“Falling off the treadmill,” Sulaver says. “I’ve seen it happen numerous times, and it’s not pretty.” To prevent a slip, focus on your run instead of the television. “The biggest problem I see with treadmill training is that people hop on a treadmill and they want to zone out,” he says. “They don’t want to be involved in the workout—they want to forget about it, and let it happen without even being aware of it.” Instead of zoning out, aim to be very engaged in your workouts across the board.
As for shin splits? Sulaver doesn’t believe treadmills alone cause them, but says if you’re shin-splint-prone it’s important to increase both intensity and volume of training gradually. “It’s also important to take care of your shins pre- and post-workout, which means stretching and soft-tissue exercises,” he says. “If it gets very bad, you may need to cross-train a bit until the pain and inflammation is more manageable.”
What can I do to combat boredom?
Sulaver recommends using the specifics of the best treadmills to do interval work, which increases the engagement of both your mind and body. “If you can periodize your treadmill training, just like you periodize all of your other training, you will make more progress,” he says. What follows is a four-week treadmill sprint workout designed by Sulaver that gets harder as the weeks progress. Perform this sprint workout twice a week for maximum results. Start each workout with a warmup of dynamic stretching or using a foam roller, and end each workout with a cool-down of static stretching.
Week one: sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds; repeat this six times in a row. Take a three-minute rest. Complete the sprinting series three times total.
Week two: sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds; repeat this eight times in a row. Take a three-minute rest. Complete the sprinting series three times total.
Week three: sprint for 25 seconds, rest for 35 seconds; repeat this 10 times in a row. Take a three-minute rest. Complete the sprinting series two times total.
Week four: sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds; repeat 12 times. Take a three-minute rest. Complete the sprinting series two times total.