Choosing the Best Running Treadmill
For the uninitiated a treadmill is a machine which has a rolling floor on it, so you can run indoors, without moving anywhere. It clearly has big advantages on a rainy day, if you don't like getting wet! (some people even use them to walk their pet!)
Gym World Ltd are one of the leading providers of Treadmills in the UK and have a very large range of treadmills to help you with all your requirements in this area.
Treadmills come in a huge range of prices. The very cheapest, which probably aren't good value for money, start at about £75. For home use, they tend to up go up to about £1500-2000 - but a commercial gym treadmill can be as much as £10,000.
We'd suggest that if you'd like to look into having a treadmill at home, it is worth investing in a reasonably good quality one that will meet your requirement both now and also as you continue, and hopefully improve, your running (particularly in terms of the speed it will go at).
Because of the variation in treadmills, it could be worth trying some out before settling on one that you like (and going home to buy it cheaply online!)
Unless you are an elite athlete you should be able to buy a good treadmill that will suit your needs for between about £500 and £700.
One additional purchase you might consider if you get a treadmill is a fan as you are not moving anywhere so the cooling effect of the wind that you'd get outside isn't there and it is very easy to overheat. Be warned, it is worth getting a decent fan, as some of them are very poor indeed.
Your treadmill should be strong enough to cope with the level of use you are going to ask from it. This means that you'll be looking for a treadmill that will go as fast as you want it to (some cheaper ones can only really cope with jogging pace for better runners).
- Top Speed - This needs to be as fast as you want to run (or hope to run in the future). The very fastest treadmills move is about 25 kph, but to go above about 20 kph is going to cost you quite a lot of money. Most runners will find that a top speed of 16 kph (or 6 minute mile pace) is enough.
- Your treadmill should have a decent motor - 2-3 horse power is a good starting point for this.
- The tread area should be a good size - 50 x 140cm is a good size to aim for. The size is important as you will travel around a bit, particularly when you get tired.
- You may wish to have an incline facility to replicate hills. This is either don't by hand or by the motor - the later being good as often you can change the incline during a run to keep interest (some will pre-program routes for you with inclines).
- Treadmills usually have readouts of speed and distance, you may wish to also buy one that has calories burnt or a heart rate monitor as well. The HRM can be good, particularly if you know the individual training zones for you (which usually needs lab testing)
- The running surface of your treadmill is important. Some of the more advanced ones have variable rubber footing, which cushions your landing and therefore reduces your injury risk.
- Remember the basics, like will this treadmill fit in the space I have for it at home!
Overall, buying a treadmill is a big purchase you are going to make, so think carefully before spending money that you later regret. If you think you'll use your treadmill a lot - then it is worth going for a more robust model that will, in the long run, save you money by lasting a lot longer. Once you have one make sure you keep it clean and dust free and this way it will last you a lot longer.
Check out the recommendations we have put together for you.
Learn more / further reading
- Starting Blocks
- Running GPSs
- Heart Rate monitors
- Running Pedometers
- Running iPod / MP3 Players
- Weight Training Equipment
- Cross-Training Equipment