About a month ago, I reached out to several treadmill companies, including Life Fitness, Fitness Blow Out, NordicTrack and a bunch of others, trying to get information for this story. Though they were very eager to offer up their help and advice, they all blew me off. So, I have nothing to offer up as far as real advice from experts, I will share with you what I found out.
There are a lot of treadmills out there that range from $750 to $7500, they break down into many categories: home use, commercial, standard and folding for extra space, extra cushioning, steeper incline, heart rate monitor, mp3 attachment, built in TV, there is a lot to choose from.
At first it was almost enough to shut me down, but then it made me realize that all of these choices are a good thing, because no matter what you are looking for in a treadmill it's out there.
The treadmill that I was most impressed by (from reading not testing) is the new NordicTrack Commercial 1500 with iFit Technology. iFit is linked to the internet and gives runners the ability Powered by Google Maps, to experience trails all over the world and watch your progress on the display map. iFit® Live automatically adjusts your incline to simulate the physical features of the terrain, so you can virtually run the Boston Marathon, The Ironman Hawaii or the Tulsa Turkey Trot.
With Winter upon us and the indoor training season here, the technology that goes into the NordicTrack Commercial 1500 can help from getting stir crazy while you train and actually give you a more realistic training experience, like the Computrainer for bikes. In theory it should make you faster. As I said, I have only read about it. If it does deliver on it's promise and the technology works, it will leave the other treadmill manufacturers scrambling to "catch up."
So, if a treadmill is in your future, make a list of what you must have on the treadmill and what you don't need, it's a lot like like buying a car.
Some Quick Tips-
- Read everything.
- Set a price and stick to it. Just like a car, you can get caught up in upgrading your treadmill and before you know it, you are paying a lot more than you had planned to.
- Try and "test drive" the treadmill at a store or health club and truly test it. Show up to workout, any treadmill is going to feel great after a minute or two, but 10-20 minutes is a different story, you will be able to see how the features work and react to your needs, listen to see how noisy it is and get a feel for the running surface.
- Measure the area you are going to put the treadmill, some of them are enormous, so make sure you have the space.
- Have it delivered and set up. It's worth the cost, these babies are heavy and if you drop it on your own, you own a brand new broken treadmill.
- Final and obvious tip, use it.