In certain seasons of life such as motherhood, you will need to run on a treadmill. You can’t get a babysitter for every training run. In this episode of Run Lift Mom, I discuss my top 3 tips for buying your treadmill:
I’m going to make a few assumptions before telling you my buying tips, having been both a consumer and a salesperson in this process.
First, make sure you measure the space. You’re not going to want to move that thing twice, and if it arrives and doesn’t fit you’ll be sorry.
Second, have a budget in mind. For a new unit covered by a warranty, you are looking air anywhere from $1500 – $5000. You get what you pay for in a piece like this.
Get your space ready, stay within the bounds of your budget and use the following 3 tips:
1. Look for a continuous duty motor
Look for a motor with a “continuous duty” power rating, which means the motor is taken to top level and tested for a long duration.
This is a more accurate measure of motor power and this kind of motor will have a longer life. You’ll see the term “peak duty” and “treadmill duty” but this is not the same thing.
Most treadmill motors range from 1.5 HP to 3.0 HP; look for at least a 2.0 HP continuous duty motor and this should be adequate. If you run a lot or have multiple users, get a 2.5 HP motor.
2. Look for a box frame
Look for a high alloy steel or a heavy aluminum treadmill frame that is a “box”, not a “T frame”. This essentially means the frame is stronger and can accommodate heavier users and higher impact.
Steel is the best choice because it is heavier, sturdier and will last the longest. If you need a piece that folds for storage, you may have no choice but aluminum, so double check warranties.
Most quality treadmills offer lifetime frame warranties, but with regular use, your treadmill will require annual service. Look for a warranty with a minimum of 1 year labor and 1 to 3 years for parts on the motor, deck, belt and electronics.
3. Match features to users
Think about the people who will be using the treadmill as you shop features.
As an example, we have a flex deck on our treadmill because, as a marathoner who frequently trains indoors, I prefer a harder deck. My Husband and Mom prefer a softer deck because they have concerns about their joints.
Most units come with some sort of tablet holder or stand; if not, you can buy it third party. You may not need a large screen on the console itself if you aren’t going to follow in-system workouts.
I encourage you to think about your running habits and make a list of features. Do you like to have a water bottle nearby? Does the console have one? Do you live in a hot climate and need a fan in unit? There are features unique to every runner!
I hope this has helped you with your treadmill research! It’s a big decision and you are worthy of the expense, Mama!