It’s been about 20 years since I bought my treadmill. I did a lot of research at the time, even though I was not yet running — not even close. I wanted to be able to walk more during the heat of a TX Summer (and not be eaten up by mosquitoes!).
If you’re shopping for a new treadmill like me this holiday season, here are a few tips on what to look for:
A motor with a CHP of 3
CHP stands for continuous-duty horsepower. The least that you can probably get away with (as a runner) is 2.5 CHP.
Look for around 55″ in length and 22″ in width, although I’ve always found I really don’t need a belt that long, being quite short. If you’re taller, you might want to see if you can find a longer belt around 60″.
Look for two or four ply for more durability and a quieter run.
Larger rollers put less stress on the motor and help extend belt life: look for about 2.5″.
What accessories do you have to have?
I personally didn’t need a lot of accessories, but many treadmills these days come with bluetooth, a holder for your tablet, sometimes a USB connection so you can charge your tablet/phone while running, and fans.
Many also come with some sort of app and built in screen. They’re often free for maybe a year, and then there’s a monthly fee. I use the Peloton App on my tablet, which quite frankly is way cheaper than paying for it on a Peloton bike or tread. Nordictrack has an app it comes with free at first, too, and then eventually it becomes a monthly charge.
Just figure out what are deal breakers for you!
Higher end treadmills often don’t include the shipping, so make sure you know how much extra that will be. In addition to shipping being extra — which I suppose is understandable because these things are heavy! — you generally either have to assemble it yourself or pay extra to have someone assemble it for you.
Delivery also doesn’t mean that they will actually bring the treadmill into your home, where ever you want it to live (or at all, really). Usually it means that they’ll get it as close to your homse as possible, and it’s up to you to get everything inside. Did I mention how heavy treadmills are?
In fact, I remember all those years ago that’s exactly what they wanted to do, just leave the treadmill on the driveway, basically. Somehow I managed to sweet talk them into bringing it into the house. Maybe it’s my diminutive stature. There’s occasionally perks to that.
A lifetime warranty of the frame and motor is great, but they should at least offer a 10 year warranty on these parts. Look for 5 years on electronics (that’s what had to be replaced on my treadmill — multiple times, but obviously mine is way out of warranty) and 2 years for parts and labor.
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I know some runners would rather poke needles in their eyes than run on a treadmill, but there are plenty of runners that embrace the occasional treadmill run. It doesn’t make you any less a runner, no matter what people might want you to believe sometimes.
When I bought my first treadmill, I truly had no idea how important it would become for me. There have been multiple times in the last 6 months when I’ve missed having a functioning treadmill I could run on for more than one mile. Now that Winter is truly coming, having a treadmill will allow me to continue to get in my runs while staying safe — some days. I wish I lived in a place where it was always safe to run outside year round, but I don’t.
I still try to get the majority of runs in outside. I don’t judge you if you get all your runs in outside, nor do I judge you if you prefer to get all of your runs done on the treadmill. I hope that if you’re ever in the market for a treadmill, these tips will be handy for you.
What is the exercise equipment you absolutely must have?
Any other tips for the treadmill hunters out there?
What sort of weather prevents you from getting outside to run?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.