Sometimes when the weather is too wet or too hazy, running outside is not an option.
So instead of missing out on more runs than you should be doing, especially when you are in the middle of a marathon training programme, then that is where having a treadmill at home, can come in handy.
Not all treadmills are the same
But not all treadmills are made the same, according to a research study done by reviews.com, a website that focuses on “unbiased and in-depth reviews on products and services.” So to evaluate which treadmills are the best buy, reviews.com ’s research team recently spent six weeks evaluating more than 65 treadmills and then came up with their top three picks.
The main purpose of their study, according to the researchers, had been to help runners to find the treadmill that suits their unique needs.
Manual treadmills eliminated
For their study, reviews.com had eliminated manual treadmills because “for running comfort, a machine that requires human power to turn it on is a nightmare… you have to move not only your body but also power the treadmill’s belt.” This is quite true; I have tried a manual treadmill before and it is quite hard to run on.
So they set their focus on electric machines, which suit not only runners but also walkers. This is because reviews.com felt that this was important to households who have both young and elderly people who wish to utilise it.
Key factors of a good treadmill
The three key factors they focused on, in their evaluation was speed & incline, maximum weight the treadmill can take, and the running surface area of the treadmill.
The portability of the treadmill was also a key factor in their consideration, as not every household is able to have a home gym.
As well, the research team had also looked into the availability of other interesting and useful inbuilt features into the treadmills they were evaluating, such as the health metrics display, the touchscreen panel, the WiFi connectivity and its compatibility with an MP3 player.
Their top three picks
What were the team’s top three picks? These are as follows.
This treadmill came out tops overall, in terms of its mixture of features for both runners and walkers, as well as for its 15 per cent incline, speeds up to 12mph and the 80×35 – inch deck.
A treadmill should be comfortable enough to run on, so the large enough deck appeals to me. As well, a 15 per cent incline option is great to mimic hill running sessions, which I do rather often.
At the same time, this treadmill was also smooth and quiet according to reviews.com even when it was performing at top speeds and peak incline. It may not have any flashy features but it is a “safe and intuitive machine.”
This treadmill wins for its most immersive experience according to reviews.com. It takes you on virtual tours and offers options to share your fitness data with your smartphone and health apps.
It also has a feature to play motion HD video of the “route” that you are running, be it the Boston Marathon or the London Marathon. The pictures are also crisp and clear, and the rest of the treadmill console is not cluttered.
it was louder than the Sole F85 though, and at faster speeds, the reviewers commented that they had a “hard time hearing queues coming from the high tech console.”
Freemotion 2500 GS
To prepare for your next race, the reviewers recommend this treadmill. reviews.com said that the feature that makes this treadmill stand out the most, is that you can run downhill as well as uphill; in fact you can run at a 3 per cent decline. None of the treadmills I have come across myself have a downhill option, so I must admit that this is a feature that attracts my attention.
This, together with the iFit technology fitted into the treadmill, it is possible to mimic the elevation changes of any route that you are training for, to prepare for your next marathon.
However this treadmill though, was noisier than the Horizon T9 according to the reviewers, and the console’s double decker screen was not exactly aesthetically pleasant.
Click here for a more detailed insight into the study.