How to Choose a Treadmill for Running

Whether you feel uncomfortable or even intimidated by the idea of working out in a gym, you don’t have time to go, or your joints just cannot handle running outdoors anymore, buying a treadmill for running at home can be a great option to help you stay fit. With a workout reminder sitting in your home, you won’t have an excuse not to use it while you catch up on your reading or your Orange is the New Black fix!

However, buying the wrong treadmill for your needs can quickly lead to one more unused machine, taking up space in your home. If you are in the market for a new treadmill, consider the following criteria before you make your decision.

  • Your budget. How much can you afford to spend? Depending on your needs, there is a treadmill to fit your budget.
  • Your goals. Why are you buying a treadmill? Are you a competitive runner or a distance runner looking to improve your time? Do you have bad joints, and need a treadmill for running with bad knees? Is weight loss your goal? Different treadmills can have different additional functions that can help you meet your goals.
  • How much space do you have for a treadmill? How big of a treadmill do you need? Larger, stronger treadmills can have more power or extra features, but some treadmills also come with storage features like wheels or folding parts. A foldaway treadmill is a great space-saver.

A treadmill is a large piece of equipment, and it will be a substantial addition to your home, no matter where you decide to place it. Visualising it in your space can be difficult based on the photos online. It is important to visit a physical store, with the dimensions of your room. If space is an issue, consider buying a treadmill with wheels or other easy storage options, like a foldable treadmill. The sales representatives may have suggestions for your space concerns. While you are in the store, ask the sales consultant about the policies regarding delivery, setup, and repairs.

There is a Treadmill for Every Budget

When budgeting for a treadmill purchase, consider what you spend on fitness throughout the year. Treadmills for runners are not luxury items, and if you are ready to buy one, running and fitness are likely a lifestyle for you. Purchasing a treadmill can lower the time and money you spend on health care, gym memberships, and transportation to and from the gym.

Buying a running treadmill is a long term investment in your health. Many fitness retailers offer financing options (some even offer interest-free options) so that you can get the best treadmill for your needs, rather than only the treadmill you can afford at the time.

What features to look for?

If you are new to buying fitness equipment, you may not know what to look for when researching a treadmill specifically designed for running. Just like every person’s fitness needs are different, every treadmill on the market is different. Consider your physical needs and your fitness goals, as well as the following treadmill features:

  • The size of the treadmill;
  • The features of the computer console;
  • The price and warranty options, as well as repair services;
  • The motor size and speed; and
  • The size of the mat.

Get the Right Size Treadmill for You

A good treadmill for running will be the right size for your home and for your body. The length of a treadmill for running is different from the length of a treadmill for walking - usually, a longer, larger treadmill is necessary for running but not for walking. It is always better to go into a store and try out a mat for size and comfort.

  • A taller runner requires a larger treadmill mat;
  • A larger mat requires a larger treadmill; and
  • A larger mat also requires a larger motor;

Larger treadmills and larger motors weigh more and may take up more space. Larger, more powerful motors may also be louder, depending on the machine you choose. Are you more likely to use your treadmill for running, or for walking? Generally, a treadmill for walking requires smaller motors, smaller mats, and less padding than a treadmill for running.

The All-Important Control Panel

When it comes to the control panel and computer options on your treadmill, you have numerous options. Many people think they would prefer a simple, easy to use treadmill but ask the sales consultant about the benefits offered before you write them off.

  • Some treadmills have programs built-in that can help you meet specific goals, which may add variation and may motivate you to use the treadmill;
  • As a competitive runner, increase your speed or stamina;
  • Choose a program made to allow treadmill running for weight loss;
  • As a distance runner, decrease times and increase distance;
  • Heart rate monitors allow you to track heart rate, which can help prevent runners from overexertion or maintain a specific intensity; and
  • Different control panels allow you to change the speed and incline. Choose a well-designed machine that fits your personal preference.

Treadmill Extras to Add Variation to Your Workout

While you’re shopping for a great treadmill for running, always try it out in the store. Do you have specific physical needs that your treadmill will need to accommodate? Maybe you need to find the best treadmill for running with bad knees or the best treadmill for a standing desk.


Make sure that the treadmill you choose fits your needs and is comfortable. Do you tend to get hot easily, or live in a hot area with no air conditioning? Consider a treadmill with a fan. Test out the handles, foot rails and handrails to make sure they are comfortable for your body. Have your treadmill retailer show you how to adjust the treadmill to fit your body.


Most treadmills have safety features, like an automatic off switch if the user falls. If you have children or others in your home, make sure to discuss the safety features of your treadmill with the sales consultant.

Body Measurements

Monitoring your heart rate or weighing yourself before, during, or after your workout can help you track your health more accurately. Heart rate monitors can vary, and they can come as chest straps or handgrip heart rate monitors. Your choice can depend on your preference, accuracy, and durability.

Installation & Warranties

When you're purchasing a treadmill, remember that it is a large, heavy machine, and it has the potential to break down. A great store will offer delivery and installation services, which can decrease the risk of breaking your new treadmill when you're setting it up. Make sure to ask about warranties and terms, what is covered. Also, ask about additional costs and repair services through your treadmill retailer. 

Most of all, when you are buying a treadmill for running, do your research, talk to a professional and test out the machine before you buy it. Various brands and stores offer trial or hire options with money-back guarantees. Make sure you understand the small print when it comes to these extras - it is always important to discuss your running treadmill purchase with a sales consultant.

Why not speak to our friendly sales team today about getting set up with a treadmill designed for running. Call 1300 13 42 13 or visit one of our 10 stores in Perth and Western Australia.

Published on 21/05/2015

Last updated on 12/11/2021

Related posts