Choosing Your Perfect Treadmill

Looking for the best home treadmill for running and you feel like you are stuck in a rut? If you’re going to be running on your treadmill, you need a bit more in terms of construction quality, cushioning and belt size than if you’re just walking.

Running adds extra wear and tear on your treadmill – so you need a machine that is built for it (and won’t break down on you after the first month).

With that in mind here are 5 must-have features you’ll need to look for when shopping for a runner-friendly treadmill.

At the end of the list, I’ve also included 3 suggested picks for some of the best runner-friendly treadmills this year.

5 Must-Have Features in the Best Home Treadmill For Running:

#1 Extra Long Belt

You’ll need extra room to move on your treadmill if you’ll be running. That’s why you want to look for a belt that’s at least 60 inches long or more.

You don’t want to feel like you’re about to fall off the edge of your treadmill belt when you start to pick up the pace.

#2 Excellent Cushioning

Cushioning helps to absorb the force of impact on your knees, hips, ankles and back. Since running can be a very high-impact exercise, you need to counter this with a great cushioning system.

Most starter treadmills (under $1000) unfortunately don’t have optimal cushioning for runners. But when you get into mid-grade to “commercial-type” units, they usually have strong cushioning.

Some good brands in this area include Nordictrack, Sole and Precor.

#3 High-Powered Motor

Again, you’re working your treadmill harder than if you’re just walking on it. And you’ll be running it at higher speeds.

So you want a motor that can handle without struggling to keep up. Look for a motor size of at least 3.0 HP or higher.

#4 Wireless Heart Rate Monitoring

If you want to monitor your heart rate, you’ll really want a treadmill that can work with a wireless heart rate chest strap.

This is for two reasons. First of all, wireless belts tend to be much more accurate.

Secondly, it’s very hard to run when you’re continually grasping the EKG heart rate sensors at the front of the console. The wireless belt is “hands-off” and much more convenient.

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