Running is the most basic form of exercise when one considers getting some fitness action into their lives. With a good pair of running shoes, you can take off and begin your running routine. But there are elements of outdoor running that are beyond the control of the individual athlete. If rain or snow happens, if your usual path gets blocked, or even if circumstances seem to conspire to keep you at home. That does not mean you can no longer run. If you have the patience and sanity to go on, running in circles can be done. Or if you want your running to make more sense, perhaps a treadmill can help you with that.
Where To Start?
If you are living in an apartment or a small house, then space is the first consideration you need to make. Let us get an idea of how big treadmills usually are in the market. The most optimal dimensions are sixty inches in length while having a width of at least twenty-two inches. Now if you are not at least six feet in height, a fifty-inch length would be sufficient for a runner. Twenty-inch width is also acceptable but you want to make as little room for error as possible when you are running.
Consider as well the clearance needed in your surrounding space. Rear clearance needs to be at least eight feet. Side clearances are only three feet each. For your own safety, do not fit the treadmill closely to a corner.
Should the space be a concern, then do know that some treadmills are actually designed to fold up. Just make sure the height measurement is sufficient for your room. If you have a high ceiling height then it will not be too much of a problem.
Walk Or Run?
If you are simply looking to do brisk walking or even light walking then you do not need to look for high-powered treadmills. However, if you are looking at running as a sport then expect to take a good look at the treadmill motor capacity and top speed. You want to be able to make the most out of your run indoors.
Continuous horsepower of 2 and above will be good for walking. When your pacing is more of a job you should be looking to get 2.5 and above of CHP. A full-feature treadmill which covers all speeds from walking to running, should have at least 3 CHP and above. The CHP count requirement for your treadmill could vary especially if you are much heavier than an average person.
The most basic treadmills should at least have a display that can show you how fast your pace is. the total distance covered as well as the total duration of your exercise. However, variations in running workouts and measurements of your fitness performance would call for more features. We can run through some of the common offerings of the market today:
- Heart Rate monitor
Some treadmills come with a heart rate monitor that measures from your hand placement on the handle. Especially helpful if you are trying to achieve a certain heart rate level for your exercise program. If your machine is compatible with phone app-integration, then it can also pick up your measurements from your wearable device.
- Workout Programs
Preloaded workout programs are easy to select when you do not want to have to constantly change the speed and incline of your treadmill throughout your routine. These programs will set your objectives if it is for high intensity workouts, steep-incline walks, and many more.
- Treadmill Incline
A default for high-end treadmills, the incline is quite popular for increasing the intensity of the run. You want something that is controlled by your treadmill by either a push of a button or a flick of a lever. It practically creates a variation in your run by simulating inclines that you experience in runs outdoors.
Tread Belt Quality
Assuming that the treadmill you will be buying is for your own personal use then tread belts can possibly last several decades. Best kinds of tread belt brands out there will not require much maintenance or even replacement after several uses. However you will need to check every now and then for the condition of your tread belt because this is usually the first thing to go after frequent use.
Check with your treadmill supplier if they have options to provide service maintenance on your treadmill. This is not something you might be doing very often but would be likely if you are using your treadmill almost everyday.
Thickness of your tread belt of choice is not just for durability but also for a more quiet run. You probably might have heard in your local gym a rather whiny treadmill machine compared to others inside the same gym. This could possibly mean that the tread belt has already thinned out and is due for replacement.
Price Range For Our Runner
Following a rather universal concept in the world of fitness equipment, we know that we get what we pay for. The higher the price of the treadmill machine, the more guarantee of durability and extra features.
This is not to say that you should immediately go for the highest-priced treadmill in the market. It now goes back to your running habits. These will determine what price range are we possibly looking at for you. Safe starting prices are at around eight hundred dollars to a thousand dollars. This is the kind of machine that you want if you are not going to completely trade-off your outdoors for a daily treadmill habit. Going lower than this price range can be risky especially if you find stores that only offer ninety-day warranties.
Within the price range of a thousand dollars and two thousand dollars you can already find some great-value treadmills that provide most of the runner’s needs. Though not all of them will come with phone compatibility but that now depends on your treadmill provider as some brands incorporate that feature with below-two thousand dollar treadmills.
Hitting around two thousand dollars and up, you are sure to get some very good quality treadmills with thick tread belts that could last you a lifetime of use. Their machine design offers for a silent run that does not sound too mechanical. And you can get the most out of the top speeds you would be looking for in a competitive training machine.
It is almost certain that warranties will come with your rather pricey purchase of fitness equipment. However, this is where fine print plays an important role so that you do not end up regretting your purchase.
Check which part your warranty covers. Cheaper treadmills only cover frame warranty. You want to be able to have a warranty on your motor. That is the part that will cost you extra money if it has any future problems. Warranty on certain parts may differ from the motor so the fine print should also lay that out.
Try Running Before Buying
All these things mentioned above can help you prepare for reading through the specifications of different treadmill product lines. However, nothing beats the actual experience of trying out the treadmill. There you can check for sound, comfort, space, and even ease of access of the buttons or levers. A physical trial can give a decisive choice.
Our team has considered all the factors outlined in this buying guide, along with their expertise and knowledge in Treadmill, to recommend the top choice for you. You can shop being confident that someone has considered all relevant information and you will get the best Treadmill to meet your needs. Happy shopping!