Exercise! - treadmill help

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05-23-2006, 09:41 AM
Hi there,

I started on the treadmill yesterday (have already been doing other exercise) and have a question....

I was walking pretty fast on the treadmill but each time I let my hands go (from the bar at the front) I kept thinking I was going to fall off and had to grab on again.

I walked for 25mins but I'm wondering if its just me or is the speed that I chose better for jogging than walking? or do I just need to lose the fear?

Also, if I want to move from walking to jogging is there a 'best way' i.e. walk for 2 mins, then increase speed and jog for 2 mins?

Thanks a mill for your help,

05-23-2006, 09:55 AM
I'm not endorsing this as the "correct treadmill methodology":D , but I always hold onto the bar while walking, I just don't feel comfortable otherwise and when I have tried hands-free, I have to lower the speed/incline so much that I can't see that I'm really getting any calorie-burning benefit. However, I do grab onto the bars pretty fiercly, and I've noticed a pronounced increase in the power of my grip and the muscle tone of my forearms.

But then, I'm only in the physical condition to walk right now. This will probably hold me back once I am able to do some jogging and have to-relearn everything without holding on. I don't worry about it too much right now.

05-23-2006, 10:02 AM
Generally, if you can't walk on the treadmill without hanging on, you are going too fast. You lose 7% of calories that the display shows by hanging on. It took me quite a while to walk without hanging on because my balance is so poor. Walk at a speed that you don't need the support and gradually increase it as you feel comfortable. In the long run, you will be fine tuning the exercise so you can really take off. It's like in lifting, you get the form right before you increase the intensity. There is also a point at which I am walking really fast, but an increase of one point is part walking and part jogging which is very awkward; so it's better to set the speed at a walk or a jog, not in between.

I am not a jogger or a runner. But I decided that I have to learn so I could increase the intensity, and started an interval routine. There are many variations and ratios of intensity to rest: 30:30 seconds, 30 sec:1 minute, 1:2 minutes. Play around with the ratios and choose what you like the best, as long as you allow adequate rest time in between high intensity.

This interval routine led me to HIIT, which is basically the same, but you work at an intensity that is your absolute highest. That gives a really good workout.

Hope this helps...

05-23-2006, 10:27 AM
Finn - Northern Belle gave you some good advice - don't hold on!! I know what you are experiencing and sometimes find myself doing the same thing. That's when I concentrate on pumping my arms to up the calorie burn. As far as advancing to running on the treadmill (or anywhere else), I'll tell you how I became a runner - very simple.....I can walk a mile in 15 minutes = 4MPH pace. My goal was to decrease the time that it took to walk a mile. So I'd walk a little, then run a little and my goal was to beat my previous time. In no time, I could run the entire mile in 10 minutes. Once I could run a 10 minute mile, I would then add a minute or two to my run. Soon I was running 2 miles at the time. Start looking for a 5k run/walk in your area and use that as a future goal. You''ll be surprised at what you can do and a runner's "high" is a wonderful feeling. You don't have to run 5 miles to get it either. Hope this helps and let us know how you do.

05-23-2006, 01:32 PM
I have very bad co ordination issues (I've got a mild version of cerebral palsy)

Until recently I was a white knuckled hanger on-er. I really wanted to learn to run, so decided I better learn.

I started walking slower at a 0% gradient just to get used to it, then slowly increased my speed and gradient.

It took me about a month of solid work to get my confidence up, but I'm fine now and I can run on it.

It's just a matter of training yourself and not being intimidated by it.

05-24-2006, 06:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your great replies - I guess I just have to let go - kinda scary though! But I'll give it a shot and let you know how I get on...

Thanks again, I appreciate your help.

05-24-2006, 06:43 AM
Finn, I agree that you should pick a speed where you do not have to hang on. It took me awhile to work that out too. I think balance is an important aspect of walking and running and biking. BTW, how fast are you going now? How long have you been working on the mill?

Intervals of both speed and incline are important but I also found that the more I mix up my routine from day to day or week to week the better my workouts because I'm not getting bored.

Sometimes I push myself to jog with incline intervals.
Sometimes I take it easy and watch a movie while walking slowly at a steady pace.
Sometimes I do all kinds of variations.

Whatever works for you to get the workout you need while keeping it interesting.

05-24-2006, 10:41 AM
Like Kykaree said...work up to it. I used to hang on too. Then a gal I talked to while we were doing the treadmills together told me that you get a better workout by pumping your arms. I had to start out slowly and build up. Now I can get on there and just start jogging and never hang on. After awhile, I even mastered turning my head to speak to her without getting that sense of vertigo.

Jennifer 3FC
05-25-2006, 01:06 AM
Hi Finn, I have better balance on the treadmill when I pump my arms. If I try to hold them still, then I am prone to falling down.

For increasing speed, your idea of alternating speed is very good. That is actually a good way to lose weight, as well. If you go fast and hard for two minutes and then slow down and recover for two minutes and alternate, then you will burn a lot of calories!

05-26-2006, 11:49 AM
Hi Finn,

Take a look at the raceforlife site, they have a good beginners interval training plan starting with 10 x walk minute, run minute. I've been doing it for a while now and amazing how quickly you get better.

Also I've been advised by a PT always to have an incline as you are more likely to get calf injuries on the flat. I vary between 1 and 1.5, any higher than that and I can only run about 1 minute!

Good luck

05-29-2006, 03:33 PM
Hi Finn,

Also I've been advised by a PT always to have an incline as you are more likely to get calf injuries on the flat. I vary between 1 and 1.5, any higher than that and I can only run about 1 minute!

Good luck

Thanks for the tip, I have never run on an incline, and I did it this morning, and it made a good bit of difference. My calves jarred less, and I could run faster and longer!

:D :D :D

05-30-2006, 04:29 AM
Well an update - I have since got back on and let go! I walked for 35mins without holding on once...what is it people say...feel the fear and do it anyways :-)
thanks for your advice everyone!