How To Choose Between A Pricey And A Cheap Treadmill

Many people send inquiries to us, asking Treadmill Reviews how to choose between purchasing a pricey or a cheap treadmill. For those who are not familiar with many different treadmills, it can be difficult to discern the differences between the variously priced treadmills.

We have developed an in-depth guide to help consumers find the best treadmills of 2018. However, if you are looking for a quick guide to just help you choose between a pricey and cheap treadmill, there are some key things you need to keep in mind.

Consider Your Treadmill Budget

The main reason why many people consider buying a cheap treadmill is generally due to budgetary concerns. Yet, buying a cheap treadmill can be a false economy.

Cheap treadmills:

  • Have short warranty periods or even no warranties.
  • Are generally constructed with cheaper materials and with less care than pricey treadmills.
  • Will have fewer features than pricey treadmills.
  • Are generally not built for anyone who will regularly run and are mostly only comfortable for walkers.

So, if you are considering a cheap treadmill due to having a small budget for a treadmill, consider financing options. The best fitness brands such as NordicTrack, ProForm, SOLE, and others, offer financing on their treadmills. By choosing a financing option, people can make a tight treadmill budget stretch further.

Pick At Least 3 Key Features For Your Future Treadmill

As treadmills will often have every little feature listed, it can be overwhelming to read through them all. So, once you have loosely figured out what your budgetary needs are, consider what treadmill features are most important to you. An example of this would be:

  • Want a treadmill for running
  • Treadmill has to incline and decline
  • Would like a lot of workout programs

So, say these were the three key features you were looking for in a treadmill. A cheap treadmill will likely not fulfill these needs. Take the best treadmill between $500-$700, the Horizon T101 treadmill, which is generally priced around $700. The T101 is:

  • Recommended for walkers only
  • Has an incline range of 0% to 10% (no decline)
  • Does have 30 workout programs

So, out of the three key features, the T101 has only one fulfilled. Then look at a pricier treadmill like the NordicTrack 1750, which usually costs under $1,500. For a bit more than double the T101 price, the three key example features show that:

  • Great for walkers, joggers, and runners
  • Declines to -3% and can incline up to 15%
  • Has 38 workout programs (not including programs available through iFit)

So, instead of having just one of the example key features being met, a pricier treadmill can easily fulfill the requirements. So, after you pick out your important features, keep in mind that a pricier treadmill is more likely to meet your needs than a cheap treadmill.

Read Reviews On Your Top Treadmill Picks

As you look at treadmills and find a few which make your short list, read reviews on them before you buy. Treadmill Reviews does our best to produce in-depth reviews on hundreds of treadmills and are developing videos to accompany our reviews so you can see the treadmill in action. So, once you have a few treadmills you are thinking of buying, be sure to come here and read our reviews on those treadmills!

5 Reasons To Run With A Partner

You’ll never hear someone say “I really regret running today.” Finding the motivation and energy necessary to hit the pavement can be super difficult. Here are five reasons why running with a buddy will make exercising a better experience.


When your alarm to run goes off at 6:30 AM you have two choices: get up and go or hit snooze and sleep in an extra hour. I think we all know what the common consensus is these days. However, when you have a friend that you’re meeting, you might find a little more motivation to sacrifice one more hour of sleep because you know someone is counting on you.

Your running buddy will also offer another form of accountability. Are you trying to get faster? Are you incorporating sprints into your short runs? Did you add to your distance today? When we’re by ourselves, sometimes we settle for a mediocre run. But a partner can let you know when you could be making a better effort.


It takes a lot of self discipline to get a full run in all by your lonesome, every – single – time. But when you have a running buddy, motivation to be just as good as they are, or BETTER, tends to come naturally. You inspire each other to go just a little faster, to push for just a bit longer, and more.

More Fun

Time spent running can drag on and on: doing the same neighborhood loop or listening to the same playlist. When you workout with a partner, you have more heads putting together new routes, someone to talk to about life, and a buddy to witness your accomplishments.


Couples who carve time out of their day to spend time together benefit greatly, especially if this time includes working on their health goals. Not only do you gain some extra quality time during the week, you have a greater influence on your partner’s physique. We love them no matter what, right? But did you know that obesity is debated as being socially contagious? You’re more likely to gain weight if you’re around people with poor eating and exercise habits. And just the opposite, you’re more likely to stay fit when you’re interacting with others that are active, fit, and health conscious. So instead of sharing a Ben & Jerry’s and binge watching Netflix after the kids are in bed, fill up those water bottles and get active together! Take turns running sprints on your home treadmill and performing HIIT exercises in your home gym or living room. Enjoy an activity that allows you to build physical strength and emotional bonds at the same time.


