You’ve decided to run whenever you want — rain or shine — from the comfort of your own home Great idea! Now, which treadmill is right for you? Are you a marathoner, a walker, or looking to lose weight? Here’s a quick rundown of all the specs to keep in mind for any goal:
The width of the tread is generally 18-22 inches, but the length ranges from 52 inches to more than 62. If you’re between 5’7″ and 6’4″, you should aim for 55-inch length as a walker, and 60 inch length as a runner. If you’re shorter than average, subtract 2-3 inches; if you’re taller than 6’4″, add 2-3 inches.
If your treadmill is going to be housed in a space you actually live in, you may want to consider a fold-up treadmill to save floor space when it isn’t in use.
Typically, the cushioning on any treadmill will be 15-40 percent softer than the road. If you’re training for road running, aim for less cushion. If you’re walking, more cushioning will make it easier on you.
If you haven’t been on a treadmill in a while, you might be surprised to find yourself at the helm of a space-age looking craft with high-definition, touch-screen monitors that will do everything from tracking your workouts long-term to integrating with Google Maps.
Horsepower generally runs from 1.5 to 3.0+; the higher the number, the smoother the continuous motion, and harder you can push the machine.
The higher the max speed, the faster you can go. Walkers should look for a max speed of around 8 mph, while at least 10 mph or higher is ideal for marathons and weight loss. The higher the max, the more you can work up to and integrate interval training.
How far up the treadmill can tilt dictates the amount of effort needed to run, and adds some terrain diversity into the mix. If you’re training for a marathon or losing weight, stick to the 10-20 percent max incline range. Walkers should be fine with 10% and under.
Some high-end treadmills decline to 2-3 percent. Consider this option to vary your workout, and engage the muscles used to decelerate to prevent injury.
High Level Training
If you’re training at a high level, and looking for a powerhouse that will keep you striving for more – the X11i Incline Trainer can handle it.
There are treadmills for every budget. All said, the Commercial 1750 is the best bang for your buck.
Get a good warranty. Warranties usually provide a clue to durability: the longer the warranty, the higher the durability.
At the end of the day, there are countless treadmills out there. By taking some time to figure out exactly how you’d plan to use it and exactly what your goals are, you can get the best one for you at the right price.