Treadmills aren’t just for casual joggers. There are treadmills that are specifically designed for serious runners. They are built to take a pounding, according to Consumer Reports, with a sturdy form and an extra-thick running deck. These machines are invaluable to runners who want to train but can’t get outside because of inclement weather or who simply want to be able to run indoors.
Landice L7 Cardio Trainer
The Landice L7 Cardio Trainer gets top marks for being very stable. In fact, it can hold up to 400 pounds, according to Runner’s World. Although it is on the more expensive side, it has a powerful motor, inch-thick running deck and one of the best warranties in the business. The warranty includes one year of labor and lifetime protection on all the parts. This treadmill features a 15 percent incline but does not fold up, so make sure you have plenty of space for it.
PaceMaster Gold Elite Fold-Up
The PaceMaster Gold Elite Fold-Up is one of the few folding treadmills that is sturdy enough for runners. The running deck, which is an inch thick, is also longer than many others at 60 inches, making this treadmill a good choice for runners with longer legs and a longer stride. Runner’s World ranks this treadmill as a top choice.
The Precor 9.35 has the rare ability to tilt at both an incline and a decline, which is perfect for runners who like to train for hilly terrain. The deck is firm but gives slightly, so you don’t feel like you are running on cement, and the powerful motor is nice and quiet. This treadmill has some useful programming features as well. It will keep track of your personal best, and it will adjust the speed and incline to meet your heart rate goals. The running deck is shorter than some others, however, at 56 inches. The warranty is good for 10 years on parts but only one year on labor.
The True Z5.4 has an extra-wide belt (22 inches), which is more comfortable for some runners. It also has a very quiet, smooth operation, according to Runner’s World. The 56-inch deck varies in softness, being slightly softer in the front and firmer in back. Like the Precor, it will automatically adjust the speed and incline to maintain your target heart rate. The parts warranty is 10 years, with labor covered for two years.
- running image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com