The best way to reach the goals we set for ourselves is to have the support of loved ones. Have you ever set a goal, maybe when you were a kid, and your siblings laughed at you? When we have peers that diminish our goals and tell us we can’t achieve them, then we most likely won’t. But if you want to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon, surround yourself with people who support and encourage you! Our mental state has a lot of impact on our physical goals. So find a workout buddy who is going to encourage you and help you get to where you want to be.

Blending or Juicing: Which is Better Pre and Post Run?

Proper hydration is critical to ensuring a good workout. Few things can derail a nice run on the treadmill more than a pounding headache that comes from not drinking enough fluids. The amount of fluids you should consume depends on how long your run is. There’s also the question of what you should drink before and after your time on the treadmill. Water is a no-brainer, but there are other options. Blending and juicing can also enhance your experience and help you replenish vital nutrients lost in your workout. Drinking enough and drinking right will also prevent cramping and will provide you with more crucial energy.

Blending is a simple and popular way to hydrate before or after a run. It also makes an ultra-healthy, delicious drink. Blending, as the name suggests, is done in a blender, and it makes fruits and vegetables into a smoothie. Virtually any fruit or vegetable will work. Spinach, carrots, strawberries, mangoes, pineapple, and raspberries are popular blending choices. On the other hand, juicing extracts the liquid from whole foods and gets rid of the fiber. Juicing drinks are made in special machines appropriately termed juicers.

So what type of drink would be more beneficial for a runner, and does it matter if one or the other is drunk before or after the workout? Here are a few keys to understanding this question.

Blended smoothies have more nutrition..

Because running is a strenuous activity, a great deal of fuel is required to power the engine that makes you go. Blending will help achieve this more effectively because more nutrients are retained in the drink. Remember, fiber is a key nutrient for maintaining sound health, so to not include it in what you take into your body gives you, as a runner, no advantage. Another important factor to consider is that juicing provides a heck of a lot of sugar from the fruit which results it a quick spike in blood sugar content. This will result in a quicker crash as well since running burns energy quickly. Blender drinks provide a slower release of energy to fuel the body for longer endurance activities.

It’s faster and easier to blend..

..way faster. We’re all busy, so to give yourself more time on the treadmill, why not choose the drink that doesn’t take as long to create? The process of juicing is more involved than blending. You have to prep the food, slowly juice each item, then clean the juicer thoroughly after each use. Plus, juicers are usually more expensive. A quick green smoothie is a better option for an on-the-go drink before or after a run.

Blending provides a more filling option..

Hydration prior to a run should start well before you hop on the treadmill. But once your run is over, you need carbohydrates and electrolytes back in your system. You’ll also want something a little more satisfying. A blended green smoothie will fill you up faster and more effectively than juicing.

The verdict: While juicing is a great health option in general, blending makes more sense. Combine this with plenty of water and you can be confident your run—long or short—will be more satisfying.

10 Hilarious Tweets From the Gym

We all have a few of those friends who publicize their every workout. Thanks to social media, we often get a front row seat to their daily calorie burn. Our personal favorite is the “gym selfie.” They look good online and even better when you get to see the action in person! We all know what you’re thinking as you witness this embarrassing act and lucky for us, there are people who tweet those thoughts for the whole world to read.

Whether you’re a gym-rat like us or just like to poke fun at them, you’ll appreciate what’s in store for you here. We gathered up our ten favorite tweets from the gym to put a smile on your face and some pep to your step today!

  1. @BillMurray“Unless you tripped and smacked your face on the treadmill, no one wants to hear about your workout.”

    It’s true, I guarantee you’d get a lot more “likes” for posting a story about a near-concussion than you will for posting how many calories you burned.

  2. @Heart_LessGirl“Saw some idiot at the gym that put a water bottle where the Pringles can is supposed to go on the treadmill
  3. @KenJennings“I’m going to start exercising again. For the health benefits, sure, but also for the smugness.”
  4. @RobinMcCauley asked the question:

    “Do people who say, “Exercise helps me relax” know about not exercising?”

