There is a part of all of us that wants to be the standard bearer, the one who everybody looks at and says, “Man, I wish I could work out like that.” With this in mind we are not afraid to crank up the incline on a treadmill to the max while trying to outrun an imaginary cheetah to our left. While this may sound fun to some it definitely is not and should be considered something to try to overcome in the grand scheme of things. A few things to consider about incline.
Generally, treadmills have a maximum incline of between 10 and 15 %. This may not sound like a great amount at first, but 10% incline is brutal when trying to break out a jog to work out with. Anything more than that could involve safety issues which you have to check with the manufacturer first. So just to be safe, don’t overdo inclines.
Consider what you are running for. If you are running to the store for something for dinner, then also consider the trail you are going to have to run on. If it’s for an uphill running course, then you will really need to train on an uphill course. A treadmill with a 10% incline should be able to do the work. It will give you the illusion of pushing your body uphill…an experience that will be somewhat different from an actual run up a hilly path.
However, if you’re running a course that has a lot of down hills, then a treadmill is not going to be of much help. In this case it is probably best to do the old fashion run outside and start jogging technique. This isn’t very popular nowadays, but if it works it works. If you plan on running in a marathon then you are going to put too much stress on a treadmill. You can probably try propping the back up with a couple of 2 x 4’s but that would involve another set of safety issues, so again, check with your manufacturer before doing so.