of what you are looking for before you go shopping for one. I guarantee you will find features you really want when you go shopping and you will end up spending more than you planned.

Treadmill Deals

My treadmill is a NordicTrac T7 si.. It goes up to 10MPH, has a 10% incline, on-board speakers, on-board fan, 60″ belt, iFit workout system, fold-up design, and a 2.25HP motor. I have run 40 miles on it at once, I have done speedwork, hill work, and used it for 80 days in a row with great performance. New, it cost $1,200. So how much did I spend? I bought it as a floor model for $300! That was a great deal!

Where can you look for deals? I found the best place to find deals on treadmills is from the Sears Outlet website.

These deals are available depending on the store. Treadmill      I have seen $1300 treadmills cost $75 at certain Sears stores in Hawaii! Currently, I see a Sole F80 Treadmill (retail: $2,499) for as low as $399. Some of these treadmills are returns, some are floor models, some are open box items but all carry the same return policy and warranty as new (check with the particular manufacturer to be sure, though). If you are looking for a great deal, look no further than Sears!


My Treadmill Tales

As I said, I really like the treadmill now. There was a time when I did not – and it was during that time that I actually ran the most/longest I had ever done on a treadmill! I did a run for charity a couple of years ago and ran on a treadmill for 18 hours and 72 miles! Now that I do like running on treadmills (actually, just mine), I do things sometimes just for fun. I currently am doing a fun treadmill series – I decided to run every distance race I have run from 1 mile to 50k, this week on the treadmill. To make it even more interesting, I set a goal of doing each run within 10% of my goal pace. So far so good! I have run 1 mile, 5K, 10K, 15K, half-marathon, and this morning, the marathon distance. If things go well with my schedule, I will do 5 miles tomorrow, 10 miles on Saturday and finish with the 50K on Sunday. Fun, fun, fun! See where taking a different approach to treadmill running can take you? 🙂 C’mon, jump on the belt!


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.