  5. Robin also shared her hopes of finding someone who will loathe cute-joggers with her.

    “Saw a couple holding hands while jogging and it made me hopeful that one day I will meet someone who will hate them with me.”

  6. @Schindizzle voices the paradoxical struggle that it takes to be in good shape,

    “I’m jealous of skinny people… except for when they’re exercising or eating vegetables.”

  7. @ConorTripler

    “some ppl just walk out their door and run. like not 2 arbys or anything just like they go for a run. wtf”

  8. @JonasPolsky

    “You burn 77 calories per hour while sleeping. So I’m not “taking a nap”, okay? I’m exercising.”

  9. If you frequently run on the treadmill, then you can probably relate to @WallisAnnabelle when she said,

    “Dear Man, Do not Fart on the treadmill next to me!! DO NOT DO THAT!!!!! NO NO NO!!!!!!”

  10. @RexHuppke – “My phone keeps autocorrecting “exercise” to “dreadful idea.”

Top-Selling Strollers For Runners

Avid runners don’t let anything get in their way o fhitting the treadmill or enjoying the fresh air for a nice, invigorating run. If you’re dedicated to this fitness activity, any time of day, any season, and any sort of weather is runnable. Even life changes don’t have to hinder your routine. You can still continue running if family demands seemingly limit your time—even if you’ve got a new baby at home. In fact, you can enjoy quality time together while adding some resistance to your run by pushing your little one in a stroller.

There are plenty of high-quality strollers available for runners. When selecting one that’s right for you, make sure to consider weight, durability, ease of movement, braking ability, and canopy cover, among other things. Remember, your route will likely take you over smooth surface and bumpy terrain alike, not to mention rises and declines in elevation, along with sharp turns and sudden stops. Choosing the very best stroller, then, is vital for an enjoyable workout and a safe ride for your precious companion.

Here are five strollers every runner should consider:

Urban Glide

Made by Thule, this stroller is among the most popular for runners, largely due to it being non-cumbersome and simple to conduct. Its weight is just enough to make it feel as though you’re getting an even better workout but not so bulky and heavy that it makes your normally relaxing stroll feel burdensome. The Urban Glide has a swivel wheel that locks in place as well as canopy that will protect your baby or toddler from the sun’s rays or from any rain. It’s easy to fold the Urban Glide, and new users will love the fact that setting up the stroller takes less than five minutes.

Revolution Flex

No doubt one of the first things you’ll remark about this stroller is the adjustable bar. This feature gives you maximum control of the stroller, regardless of your height. The adjustable bar also means you can push the stroller according to your level of comfort and ease. In addition, the canopy is a little larger than most, meaning your baby gets ample shade and protection.

Thule Glide

Equipped with rear suspension and an adjustable canopy, this is another parent’s favorite. Though heavier some other strollers for runners, this model makes up for the weight in other areas such as safety and ease of setup and fold-up.


Manufactured by BOB, the Ironman tends to be a little pricey, but users rave about its deceleration brake and the fluid maneuverability. This stroller is perfect for the runner who wants to pick up the pace a bit without having to worry too much about the well-being of the passenger.

Sport Utility

Another stroller by BOB, the Sport Utility this one doesn’t quite measure up to some others, but it’ll give you a good bag for your buck. This stroller is appealing to the trail runner or to someone not afraid to go off-road.

New Year’s Resolutions That’ll Stick: NordicTrack Joint Interview

One of our team members had a chance to represent Treadmill Reviews in a multi-participant New Years goals article put out by NordicTrack. We are honored to have been included in the exciting discussion and we hope that you find valuable tips on how to make more effective health and fitness goals. Below is the interview article that shares gems of advice from industry leaders:

The start of a new year seems like the perfect time to reset some of our bad habits with the battle cry of “New Year, New Me!” posted all over social media. These people generally want to reinvent their whole lives, and try to tackle a ton of things at once, especially when it comes to their health. However, just because the year has changed doesn’t seem to make it any easier to stick to New Year’s Resolutions. Some people fail to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions enough times that they refuse to even set any goals, and just have nebulous hopes that things might change given enough time.

Neither of these approaches are likely to lead to lasting success and change. So, if you’ve fallen into either of these categories, you’re in luck. We have reached out to fitness industry experts who have built up excellent reputations in their niches, and we asked them how they have managed to stick to their goals.

