The Pros and Cons of Treadmill Training

Obviously, the first factor you have to consider in deciding whether to buy a treadmill is your budget. Quite simply, can you afford to buy a treadmill or not? A second important factor to consider is how often you run or plan to run on a treadmill. The more often you are likely to use your treadmill, the more value you will get from the investment.

There are much less expensive treadmills available, but as with most other products, you get what you pay for. The costlier models are typically sturdier and more accurate, powerful, durable and reliable. They also have more features. Still, there are some very good treadmills to be found for less than $1,000. If you are considering buying a treadmill for home use, do your homework before committing. Check out Consumer Reports or other reviews and visit more than one store to test out competing models.

There are several other factors you will want to consider before making a purchase. What kind of warranty is offered? How often does the machine need to be recalibrated? Who will service the machine if something goes wrong? How much noise does it make? (Be aware that noise from treadmills located above the first floor tends to bleed into the floor below.) How much space do you have at home? (If space is limited, consider buying a folding treadmill.)

If you choose to purchase a treadmill for home use, be sure to install it in a space with appropriate climate control. You generate a lot of heat when running and are likely to feel uncomfortably warm in the same room that is perfectly comfortable when you are sitting still. Whether you have windows, air conditioning, or a fan, you need some means to keep from overheating while using your machine.

Also, to keep from getting bored, you will probably want to set up your treadmill in a place that allows you to watch television while using it.

*Editor's Note: This article is Part I of a two-part series on "Everything You Need to Know About Treadmill Training." To read Part II of this article, click here.

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Active Expert Matt Fitzgerald is the author of Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen & The Greatest Race Ever Run (VeloPress 2011) and RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel. He is also a coach and training intelligence specialist for PEAR Sports. Learn more at

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