Why Do I Run Slower on a Treadmill? Have you ever wondered why?
For most people, running on a treadmill is slower than running on level ground. This is because the treadmill has a different feel from running outside. In addition, the motorized belt of the treadmill can make your running stride feel awkward. The belt also makes it difficult to gauge your speed and pace.
Outside, you can enjoy all the changes in landscape and environment as you run. The fresh air and scenery can make running feel less like a chore. However, virtually all you have on a treadmill is a display of your speed, distance, and time. This can make running on a treadmill feel repetitive and boring.
The result is that you may end up running slower than you would if you were running on level ground.
Read More: Buying Guide for the Best Treadmill Under $2000
Why Do I Run Slower on A Treadmill?
There are several reasons why you may be slowed on a treadmill.
Change in your running form
The moving belt of the treadmill can change your natural running form. You may find yourself leaning into the machine or gripping the handrails to stay upright. This can lead to changes in your stride and reduced efficiency. In addition, the changes in your form can cause you to use more energy, leading to fatigue and a slower pace.
Treadmills typically have an incline feature that allows you to simulate running uphill. Unfortunately, many people mistake setting the incline too high when they first start using the machine. This can lead to early fatigue and a slower pace.
Lack of variety in your pace
When running outdoors, you can naturally vary your pace depending on how you feel. If you are feeling good, you can pick up the pace. If you are feeling tired, you can slow down. It can be easy to get into a monotonous rhythm and run at the same speed for too long on a treadmill. This lack of variety can lead to boredom and a slower pace.
Utilizing the same muscles for the whole run
When you are running on a treadmill, you are using the same muscles repeatedly. This can lead to fatigue and a slower pace. When you are running outdoors, you are constantly changing the muscles you are using. This can help prevent fatigue and allow you to maintain a faster pace.
Read More: Buying Guide for the Best Treadmill Under $1500
Poor treadmill calibration
If the treadmill you are using is not calibrated correctly, it can lead to a slower pace. Therefore, treadmills should be calibrated regularly to ensure accuracy. If you’re using a gym treadmill, you may not be able to do much about it, but treadmills need to be tuned. I’ve used hundreds (yes, I did something where I tested 75 in one day) of my own and hotel treadmills, and they can differ considerably.
Mental dislike of the treadmill
Many people do not enjoy running on a treadmill. The lack of scenery and the feeling of the moving belt can make running feel like a chore. This mental dislike can lead to a slower pace.
How to Run Faster on A Treadmill
If you find yourself running slower on a treadmill, there are several things that you can do to pick up the pace.
Change your form
Focus on maintaining good form while you are running. Keep your head up, and your shoulders relaxed. Let your arms swing naturally at your sides. Lean slightly forward from your ankles, not your waist. Avoid gripping the handrails. These changes will help you maintain a more efficient stride and avoid fatigue.
Vary the incline
Mix up the incline setting on the treadmill to avoid boredom and keep your muscles guessing. A small change in incline can make a big difference in the intensity of your run.
Change up your pace
Instead of running at the same pace for the entire duration of your run, mix things up by changing your pace every few minutes. This will help you avoid boredom and keep your muscles guessing.
Use a metronome
A metronome is a device that produces a ticking sound at regular intervals. This can help you maintain a consistent pace and prevent running too slow or too fast.
Find a challenging workout
If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to run faster on a treadmill, try adding some variety to your workout. For example, try a HIIT workout or a fartlek workout. These workouts are designed to push your limits and help you run faster.
Make it fun
If you struggle to run faster on a treadmill, try to make it more enjoyable. For example, listen to music, watch TV, or read a book while you run. If you can find a way to make the treadmill more enjoyable, you may find it easier to pick up the pace.
There are several reasons you may find yourself running slower on a treadmill. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to pick up the pace. Try changing your form, varying the incline, or adding variety to your workout. If you can find a way to make the treadmill more enjoyable, you may find it easier to pick up the pace.