Below are the highlights from our interviews with them, with links to their full interviews. We hope that with their help, you are able to jump on your treadmill, and stick to all your goals this year!

Jennipher Walters – Fit Bottomed Girls

As an ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach, Jennipher Walters shares her insights on Fit Bottomed Girls, where she also acts as Editor-In-Chief.

An approach we do not often take when it comes to fitness goals is setting realistic goals. Goals such as working out every day for 2 hours can be incredibly difficult to meet, especially if you are going from next to no exercise to such a high level of output. When Jennipher set her fitness goal, she decided to just perform one unassisted pull-up.

On the outside, this seems like a fairly easy goal. But to perform a perfect pull-up, you need to keep your body still and rely completely on your back and arms to perform the motion correctly. The jerking, swinging motion that is favored among Crossfit followers can damage your joints and is not considered the correct way to perform a pull-up.

She said it took her months to reach the goal, but she did manage it in the end. In regards to her success, Jennipher said, “I was successful because the goal was realistic, I was patient, had a plan to do it, and was consistent in working towards it.”

Jennipher stated that there was a lot of peripheral work she had to put in to manage the one unassisted pull-up. She used resistance band training and built up her overall upper body strength. Breaking your large goal into smaller, more manageable goals is something that Jennipher highly recommended. Also, recommended by Jennipher: “[Goals] have to be done with a lot of self-love and thought to what happens when you fall off track. Because no one is perfect—and you can learn so much from your ‘mistakes’.”   

If you are still looking to set some New Year’s Resolutions and other goals, it is never too late. To make sure you are setting the right goals for your needs, Jennipher said, “Think about your why.” By questioning why you are making the goal, you will gain a deeper drive to succeed.

Be sure to check out the rest of Jennipher’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Brian St. Pierre – Precision Nutrition

We were excited to work with Brian St. Pierre, the Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition. He has worked with hosts of people to help them reach their health and fitness goals.

Most of us don’t like to own up to our inconsistent dental hygiene. But Brian knew he needed to step up his flossing game, and shared with us his goal to increase the amount he flossed.

He said, “Last year I set a goal of flossing once per day (usually at night) 80% of the time. Historically, I have always been an inconsistent flosser. I’d floss every night for a week then floss once or twice the following week.”

Now, when most people set goals, they go for 100%. But this can be setting yourself up for failure. Brian explained, “I intentionally chose 80%, because it felt both doable and beneficial.” A smaller percentage of flossing might not have benefitted his oral health as much as he wanted, Brian mentioned, but he knew that by choosing a high and manageable goal, he was more likely to succeed.

Brian also encourages the use of tools to help you reach your goals. He used a habit-tracking app, which is how he was later able to share how his 2017 flossing goal went. He said, “I was able to floss 5.4 nights per week, on average, for all of 2017 (77% of the time). Which is right where I aimed to be.”

Some may nitpick that 77% is not the 80% goal Brian was shooting for originally. However, a big part of achieving your goals is being happy with coming close to your targeted goal. Brian chose not to be discouraged by the missing 3%, and with that positive attitude, he can more easily reach his other goals.

Be sure to check out the rest of

Brian’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Lauren Abbott – Treadmill Reviews

Writer for Treadmill Reviews and fitness enthusiast, Lauren Abbott was excited to help when we reached out and explained we wanted advice for those looking to create realistic New Year’s Resolutions.

Lauren signed up for a year-long membership with iFit. She knows that many people buy programs and memberships in hopes that they would force them into changing. However, it was successful for Lauren for several reasons.

One reason iFit helped Lauren was that she was already a frugal person. She approached her fitness with the mindset, ”If I invest my money into it, I’ll invest my time into it”.

If you have tried and failed using this method, Lauren has some advice for you too. She recommends you approach paid fitness commitments with clear, realistic goals in mind. For instance, Lauren said, “I dream of running ultramarathons through the mountains like my muses I follow on social media. But I’m currently not at that level athletically.” She did not expect that purchasing an iFit membership would suddenly turn her into a mountain-traversing runner, but instead set small goals, like utilizing the meal planning function to help her shed some leftover baby weight. She also created a schedule of days where she would workout outside and which days would be inside iFit workouts, so she could plan around her children’s schedules.

