Five Treadmill Tips for Novice Runners

I’m baaaaaack!

Thanks for hanging in there with me while I was mostly absent last week – as I’m sure you all can relate, I have been feeling a little burnt out and needed a few days to recharge. The much-needed break definitely did the trick, and I’m feeling better and more inspired than ever!

Alright, enough of that. Today, we are talking fitness. Throughout the past month, I’ve transitioned over to doing cardio on the treadmill and not just walking, running! This has been a huge accomplishment for me since I never have been a fan of running – or, working out in general if we’re getting candid. However, I have discovered that running is not only a fantastic physical workout, it also gives me 30 minutes to unplug mentally, which always is therapeutic and relaxing during the workweek.

I still wouldn’t consider myself an advanced runner, and the transformation to this new type of fitness for me is ongoing. If you’re also a novice runner or are looking to switch things up at the gym, consider these five tips that have helped me to get you started!

Set goals. Whether they are general weekly goals just to get
yourself to the gym a specific number of times or more targeted daily
workout goals, goals are essential to any successful workout regime. For
example, I write down my gym days in my planner so I’m less likely to
stray from my goal of going four days a week (typically, Monday through
Thursday). For daily goals, I may decide that I want to run for 15
minutes straight at 5.5 mph and a 2.5 incline – you get the point.


Stretch, stretch and stretch some more. I cannot convey how important it is to spend at least five minutes stretching – yes, even before your warmup – before beginning your run. The treadmill can be pretty hard on your legs, particularly your calves if you’re like me, so loose, well-stretched muscles are essential to keep up a consistent pace throughout your workout and to avoid cramping. 

Start slow. The first time that you go to run on the treadmill, don’t expect to be able to run for a half hour straight with no stopping. It’s just not realistic! Consider power walking for the first five to 10 minutes of your workout, and then gradually increase your speed until you are jogging at a comfortable pace. Don’t be afraid to slow it back down to a power walk at any point in your workout to hydrate or if you’re feeling tired.


Interval training. Walking and running intervals aren’t only a better, more effective workout, but they will help you to build your running stamina. When I first started, I was only running for three minutes and walking for five – now, I’m running for nearly 25 minutes straight with a five-minute warmup and cool-down. 

Wear the emergency stop clip. I have to mention this safety precaution because it’s ridiculously important, especially for novice runners. Sure, you may feel silly clipping that cord onto your shirt that you only thought was for older people, but you’ll thank me later when you feel your legs giving out or your sweat towel falls onto the track. That cord is there to protect you. Use it.

Ready yet to get running? Share your best running and workout tips with me in the comments!

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  • Pamela

    YAYYYY! Glad you're back, sometimes you just need to take that break and then you'll feel so much better! All of these are great tips! I'm definitely not a runner but I need to get back into it… as much as I hate to admit that!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  • Jenn

    SO happy that you're back!! I've definitely been there before where you just need a little break and then you're good. Love all of the tips for the treadmill!!

  • Glad you're back! And breaks are definitely needed, no doubt about that! Love these tips — wishing I was a better runner but I'm getting there.

    xo Southern Style

  • Biana Perez

    These are great tips!! I took a treadmill bootcamp (really) on Thursday of last week and it was amazing – intervals are no joke!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • I always get so bored on the treadmill I need to try these tips!

  • I don't know what it is, but the older I get the more I like to do really light workouts like yoga and walking. A few years ago I was a hardcore runner – never missing a day. I feel like I got totally burnt out on it. I'm the type of person who needs variety otherwise I just get sick of it and quit lol!

  • Chris the runner in this house. He runs 3 days a week. I only run to the bus or the L when I see/hear it arriving haha. He's a fan of the interval training though. Keep up your good work lady, you're doing great!! I hope that you had a nice weekend too!! 🙂

  • Christina Sotherden

    These are perfect! I'm so not a runner so I enjoy speed walking on an incline on the treadmill but setting goals and starting slow are so key, it helped me get in a better routine so much!

  • Great tips! When I started running on the treadmill I'd run for a song, and then walk for a song. Eventually I could run for two songs, walk for one, and then three and then four. It was a great way to build up my endurance!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

  • Awesome tips! Running indoors is so different from outdoors!

  • Thanks, girl! It's good to be back. 🙂 I think everybody has a love/hate relationship with running … I've honestly found it more mentally therapeutic than anything!

  • You're so sweet, thank you!

  • Thanks, girl! I knew all of you would understand the need to take a little time out. 🙂 I am nowhere near being a good or advanced runner, but I'm slowly working my way up!

  • That sounds awesome – I'll have to see if there's anything like that at my gym or in the local area!

  • Lol, I used to suffer from the same thing! I have found that a great playlist keeps me occupied, though. And, the mini TVs on the machine don't hurt either.

  • I am so with you, and I don't think you're alone! I was so bored at the gym, so that's kind of what I started attempting to run. I would love to get back into yoga, though – it's so relaxing and great for a toned look!

  • Ha, in Chicago, I'm sure you're not alone in your running habits! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, I'm really trying to get in better shape! Hope you had a good weekend!

  • Absolutely! There are definitely still days when I opt to power walk instead of run if I'm feeling a little burnt out. I really think taking it slow and setting goals is key!

  • That is such a great idea, thanks for the tip!

  • So many people say that! I have yet to conquer the outdoors, but hopefully in the near future – I have a goal to run a 5k by the end of the summer.

  • Mia- MakeMeUpMia

    Glad the break helped, it always does me too! Unplugging mentally is a huge reason why I enjoy working out so much. For that hour or so, my mind is on nothing but that workout and it's heavenly. Great tips girl 🙂

  • Breaks are definitely needed sometimes – good for you for taking some time off! And great tips here! I've mostly been walking outdoors with the dog now that it's getting nice out but I can still put some of these into play 🙂 Stretching is essential!

  • such great tips! This makes me want to work out 🙂

    Mara at M Loves M

  • Haha yes. Aww lady good for you! And you can do it!! 🙂 I hope that the weather was as nice there today too. It's amazing her today. I'm headed back out to the balcony. 🙂

  • Debra Stachelski

    Glad you're back! Everyone needs a break from time to time. I'll probably never be a runner, but these are great tips for anyone working out!

  • Oh how I miss running! I NEVER thought I'd say that, I typically feel just like you and have loathed running for YEARS. The intervals is key, and listen to your body – it knows. Running outside in the summertime has been one of my favorite things to unplug and start the day with a clear head – it will be replaced with walks this year though!

  • I'm definitely not a natural runner, and it's not my favourite form of exercise but I've been trying to increase my stamina for the 5K I have coming up next month. Having that confirmed on the calendar has definitely been a very motivating factor haha. It sounds like you've made some pretty amazing progress in a short time!

  • Yes! Working out does wonders for me mentally – it's such a nice break during the day.

  • Yes, absolutely! I bet Brady boy enjoys those walks just as much as Finn does. 🙂 I basically have been getting two workouts a day with the walks, too!

  • Thanks, girl!

  • That is true – you can apply these to any type of workout!

  • I'm glad I'm not alone in my sentiments to running! I'm glad that's turning around, though because I feel like it is such a great workout – I've never sweat so much at the gym before. Ha! I bet those summertime walks will be so nice for you, especially when you have a stroller to push! 🙂

  • Yes! I've been looking into 5ks in our area, too because I think that would be a great motivator. You're going to rock it, girl!