The best treadmill buying guide is about getting the best treadmill for YOU. Here’s a list of 5 things to keep in mind when deciding which treadmill to buy for your home. PLUS – The treadmill I bought and why.
5 Tips for Buying a Home Treadmill
Speed and Incline
Display and other features
If you’re shopping for a treadmill to use at home be sure to identify – how often you’ll use it, if it’ll be used by other people, your fitness goals, budget, space and any ‘must haves’.
Then, use that list along with these tips to help you find the best option for your home.
Warm Up – New Tips and Book Review
Before we start talking about treadmills – some quick updates and reminders…
1.New Post on RunEatRepeat.com with what I’m using as a face mask while running. I did a video sharing what I’m using when I need something handy that works as a face mask while running or walking.
3. Now I’m listening to the Breakdown podcast by the AJC. I love it and super don’t love it at the same time. But I want to talk about it because I have all the thoughts! I recently went back and listened some of the old seasons of the podcast and want to talk about season 5. If you haven’t listened to it yet – you should so we can talk about it.
That’s all for the warm up – let’s go!
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Treadmill:
Start by writing down your budget. Then, only consider treadmills in this price range. There are thousands of different brands, types, sizes and features of treadmills. It can be overwhelming!
And you can significantly cut back on the overwhelm if you limit the number of ‘mills you’re looking at. Step 1 is to set a specific budget and make sure every search is within those parameters.
The size of a treadmill is broken down into 2 main factors –
a.) size of the treadmill belt aka running area.
b.) size of the treadmill overall
Size of treadmill belt – This is one of the most important factors when choosing a treadmill. Don’t assume all treadmills are the same or similar to ones you’ve used at the gym. (The gym is a place people used to go to get exercise.)
The width and length of the treadmill belt = the size / space where you’ll actually run.
In this case I think bigger is better. So if I was choosing between a few different treadmills, I’d go with the one that has the biggest treadmill belt within my price range.
Ultimately it depends on your preference and stride length. If you have a short stride – you may be happy with a shorter option.
Generally a treadmill belt that’s 55 inches long works for most people under 6 feet tall. If you’re over 6 feet you may want to consider a belt 60 inches or longer.
Overall size of treadmill – Measure the space you have for a treadmill. If you have limited space make sure it will fit with room to get on / off and plug it in.
3. Speed and Incline
Check that the speed and incline features are enough for your fitness and goals.
Some treadmills max out on speed at a pace that’s not fast enough for you to do tempo runs or speed work. If you’re buying a treadmill for walking a max speed of 10 mph may be fine. But if you’re planning on training for the 100 meter dash – you might need super speedy options.
Some treadmills do not have automatic incline adjustments (meaning you have to get off to adjust the incline manually). Be sure that the incline options work for you.
For treadmills horsepower is noted at CHP = Continuous Horsepower. This measures how much power it has during continuous use. So if you plan on long workouts, using the treadmill for long stretches of time – you’ll want higher CHP.
Most home treadmills have a CHP of 1.5 to 4. If you plan on using the treadmill for walking look for – 1.5 CHP or higher. If you plan on using the treadmill for running – opt for 2.5 CHP or higher.
And if you are over 200 pounds choose a CHP on the higher side of your price range.
5. Display and other features
New treadmills have so many fun features! And there are so many different types of treadmill displays. Let’s break it down into main features:
Display Size & Style –
Fitness Tracking & Apps –
Wifi Compatible –
My New Treadmill:
I got the ProForm Performance Treadmill. It’s not very fancy but my main reason for getting a treadmill was to be sure I could run during the social distancing situation and in case the rules became more strict.
My current fitness goals are to get back into 365 half marathon shape (be ready to run a half marathon all the time) and to run a PR marathon (this may be delayed due to race cancellations).
But I don’t plan on training for races on the treadmill – it’s a supporting player in the marathon training movie that is my life.
I live in southern California so the weather is fairly runner friendly all year (at least to me). I prefer to run outside. So I wasn’t shopping for a treadmill that I’d run 50 miles a week on for months.
My treadmill wish list:
cheap (relatively low cost while being motorized & fitting my CHP & size requests)
motorized and had automatic incline
has enough horsepower for running an hour or more
a decent length belt
had a 300 pound weight limit
would arrive quickly (I ordered it online)
folded up / wasn’t too big
I didn’t care if the treadmill:
tracked my runs or activity
display – touch or big picture
had a fan
I decided on the treadmill I bought because it fit all those requirements. It works and I’m happy with it. But if I was going to be running on it frequently or for a longer period of time (past the social distancing situation) I’d probably get a treadmill that has higher horsepower. That would mean it would also be more expensive.