There are many personal roadblocks to fitness. As a wife, mother, and a writer for Treadmill Reviews, Lauren explained that she has much to balance. For others who are in similar situations, she recommends, “By all means, set a large goal! But instead of sprinting from the starting line, pace yourself.”

Be sure to check out the rest of Lauren’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Adam St. Pierre – CTS

CTS running coach and an avid endurance runner himself, Adam St. Pierre gave some excellent advice for those with lofty fitness goals.

Many of us set goals to run x-amount of time per week. But without direction or a concrete schedule, this kind of vague goal is difficult to maintain.

Adam made sure that his running goal was laser specific. He wanted to run his favorite local peak 100 times in one year. By having such a clear goal paired with his regular running schedule, Adam said, “Instead of wondering “where should I run today?” I just defaulted to running Mt. Sanitas.”

We particularly liked Adam’s description of a realistic, worthwhile goal: “A realistic goal is one that you can achieve. A worthwhile goal is one that will make you better. A goal should motivate you, not be such a reach as to discourage you.”

To help you choose motivating goals for 2018, Adam encourages our readers to look at their strengths and weaknesses from the previous year.

Be sure to check out the rest of Adam’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Dr. Lori Shemek –

We were grateful that Dr. Lori Shemek was able to take some time to offer some goal-setting advice. As a best-selling author as well as being a leading health and weight loss expert, Lori has helped countless people reach their goals.

Concerning personal goals she’s set, Lori committed to doing 5 pull-ups every time she walked through the doorway in her home, which had a chin-up bar installed. She also decided to add extra push-ups into her nightly routine as she watched the news.

Lori said, “I already had both of these in my exercise program, but simply adding in a few more a day has allowed me to increase my strength and the number of them.”

When we asked her how she helps people set realistic goals, Lori said,”I believe that a worthy fitness goal must primarily be intrinsically motivated—coming from within or behavior that is driven by internal rewards.” Many of us seek motivation from others, and try to rely on social feedback to keep us going. But when things become difficult, Lori said, “If the motivation is coming externally, it will not last, nor will there be quality workouts. “

Overall, Lori’s advice to anyone making new health and fitness goals for 2018 is to “Be That Person. Be the person who does XYZ.”

Be sure to check out the rest of Lori’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Aeshia DeVore Branch – Pretty Girls Sweat

Founder of Pretty Girls Sweat, Aeshia DeVore Branch had some top-notch advice on how to develop the mindset you need to set solid health and fitness goals.

No one wants to fail at their goals, least of all Aeshia, who said her big goal last year was to launch PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Fest in Atlanta, Georgia.

One of the things that helped Aeshia succeed was surrounding herself with positive and supportive people. She said, “Without them as well as setting small goals with deadlines, PGSF would have just remained a page of notes in my journal.”

Once you have the right support, Aeshia stressed the importance of having the right mindset. Weight loss is often set as a goal by many people, but without the right mindset, it is easy to go back to old eating habits.

To combat this, Aeshia recommends, “When setting a health or fitness goal, motivation tends to diminish over time, and old habits start creeping back in. You must be clear about which goal is most important to you, and focus on easy ways to meet realistic expectations.” By making realistic lifestyle changes and narrowing your focus, you are much more likely to meet your goal.

Be sure to check out the rest of Aeshia’s full interview to get more advice that will help you reach your goals this year!

Ready To Set Some Goals?

Now, are you ready to set and crush your 2018 goals? We hope that you have been inspired by our guest writers because we certainly enjoyed their interviews. NordicTrack appreciated the time and thought the contributing writers put into their responses, and encourage you to visit their websites for more fantastic content.

For those of you setting health and fitness goals, be sure you have the right equipment at your fingertips. NordicTrack produces top-of-the-line treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, bikes, and more so we can help you meet all of your fitness and health goals. Be sure to check out which treadmill may be right for you and get started for a healthier and better 2018!

5 Ideal Treadmills For Small Apartments

Apartment living space restrictions can vary depending on where you live. But when it comes to small apartments, you have some pretty clear living restrictions you need to meet before you purchase a treadmill.

To help you find a treadmill that can meet both space restrictions, noise level requirements, and more, we have compiled a list containing 5 different treadmills at a variety of price points.  

Best Treadmills For Small Apartments

Here at Treadmill Reviews, we have researched, tested, and compared hundreds of treadmills. Through this process, we have found the 5 best treadmills for small apartments.   

