Treadmills are a great way to get your winter running workouts without going out into the cold, dark and wind.
But then of course you still have to trek to the gym to do your time. Buying your own machine can save you a lot of hassle.
Here’s what you need to know to shop for a machine.
The key aspect of a motor is the amount of horsepower it generates. The bigger the horsepower, the faster it can go and it can also sustain a heavier load.
Generally, you should look for one with at least 1.5 horsepower.
Most top machines have direct current. You get alternate current and direct current.
Direct current models will start up again at the speed they were last used at, while alternate current models start at zero and gradually increase speed. See what will work best for you.
Speed and Gradient
Low-end models have a top speed of 8 kph and no ability to increase the grade.
The top end machine will let you run as fast as 20 kph and offer inclines all the way up to 20 percent. The really elite ones even feature negative grades to facilitate your downhill training.
If you are going to do speed sessions on your machine then 8kph won’t do, before you buy think about the training that will be done and go from there.
You want a bit of bounce, but not so much that it behaves like a trampoline. Poor shock absorption can throw your stride off, increasing stability problems.
Thicker belts, shock absorption beneath the deck, and cushioned, suspended feet all combine to provide a stable, low-impact workout.
You will need to run on several different machines to see what works for you.
Most runners have a bit of side to side movement in their natural stride. A narrow belt allows little room for this movement and increases your chances of accidentally stepping off the belt and hurting yourself.
Don’t settle for anything less than 18 inches wide.
The modern treadmill is not merely a place to run; it provides a whole range of feedback. Need to know how many calories you have burnt during a workout? Your console will display it.
Heart rate? Kilometers traveled? Average pace? Today’s machines display it all, look for one that suits your needs.