No Category selected Treadmill Dreadmill

    Treadmill Dreadmill


    There are some out there who say that the treadmill is an antiquated piece of equipment, and that plodding along on one is about as exciting as listening to “pink noise”.  I, on the other hand, say that one of the best investments … ( yes you are reading correctly…I used the word “investments” ) I have ever made was my treadmill.

    I have to tell you that I took a long time to come to the realization that investing in a “gym quality” treadmill was good for me… there were many factors to consider, and I hope by taking you through the process you will be able to determine if one fits your training regime too.

    My 12 year old ENCORE 4500

    The first questions you need to ask yourself…

    Do I have space for a treadmill ?
    Do I live in an area where the weather restricts my training ?
    Do I hate going to the fitness club ?
    Do I have the discipline to use a treadmill as part of my training ?

    If you answered “yes” to the above questions then you may well be a treadmill owner in waiting.

    So, let’s say you have the space for a treadmill…and by space I mean a room in your house that has a window to let in some fresh air, a secure floor system…and a door to keep out the pets… fluffy and scruffy are not meant to be anywhere near a treadmill when you are on it…period.  Oh, and the unfinished, musty basement, next to the furnace is not a good place for a treadmill either.  If you are an apartment or condo dweller, there may be some issues with noise … just sayin’.

    I live in a region known as “ THE SNOW BELT”. The weather is sometimes dangerous to run in…and I am a bit of a “wuss” when it comes to running in the winter… look, the point is that I know that I am a “fair weather runner”, and although there is nothing better than hearing the “crunch” of snow under foot…I just don’t like to run in -20C…and besides, the potential for injury while running in slippery conditions is greatly increased in the winter months…safety first !!!

    I also live in the “MIDDLE OF NOWHERE” and although our community has grown over the past 20 years ( hey we now have hydro and running water ),  the closest fitness club was still a good 40 min drive … one way !!!

    Finally, the big question…do I have the discipline to use the treadmill as part of my training…am I actually going to use the treadmill to train on… and not have it be a glorified clothes rack.

    Controls are large and easy to use, as is the display.
    The handles make for a great place to do “Dips”.

    A treadmill is a great training supplement, and not a replacement for running outdoors.  A treadmill is great for speed work, intervals, and if you are new to the whole “minimalist running thing” it’s a great way to work on your form and focus on a controlled mid-food strike.  I never spend more than 30-40 min on my treadmill…and I never use it for anything longer than a 8k -10k workout.

    Now, selecting a good quality treadmill is a major commitment…here are some tips.

    Be prepared to invest time into researching your purchase. Do your homework…purchase from a fitness equipment store, with people who know the brands and features.  Stay away from the “big box” stores…let’s face it, “Jimmy from hardware” isn’t going to be much help to you when you start to ask questions about deck suspensions or motor systems.

    Stay away from the “bells and whistles” like a built in fan, reading light, mp3 player and bar fridge… although the bar fridge is a nice … um, never- mind…

    Look for and compare several “brand name- commercial quality” treadmills.  Select a treadmill that you can grow with because as you get to be a stronger runner you will want to push your workouts.

    Most fitness equipment stores will have interest free financing available…it’s a good option to take advantage of if that is your desire.  Just pay it off in the time required or they can charge you some crazy interest rates.


    “TV for the OPTICALLY CHALLENGED” gives me something to look at besides a blue wall.

    Here are some key features to look for:

    -a full size 20” x 60” cushioned running deck… ( a folding deck if space is an issue ).
    -a 3HP “continuous duty” motor… ( bargain models have a 2.75HP peak motor ).
    -a speed range of .5mph to 12mph…( most low end machines max out at 10mph ).
    -a 15% power assisted incline… ( most low end machines  – 10% incline ).
    -8 or more workout settings with an option to customize and save your own workouts.
    -a large easy to read LED or back-lit LCD display.
    -a lifetime frame / motor warranty / 5 year on all other parts is usually standard… ( most warranties exclude “wear and tear” items like belts and treads ).

    Be prepared to spend some $$$ on a “gym quality” unit…and remember, you get what you pay for. For example, my treadmill was purchased in 1999, and I know it was nearly a $2,500.00 purchase. It still works great for me, and aside from replacing a fuse and a motor belt, it has been a worry free purchase.  It is a convenient way for me to squeeze in a few workouts during the week when time is tight and the weather is crappy. If my math is correct, It has cost me around $18.00 / month to own and maintain over the years … a real bargain when compared to a health club membership.

    In the end, I know that a treadmill isn’t for everyone, I know that it doesn’t replace good honest outdoor training.  I have found it to be a good supplement to my workouts, and a help to my overall regime.  I guess what I am saying is if a treadmill is for you, then don’t cheap out, get a good one.


    1. Len – great post. Very helpful information. You are correct, this really is an area where you get what you pay for; I have friends who have purchased “bargain” treadmills only to be frustrated with having to take them back. Better to pay more and start training right away!

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