Horizon T101

One of the most affordable options when it comes to treadmills, the Horizon T101 is a good option for your small apartment. It is small and lightweight with an easy-to-use hydraulic folding mechanism. It may not hold up that well if you are a more serious runner but works well for walking and some light jogging.

ProForm Power 995i

Another affordable treadmill, the ProForm Power 995i is a step up from the T101 in both price and power. With a 3.0 CHP motor, this treadmill works best for walkers, joggers, and can support light running. It is also fairly light and easy to move, with a hydraulic system to make folding the deck easy.  

NordicTrack Commercial 1750

Ideal for all fitness levels, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 is an excellent treadmill. It is wider and a bit longer than the T101 and Power 995i, but is also more stable. It has a variety of workout programs to keep you engaged in your workouts. It also folds up so you can save space when not using the Commercial 1750.


If you are looking for one of the sturdiest treadmills, the SOLE F85 is an excellent choice. The F85 can hold users who weigh up to 400 lbs. Most treadmills can only accommodate users who weigh up to 300 lbs. It can be especially helpful for heavier users who are easing back into exercise as it also has good cushioning on the treadmill deck to cushion joints.

Matrix TF30

If you are looking for health club-quality treadmill, the Matrix TF30 made our list for both its quality and apartment-friendliness. It is the most expensive treadmill on our list, but it is incredibly sturdy with no bouncing movements while you use it. It is a very compact treadmill and thanks to the position of the console, this treadmill’s deck can fold up nearly vertically, saving you even more space.

Treadmill Criteria For Small Apartments

We have a specific criteria for treadmills to meet to be considered the best for small apartments. Our criteria for these treadmills are:

  • Price and quality – Not all treadmills are worth their price. Many of the lesser known treadmill brands do not create quality treadmills that are worth their price. By working with some of the top treadmill brands like NordicTrack, ProForm, SOLE, and Horizon, you can be sure the quality matches the price.
  • Folding ability – Not all treadmills come with the ability to fold. Be sure to check that your potential treadmill can fold so you can save on space in your apartment. Also when looking at folding ability, make sure the treadmill has a hydraulic system to make raising and lowering the deck easy.  
  • Low noise output – When apartments are small, they are also likely not soundproofed all that well. To avoid causing problems with the neighbors, you want at treadmill which runs quietly.
  • High stability – Have you ever used a bouncy treadmill? That is definitely not what you need when you are living in an apartment. Aside from the noise it would generate, a low stability treadmill has the potential to damage your floors. So you want a treadmill to stay in place as you workout.
  • Performance – If you are going to give up space for a treadmill, you should be sure that it is right for your fitness level. If you are a runner, you will need to look at treadmills at the $1,500 range. If all you need is walking and some occasional jogging, then one of the more budget treadmills may suit your needs.

Living in a small apartment doesn’t mean you can’t own a treadmill. If you follow our recommendations, then you can be sure to find a treadmill which will fit well into your apartment.  

Incline Treadmill Training Workout: Step up With a Weight Vest

Are you looking for a way to switch up your normal workout routine? There are a number of things you could do, but have you ever considered using a weight vest?

First, can your body support extra weight?

Before using any kid of new equipment, it is imperative to make sure that you can use it properly to avoid injury. A weight vest should only be incorporated into your workout if you can already execute correct form and technique. If you add a weight vest to improper form, you will only be subjecting yourself to injury.

Start out small and build as you go.

While it is tempting to start working out with a heavy weighted vest in an attempt to quickly see it’s effectiveness, this is dangerous. Incorporating a weight vest into your treadmill workout uses your muscles in a totally different way, and for this reason it is imperative that you start out with a light weighted vest to allow your muscles time to adjust to this new addition to your workout. Begin by using three to five pounds, it may not seem like much but your muscles will definitely be able to tell a difference. As you get stronger you’ll be able to add more weight.

Adding weight strengthens your bones.

Brock Christopher, a CPT who works for Atlanta’s Porsche Human Performance as a strength coach explains that by adding extra weight to your normal workout you are encouraging a stronger musculoskeletal system which allows your bones to become denser and stronger to compensate for the extra weight.

Who should be using weight vests?

