To paraphrase Walter from the cult classic The Big Lebowski, when it comes to treadmill training, there are rules that must be abided by. Breaking these rules can be anything from embarrassing to downright dangerous, so we compiled a simple list of six that will help you avoid any errors so that you can train with peace of mind every time you hit the gym and the treadmill for training.

Always Keep Your Space Clean

Before and after you run, wipe it down. It is simply common courtesy to wipe down any piece of equipment at the gym, and the treadmill is certainly not excluded from this list. While you should always be courteous toward others, do not assume that everyone will abide by this. Be safe by wiping down the treadmill before and after your run so that you do not have to worry about any germs or bodily fluids that may have been left behind.

Take Note of Your Surroundings

For your sake and the sake of others, try to find a spot next to someone of similar fitness and ability. Running is about rhythm, and running next to someone much faster or slower than you can be detrimental for everyone involved. Try to take note of this clandestinely, perhaps by taking a slow stroll toward the water fountain or taking a moment to stretch behind the row of treadmills.

Ignore Phone Calls

How some people are able to do this is beyond our comprehension, but it does happen. We have seen runners slow down to a stroll so they can take a call, while others will use a Bluetooth in their ear to speak while simultaneously gasping for air. If a call is so important that you have to take it, stop your workout and walk outside for a moment.

Remember That You Are Inside

Runners are not exactly the bashful type, and those who are used to training outside may have become accustomed to letting a fart loose with no hint of remorse. This is far from acceptable when running inside on a treadmill, so make sure you exhibit some restraint while indoors.

Be Courteous of Others

Always avoid being the “loud guy” in the gym. While most people assume that it is the massive mountain of a man toting around a gallon jug of water that is most likely to grunt and groan throughout his workout, runners are also prone to engaging in this annoying behavior, particularly when they have earbuds in. Remember to be quiet and to keep the grunts and groans to a minimum.

Mix Up Your Workouts

One of the fatal flaws of most treadmill trainers is the failure to vary workouts. Make sure you avoid hitting a training plateau by doing different workouts on the treadmill, such as hill workouts, interval sessions and tempo runs. Not only will you get much faster by doing these workouts, but you will also help to avoid the monotony of training that many runners fall prey to.