Running for Progressive Results on the Treadmill

Having access to a treadmill is a true privilege. Compared to running outdoors it is easier on bones, joints, and it is private, which is a fabulous thing at 6AM. The only drawback to running on a treadmill is that too many people fall into a routine, the same speed, time and incline for every single run. Fortunately, this is a problem which is easily solved with smarter running technique and awareness.

The problem with developing a monotonous treadmill routine is that results never progress. The body adapts quickly to an imposed demand on the lungs, heart and muscles. Once the demand is no longer a challenge, changes in the body can no longer be achieved.

Here are Three Tips for Progressive Running Results on the Treadmill:

  • Change time, incline, distance and speed often. Aim to never have the same workout two days in a row. If you run a steady state jog at 5.0, run a steady pace at 5.1 next run. Even the slightest change will make a difference. Change routines from walk and run intervals or from a 1.0 incline to 2.0. Always keep the body guessing.
  • Push a Little Harder We all know the phrase “mind over muscle.” It means that the mind can overpower physical limitations. Psychologically speaking, if you always run 30 minutes, eventually at around 30 minutes, you will feel fatigued. Same goes for the same speed, distance or incline. Always try to push a little bit harder, even by a minute. One technique I use is the “just one more song” tactic. I’ll hit my psychological barrier but jog, even if very lightly, for an extra 3-5 minute song on my MP3 player.
  • Practice all types of running progress Some people run for speed, others time, distance or just as a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Whatever your running specialty is, it will improve by training in all areas of running fitness. If you are a runner that covers 5 miles a day, try doing a fast 20 minutes. If you run simply because it feels great, then you will keep your mind and body interested by switching up training styles.

Running is amazing for a fit physique, clear mind and a stronger cardiovascular and respiratory capacity. Get the most out of your workouts and continue to improve by using these three techniques, and let the ongoing results fuel your motivation to be a better runner day after day.


Kaleena is a personal trainer in Toronto.

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