Weight vests are perfect for athletes who depend on explosive power like football, volleyball, and baseball players. They are also great for sprinters who need acceleration and as Christopher explains they are also ideal for “amping up shorter cardio routines” because they have been proven to increase metabolic cost of exercises as simple as walking. This means that weight vests are a perfect addition to your treadmill workout because whether you’re a sprinter looking to increase your acceleration or if you simply want to get more out of your walk, a weight vest will help you with these aspirations.

Which vest is best?

There are a number of vests to choose from. They vary not only in weight (obviously) but also size, fit, fabric, and more. Try on multiple vests and do a bit of walking or lunges in your vest to see if it rubs uncomfortably. Brock Christopher recommends the SKLZ weight vest because it wraps around higher on your torso and allows you to add anywhere from 1 to 10 pounds, giving you the freedom to adjust your vest as you become stronger.

When wearing your vest make sure that you give yourself ample breathing room, “As a general rule of thumb, it should be difficult, but not impossible, to slide your full hand underneath the vest” says Christopher. If you’re wanting to improve your strength and density of your bones, a weight vest is the perfect addition to your treadmill workout.

How to Mentally Train for a Marathon

Training for a marathon isn’t just about building muscle and endurance. Your mind has a lot to do with how well you’ll run the day of the marathon. Actually, a Staffordhire University UK study conducted by John Hall, a performance psychologist, reports that mental toughness greatly influences the success runners have in a race. Most of the participants in the study who were confident in their abilities and were able to control their physical discomfort performed significantly better than those who did not have those attributes. Concentration, determination, and a stable attitude also had an influence on how well runners performed during a race. With these characteristics identified, you’re probably wondering how to develop them in yourself. The following ways can help you mentally train for a marathon.

Imagine What It Looks Like to Run Faster

The mind is a powerful thing. If you can imagine it, you can do it. Matt Fitzgerald, author of Brain Training for Runners says:

“Proprioceptive cues are images and other sensory cues that enable you to modify your stride for the better as you think about them while running.”

These cues not only identify problems in the way you’re running, but it can improve the way you run to increase speed and decrease discomfort.

Start with a clear image of what it would look like to run fast for a long distance. Once you have that image in mind, hone in on your legs, feet, and your arms. What are they doing? Hold that information in mind and try to mimic them when you run. You can do the same with the way you feel. Imagine how you will feel when you run faster and farther, and then coach yourself before you do it. Tell yourself to slow down your breathing and relax your body. By imagining how you will feel, you can teach your body what to do when you are running.

Focus on the Process instead of the Results

You may want to achieve a specific distance and/or time, but that’s not what you should focus on – it will only leave you feeling defeated. It’s important to focus on the “now,” and the “now” is the process. According to Stan Beechman, Ph.D., sports psychologist:

“If you focus on results, you take yourself out of the now. And it’s the now that allows for the results later.”

The future is dependent on what you do now. When you focus on the now, you focus on the process, which changes the future (the results).

As you’re focusing on the present, learn to trust yourself, says Coach Tina. When you trust that you’ll get stronger, you’ll be better able to handle the discomfort you’re in as you’re training. For every step you take forward, you’re getting stronger, and the stronger you become, the closer you will get to your goals.

[Image: How to mentally train for a marathon quote 1]

Remain Positive While Running

Running for hours and hours and not seeing an increase in speed may be discouraging, but don’t let negativity seep into your training. Pessimism is the most common mental roadblock for runners, according to a study by Cindra S. Kamphoff, Ph.D., who is the director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at the Minnesota State University. Negative thinking runners exhibit self-defeating behaviors that lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, you may tell yourself you’ll never run a 6 minute mile. Just by thinking this, you end your workout early or you may even quite the race. Just because you allowed yourself to think negatively, you didn’t follow through, which is the self-defeating behavior.

Since it can be difficult for runners to stay positive, mental exercises can help decrease negativity. The Power of Positive Self-Talk by Gregory Jantz suggests writing down negative thoughts. Next to each negative thought, write down a positive one. This can be hard at first, but put in the effort and you’ll soon find you’ll do it without writing them down.

Plan What You’ll Do If You Feel You’ve “Hit the Wall”

A plan for when you “hit the wall” will help you recover quickly. What’s interesting is that according to a sport psychology study, only 43% of marathoners truly hit a wall. Most runners simply hit a mental wall, rather than a physical one in which the body isn’t able to continue at the same pace or at all.

