Selecting the best running machine for home use from the plethora of models available on the market is not easy. Do you choose a manual or motorised treadmill, a short treadmill or an expensive model? Deciphering the specifications to choose the right home running machine relies on either experience or some good advice. Here we give you some easy tips and pointers to ensure you make a great decision and get the best machine for running exercises.
Choosing a model with the correct length running board is absolutely critical to making a good selection. When running your stride length increases compared to walking. You will find many cheap motorised machines purporting to be great for running or walking but having a short deck. For individuals of average height you really want a running deck that is at least 52 inches long to allow for a full runners stride pattern.
A further consideration is that running is not a low impact activity. Whilst treadmills suitable for walking exercises might not need to have a cushioned deck if you are going to be pounding away at pace, a cushioned deck would be a good option to choose.
Not all electric motors are up to the task when it comes to running machines. At a minimum you want a motor with a 2.5 continuous horse power (CHP) output. Any less than that and the motor will be under to much stress as you go through the speeds. The longer the running deck the higher the power your motor will have to have. Longer decks take more effort to turn so if you opt for a treadmill with a 60 inch deck make sure the motor is at least 3.0 CHP to avoid over-stressing the machine.
To get a satisfactory model you want a minimum of 2.5 CHP that will take the treadmill up to 10mph. Speeds of 10-12 mph will be adequate to give a good speed range from jogging to sprinting.
It is also worth considering the incremental speed selection controls at this point. Ideally you want to have small increments of 0.5mph so you can regulate speed without big jolting changes, but bottom line don’t go for a 2chp motor and expect it to either last long or offer adequate speed in use.
Incline is a fairly basic feature these days. Incline will help you better resemble outdoor running as well as ensuring you don’t outgrow the machine as your stamina improves over time. As a minimum go for a machine with a maximum twelve degree incline. This won’t over stress the motor but will offer enough incline to give you a great workout.
Its all in the detail with a warranty. Most manufacturers split warranty out into components so they will say model aaa has a lifetime frame, motor and deck warranty and five years on electronics and moving parts such as rollers. This detail tells you a lot about the standard of construction and even stability of the machine. It goes without saying get the best warranty you can. Most manufacturers will offer life time frame and motor warranties, after that focus in on moving parts bearing in mind the amount of running you usually do.
Cheap Models for Sale
The cheapest running machine you are likely to be able to buy that meets the requirements outlined above is likely to cost at least $1000. In this range you are looking at highly regarded models such as the Sole F63 and the Horizon T101. If you have a larger budget and you do a lot of running you should consider even more robust models. Check out the Sole F65 in the under $1300 and the Sole F80 coming in under $1500. The Sole F80 is widely used in hotel chains for its reliability, quality and safe operation. After $1500 you are entering the world of club and commercial treadmills which can go for many thousands. (Update!! Check out the latest offer on the Bowflex Series 7 this is a $2000 machine currently at half price, unbeatable value!)
Whichever model you choose be sure to bear the above tips in mind to ensure your purchase lasts the distance and is fit for purpose. Any skimping will leave you seriously out of pocket down the line or unsatisfied with the machines performance.