Last Updated: November 8th, 2021
Treadmill running may not be very fun, but it can be crucial for your sprint training. Especially at this time of the pandemic, it is one of the most effective workout tools.
However, if you want to use this for your training, here are some precautions for sprint running on a treadmill.
7 Precautions of Sprint Running on a treadmill
1. Jumping off or on from the belt
Sprinting makes you run in the anaerobic capacity of your body.
You cross the lactic threshold and there is a lactic deposit in your muscles.
This is the main reason which makes you extremely tired and makes your muscles too heavy to move.
So you generally sprint for a short duration and tend to stop after that.
Now, when you sprint on the treadmill, there is a natural tendency to stop the treadmill or jump off to the side.
When you jump off the treadmill, there are chances of losing the balance.
This is a potential cause of an injury.
If the belt is moving fast, and if you try to jump on the belt to resume running, you are again susceptible to injury.
Your feet will come into sudden action and there are chances of sudden muscle pull.
2. Don’t Increase Your Running Intensity Suddenly
There are a lot of benefits of sprinting like:
- Stronger strides
- More developed muscles.
- Burning more calories in a shorter duration.
- Improved joint health.
- Better coordination and balance.
- Improved running economy.
- Better endurance.
These are just a handful of benefits, however, you get the picture.
With all those benefits, there are certain risks also involved and it is more so when you are sprinting on a treadmill.
When you are running on a road or trails, you can increase your speed only as much as your body allows. However, when you are using a treadmill for sprinting, you can increase its belt’s speed by the touch of a button.
If you increase the speed suddenly and your body is not capable of running at that speed, it will give up too quickly. And if you still continue in this situation, you will start to lose balance and may even fall off the treadmill.
In other words, you may end up severely injured probably from a fall. Also, it will be too hard on your joints and tendons. They may develop severe inflammation or you may end up with twisted ankles or such sort of injury.
3. Beware when running on an old treadmill
It is quite common to listen to music and run on the beats.
Or, catching up with your favorite show while you are on the treadmill.
It definitely makes the time fly.
You wouldn’t even realize you finished your workout in no time.
But, there are chances when you are so absorbed that you lose your focus.
However, if you have a treadmill that you have been using for some time, some wear and tear develop.
The belt may not turn as smoothly or the movement of the belt may not be uniform.
It may skip ahead faster at times and at times it may be slower.
If you are too absorbed in listening to the music, then this sudden change of pace may throw you off guard.
You may trip or fall and may get injured. So make your workout fun, but at the same time stay attentive.
Also, maintain your treadmill properly. Using lubricants from time to time can also keep your treadmill in great shape.
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4. Don’t Compromise on your Running Form
So what happens when you sprint?
True sprinting is all about speed.
You push yourself really hard, run with your maximum effort to achieve the fast pace.
Sometimes running very fast can put you out of the proper form.
Maintaining the pace is great, but you should not lose your form.
A good sprinting form is very important to maintain your balance and stability.
It is completely OK to reduce your effort but run with the right form.
Apart from this, if you run at a very high speed you may hold on to the handrail for support.
This is a sign of very high speed or incline, which is difficult for your body to sustain.
Holding the handrail puts the extra effort on the shoulder and hands.
Your running form is altered.
Also, it reduces the actual calorie burn count, so your effort is gone for a toss.
So listen to your body and sprint with as much as you can.
5. Place the treadmill appropriately
Where and how your treadmill is placed also plays a vital role.
Make sure that there is a sufficient gap between the treadmill and the adjacent walls.
So this will prevent you from hitting against the walls even if there is an accident.
Now, this works if it is your personal treadmill and you have your space to work out.
When you are hitting the gym, select the treadmill wisely.
Take a treadmill that is not very close to the walls and also does not have any other equipment kept behind it.
Having some free space behind the treadmill is very important.
In most cases, if you lose the balance there are chances to fall behind.
Also, ensure that the room has sufficient light and adequately ventilated.
6. Sprinting Barefoot
I always emphasize selecting the right pair of shoes.
One size fits all may not be the case with shoes.
This is usually seen if you are going to the gym.
Either you wear gym shoes for running or wear running shoes for the gym.
The shoes designed for gym and running are different.
The running shoes are designed for forward-only movement whereas the training shoe supports multi-directional movement.
Selecting the right pair of running shoes depends on other factors like
- Pronation type
- Running surface
- Heel-arch/Flat foot
Here are some tips that you can use for buying the right shoe:
- Check your pronation type and see if the shoe is designed for it.
- Always buy shoes that have a little gap between the toe and the front of your shoes.
- Try the shoes with an extra layer of socks.
- The shoes should be well-cushioned and lightweight for running.
Your shoes carry your body weight and they tend to get worn out with time and use.
Replace your shoes once the sign appears or you feel the discomfort.
Using the wrong shoes or over-used shoes are the potential source for
Buying a new pair of shoes can be expensive so select your shoes wisely!
7. Warm-up and Cool-down
I guess it is the just human tendency to lock the mileage as quickly as possible.
So, when you are running on the treadmill, there is always the temptation to hit the speed button.
This is a deliberate mistake that many at times we all do, the reason being, don’t have the time.
Well just to save some time or burn little more calories we are putting ourselves into great risk.
Running without sufficient warm-up is a blunder.
Especially when you are sprinting on the treadmill.
The machine is forcing your body to run very fast whereas your body is not prepared for it.
The outcome is a breakdown.
Let’s take the case when you hit the treadmill early in the morning.
Your body temperature is low, the joints and muscles are stiff.
So do you think you can reach the desired output in this condition?
In fact, the shorter and more intense the race is, the long and intense the warm-up should be.
Benefits of warm-up
Increases body temperature
Before your actual work-out, your body temperature must be elevated.
This improves metabolism, so an added benefit if weight loss is your goal.
Warm-ups increase muscle temperature and making them less resilient.
This makes the muscles more flexible and your muscles give you better support in running.
Warm-up makes your heart-rate climb up and increases the oxygen intake.
When you work-out you are definitely going to need more oxygen.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
Running with stiff muscles puts you at a greater risk of injury.
You are more prone to muscles pull.
Warm-up makes you muscle lose and it easier to perform intense exercise.
Like the warm-up, so is the cooldown also neglected.
When you are running or sprinting, you work in the anaerobic capacity of your body.
This causes the lactic acid deposits and hence stiffness and heaviness in the muscles.
In a cool-down phase, you work out at a moderate phase and this helps in flushing out the lactic acid deposits.
A couple of deep stretches also helps to remove any stress.
A safe work-out is the one where you warm-up then you take your HR to a sufficient high level and then return gradually.
So next time you are sprinting or running, it is okay to run 5 min less than to miss out on the warm-up or cool down.
If you follow these simple precautions, sprinting and interval training will be a hell lot easier on the treadmill.
So, implement them and happy sprinting.