Since mental walls are more common and much easier to overcome, mental toughness is essential. The best way to get over the mental wall is to break down the run into manageable goals. Instead of telling yourself you only have five more miles to go, tell yourself you just want to finish the next mile. When you finish that mile, go for the next one. Many people end up getting through the mental block by the time they reach the second mile and can continue without as much effort.

It’s important to trust in your training, according to Jannine Myers, a RRCA-certified women’s running coach. When you’re training your body and mind, you’ll gain strength. When the day of the race comes, remember that you’ve prepared for it, and that will get you through.

Stressors can make the mental wall even more difficult to overcome. Identifying the stressors that are contributing to the roadblock and then working to reduce or eliminate them while you’re training can help you know what to do while you’re racing. One of the most common mental roadblocks is inward dissociation.

“It is likely that being distracted from sensory signals and important aspects of the task meant that runners were not able to judge their pace very well and failed to stay fully hydrated, contributed greatly to hitting The Wall.” according to Clare D. Stevinson and Styart J.H. Biddle, researchers for a 1998 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Paying too much attention to the body can magnify discomfort leading slowing down and/or giving up on the race. It’s best to regularly check in with the body, but spend most of the time focused on external stimuli, such as the environment.

Boost Confidence While Training

“Lack of confidence leads to anxiety and tension and reduced motivation,” according to Kamphoff. Confidence is up to the runner and his/her mind.

Work on boosting confidence during training. The only way to build it is to achieve goals, but those goals have to be easily achieved and lead to bigger goals. Fitzgerald says that hitting numbers is key to confidence building during a workout. Just make sure the workouts aren’t too difficult or exhausting because then you’ll feel defeated. It’s better to end a workout feeling as though you could have run faster or gone farther than not wanting run again.

Visualization, focusing on the process, remaining positive, having a plan for when you hit mental walls, and boosting your confidence in achieving your running goals can all help you become the best runner you can be. The marathon is your chance to show yourself how strong you’ve become because of your training – your preparation. With your mind, body, and soul working together, you’ll show yourself that you can and will accomplish anything you put your mind to – in running and life.

Understanding Your Prime Stride Length Before Jumping On A Home Treadmill Purchase

You did your research, compared different models or prices and finally settled on the perfect treadmill. Congratulations on your purchase. But before jumping on your treadmill, you need to understand your prime stride length if you’re to avoid injury when clocking those miles.

What Is Stride Length?

Although many factors contribute to running speed, the main ones you need to concentrate on are your cadence and stride length. Here cadence refers to the frequency of your steps or the total number of steps you take per minute. Stride length, on the other hand, is a measure of the distance of your steps. In simple terms, it is the distance (in a straight line) or amount of ground you cover in one step. When running on a treadmill, this is the distance from where the foot leaves the treadmill mat to where it lands next.

However, you need to keep in mind that your foot travels in a circular path-not a straight line- between two points. This becomes more obvious when running. So if you consider this circular motion, your stride length is the circumference of the circle. To measure it, you determine the size of this circle instead of how far your foot stretches in front of your body.

Continuing with this analogy, if you want to increase your stride length (the circumference), you have to focus on making a bigger circle by increasing its diameter. You can achieve this simply by lifting your knee higher as you run while keeping the level of your hips and upper body unchanged. You can get the gist of it by observing elite runners in motion.

Increasing Stride Length Safely And Efficiently

When trying to increase their running speed, most people correctly assume that they have to adjust their stride length. Unfortunately, they try to do this by overstriding in an attempt to travel further forward. This not only decreases their running efficiency but also puts them at risk of injury.

Here’s how to safely do it:

  1. Increasing your hip extension. Your prime stride length is limited by the range of motion of your hips and thighs. To increase the range of your upper leg, you need to have good hip extension. Doing deep lunges and glute-specific stretches will greatly increase your hip extension as you run.
  2. Practicing as you run. The best way to practice increasing your stride length is indoors on a home treadmill. First, begin by running at a pace that’s slightly fast and uncomfortable-but one that you can easily maintain. Then still at this pace, practice running at a slower speed without reducing the treadmill’s speed. You’ll realize that you naturally adjust your stride length to keep running at that constant speed.
  3. Learning how to lift your knees. As mentioned before, lifting your knees higher will help you increase your stride length and running speed. Marching drills or hill running will help you improve this technique.

Understanding and mastering your prime stride length will save you from injury and help you increase your running speed and efficiency.