How to Run On a Treadmill Properly And Safely (Explained)

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Most people believe that running on a treadmill is an easy way to get a great workout. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to run on a treadmill properly and avoid injury.

If this is your first time running on a treadmill, it can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to run on a treadmill properly so that you can get the most out of your workout.

The Right Shoes

One of the most important things you can do to prevent injury while running on a treadmill is to wear the right shoes.

Look for shoes designed specifically for running, and make sure they fit properly. Your shoes should feel comfortable from the moment you put them on, and they should provide good support and cushion.

Good running shoes will also be durable and last for several hundred miles before they need to be replaced.

Warming Up

Warm up with a walk or jog before increasing your speed. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up at a slower pace before increasing your speed. This will help reduce your risk of injury.

The Right Form

Maintaining the proper form is vital to reaping the benefits of a treadmill workout and avoiding injuries. Here are some tips on how to run on a treadmill properly:

  • Keep your back straight and your chin up.
  • Don’t hunch over or lean on the handrails.
  • Step heel-to-toe.
  • Land on your midfoot, not your toes or heels.
  • Swing your arms naturally, not rigidly at your sides.
  • Keep your hands loose, not clenched into fists.
  • Check your posture in the mirror, or have someone video you from the side so you can see what you need to work on.

The Right Pace

If you’re a beginner, start by walking at a pace of 3.5 to 4 miles per hour for 10 minutes, and then gradually work your way up to running for 30 minutes at a 5-mile-per-hour speed.

According to ACSM’s “Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription,” people who are just starting an exercise program should aim to keep their heart rate below 155 beats per minute during aerobic activity, such as running on the treadmill.

Don’t hold onto the handrails

Many people make the mistake of holding onto the handrails for stability when they start to feel tired, but this can actually lead to injuries like pulled muscles or strained tendons.

If you need help maintaining your balance, slow down or decrease the incline rather than grabbing the handrails.

Set realistic goals

It can be tempting to try and run as fast or as far as possible when you first start out, but it’s essential to set realistic goals so that you don’t push yourself too hard and end up injured or burned out.

Start by setting a time or distance goal that feels achievable, and then gradually increase it as you get stronger and more comfortable with running on the treadmill.

Stay hydrated

Just like with any exercise, it’s important to stay hydrated when running on the treadmill. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. And if you sweat a lot, consider adding in some electrolytes ( like sodium ).

Staying Motivated

One of the most challenging things about running on a treadmill is staying motivated. You’re not out in the fresh air, you’re not experiencing new scenery, and you’re not pushed by the wind or terrain. But there are ways to make it work for you.

You know what gets you pumped up, so create a playlist of your favorite high-energy songs to keep you going strong.

You can also use the time on the treadmill to catch up on your favorite TV show, read an engrossing book or listen to an interesting podcast. If you can take your mind off of the fact that you’re running, time will fly by and before you know it, you’ll be done.

Listen to your body

Listen listen LISTEN! Your body is good at giving off warning signs when something is wrong to learn learn LEARN! what those warning signs are and heeding them before something terrible happens For example shin splints are often caused by incorrect footwear If you ignore The pain caused by shin splints they can quickly turn into stress fractures both of which will sideline you from running for weeks or even months So don‘t be afraid To take a break if something doesn’t feel right better To take a few days off now than Be sidelined for weeks later “ No pain no gain ” is NOT true PAIN IS A SIGN OF INJURY! LEARN THE DIFFERENCE!

Use the Standard Programs

Most treadmills come with pre-set programs that offer different intensities and speeds. These programs can be helpful if you’re just getting started on the treadmill or if you need a change of pace from time to time.

The Proper Way to Use the Incline

An incline helps simulate walking or running uphill, which can lead to a number of benefits, including improved calorie burn, increased muscle tone, and reduced impact on the joints.

Most treadmills have a maximum incline of 15 percent, but some models go as high as 20 percent. If you’ve never used the incline feature before, start slowly and increase the incline gradually over time. It’s also important to use proper form when walking or running on an incline.

The Proper Way to Interval Train

Intervals are a great way to vary your workouts, bust through plateaus, and torch calories. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates periods of all-out effort with periods of low intensity or active rest, resulting in improved speed and endurance. Plus, it’s incredibly effective: Research shows that HIIT can torch more calories in less time than any other cardio workout.

Cooling Down

It’s just as important to cool down after your run as it is to warm up. Cooling down helps your body recover from strenuous exercise and prevents injuries.

Here are some tips for cooling down properly:

  • Slowly reduce your speed: Don’t stop suddenly after running at a high speed. Instead, slow down gradually until you are walking at a comfortable pace.
  • Walk for a few minutes: Once you have reduced your speed, continue walking for a few minutes to help your body cool down.
  • Stretch: After you have stopped running and walked for a few minutes, stretch your muscles. This will help prevent stiffness and soreness.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids after your run to replace any that you have lost through sweating.


So, there you have it! Those are our tips on how to run properly on a treadmill. Just remember to keep your head up, your back straight, and your feet pointed straight ahead, and you’ll be good to go. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!


Fawad Ahmad is the founder and chief editor at, a website dedicated to helping people make informed decisions about their health and fitness. Through clear, concise writing and a commitment to cutting through industry jargon, Fawad and his team strive to provide valuable guidance on topics such as bodybuilding, home gym equipment, and more.