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Trails to Treadmill 5 Tips For off Season Training

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It is that time of year again. That crisp feeling in the air has arrived and my early morning run was quite chilly. Fall is upon us and the temperatures in Chicago will only continue to drop. Although running outside is one of my favorite activities, once snow and ice cover the streets of Chicago, a lonely treadmill will be my best friend. Treadmills are my saving grace during the winter because they ensure a safe, consistent surface to run on during the winter months. So grab your favorite yoga pants and hit the treadmill!

Treadmills are great to use, however, we need to be mindful of the simple tricks and tips that will ensure a better experience for our winter runs. Nothing will be able to beat running outside with natural inclines and fresh air, yet, if you live in a rainy area or have extended cold months, Treadmills are probably already part of your workout. There are many pros for a treadmill!For example, if it is a newer model, you may be able to plug in your iPod, watch TV on your own personal monitor, and some even provide you with your own personal fan!

Let's look into some tips to help improve your treadmill workouts:

1. Warm Up

Nothing changes just because you are now running indoors. Make sure you stretch and warm up to ensure your muscles are ready for the physical activity you exert on your lower body.

2. Go Uphill

Add a small incline to your workout. Nothing major... just a slight incline to help 2 or 3 percent if you are new to running on a treadmill. Since you are running indoors, you need to add some resistance to your run. When running outside, natural wind resistance helps make your run slightly more difficult.

3. Don't Think About It 

Run like you are outside. Don't try to hold onto the rails of the treadmill. Run free and pump your arms like you are outside.

4. Don't Look Down!

Whatever you do, don’t look down. We have all done it. However, look down for too long and you will fall. Looking down tends to make you lose your balance and can risk you getting injured. So, keep your head up and try not to lean your body forward. Leaning forward will cause neck and back pain - so stand up straight and run like a boss!

5. Keep Tempo with Music 

Work on your stride and jam to music. Perfecting your stride will allow you to limit the impact on your legs. Keep a simple short stride while running on the treadmill to limit issues. Listening to music will keep you focused and relaxed. Music allows you to keep your strides in pace.

These five simple tips will allow your transition from trails to treadmills to be as smooth as possible. Running on treadmills is not the ideal workout method, however adding some fun leg workouts before, after, or during your treadmill sessions can allow you to add some fun to your workout.

Once spring arrives, running outside will be welcomed with open arms, but until then - we cold city folks will be running countless miles on treadmills from the comfort of our climate controlled local gyms.

Run on! 

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