There is a difference between people who use treadmills for weight loss and health, and people who use treadmills as a training tool to improve their running. That’s not to say that one group is better or worse than the other, just that they have different goals and requirements.
In this article, we will be looking to find the best treadmill for serious runners, looking at five treadmills individually and analyzing them.
Best Home Treadmill for Serious Runners
There are a few things that serious runners are going to want out of a treadmill that most users won’t need to concern themselves with. A really powerful motor is vital, as is a good top speed. Incline settings are also important, and perhaps decline as an added bonus.
Durability is also very important, with a good max user capacity and effective warranty. This is because serious runners are going to use their treadmills more often than regular treadmill users, and they are going to use it for longer and at a higher intensity.
While price may not be an issue (if you want the best, then you’re probably going to be prepared to pay for it), value for money is crucial. The treadmills on this list are not going to be cheap, but we’ve chosen them to represent an excellent investment for a serious runner.
Support and cushioning are also very important, you are going to need some excellent shock absorption if you are planning on running at a high intensity or for extended distances.
In the below table, we will rank five of the best treadmills for serious runners. Looking at power, durability, value for money, and cushioning. Each factor will be ranked out of five, and the total will be out of twenty.
One thing we should note before continuing, one of the treadmills on this list (Assault Fitness AirRunner) is a manual treadmill. So, it has zero power, and relies on your own generation of power.
Giving it a 0/5 for power would be a bit misleading though, as it can be as powerful as you need it to be. We’re giving it a 5/5 for power as it has the capability for you to sprint at full speed, which is all you can ask of a treadmill.
|Best Treadmill for Serious Runners||Power||Durability||Cushioning||Value||Total|
|Schwinn 810 Treadmill||3||4||4||5||16/20|
|Assault Fitness AirRunner Treadmill||5||4||4||4||17/20|
|NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill||3||5||4||4||16/20|
|ProForm 905-CST Treadmill||4||4||4||4||16/20|
|NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill||5||5||5||4||19/20|
There is a range of different treadmills on that list, with one of the clearly out-performing the others. In this next section we are going to take a look at each of the five individual treadmills in an effort to help you find your ideal fit.
Best Treadmill for Serious Runners #1: Schwinn 810 Treadmill
We’re starting off with a bit of an unorthodox selection with the Schwinn 810 treadmill. It only has a 2.6 HP motor, which is quite low compared to some on this list. But the Schwinn 810 treadmill is incredibly good value, and a much lower price range than many on this list. Not everyone who is serious about running also has a massive budget for home cardio equipment.
While power is a bit of a let down, the treadmill offers 10mph top speed which is very decent, has a 10 degree motorized incline, and excellent shock absorption. This treadmill is not going to be great for sprinting, its just not powerful enough, but if you are looking to improve endurance, steady state running, and some medium intensity runs, it is a great solution on a budget.
The treadmill is well made and should last you a long time, being able to withstand a lot of long runs. The cushioning on the run deck is superb, and a lot of shock is absorbed preventing you from hurting your knees or ankles while running.
Overall, this is the perfect compromise between price and performance. If you don’t have a tonne of cash lying about, then this treadmill will certainly help you out. Just save the sprints for outdoor running to preserve your treadmill for years.
Best Treadmill for Serious Runners #2: Assault Fitness AirRunner Treadmill
The Assault Fitness AirRunner treadmill is a bit of an odd choice for this list, as it doesn’t have a motor at all! It’s motorless, relying on your own propulsion to move the running belt. Anyone who has used a motorless treadmill will know that it can take a bit of getting used to at first, particularly while you begin to increase the speed.
But Assault Fitness is a new generation of motorless treadmill, which has put a lot of effort into ensuring that you run as naturally as possible. Their treadmill has a natural curve to the running deck which makes a huge difference, and many users say that it actually feels more natural to run on it than it does with a regular treadmill.
Due to its lack of motor, there isn’t really a maximum speed, which is great for very fit runners, and HIIT users will love the way you can immediately increase and decrease the speed just by running faster or slower (rather than hitting a button and having to be patient).
No motor also means that the treadmill should last longer than most regular treadmills, and the AirRunner is certainly durable. The lack of motor also keeps the price down, making this an excellent investment overall.
Sure, many people won’t accept motorless treadmills, there were too many terrible ones in the 90s and early 00s, but the AirRunner may help to change a few minds.
Best Treadmill for Serious Runners #3: NordicTrack T Series 6.5 Si Treadmill
NordicTrack tend to have the best made treadmills, which makes them very popular with serious runners. However, their treadmills frequently cost quite a lot more than the competition. Luckily, the T series was developed to be a sort of middle ground.
High quality treadmills at affordable prices. It’s a great compromise, and the T series 6.5 Si is a superb treadmill for the serious runner. Like the Schwinn, it only has a top speed of 10 mph, and a fairly low powered motor (2.6 CHP), but it is well made, the cushioning is incredible, and it offers a 10 degree incline.
Flexselect adjustable cushioning allows you to choose how soft or sturdy your running deck is. That means it can suit both hard running and sprinting as well as lower intensity steady state runs that can last hours.
As is always the case with NordicTrack treadmills, the T series 6.5 Si treadmill has superb durability and should last you a very long time. Well worth the investment.
Best Treadmill for Serious Runners #4: ProForm 905-CST Treadmill
If you look at the table, you can see that the ProForm 905-CST has scored 4s across the board, giving it a decent score of 16/20. Those scores indicate that the ProForm 905-CST treadmill is a seriously good investment, with not much wrong with it at all.
Let’s start by looking at the motor. ProForm have fitted their treadmill with a 3.0 CHP motor. This is not as high as some treadmills, but for a home treadmill that is pretty fantastic. This allows the treadmill to hit a top speed of 12 mph, which is full on sprinting speed.
The treadmill also has a 12 percent incline, one that works flawlessly, allowing you to perform hill sprints, HIIT, or even just add a small incline to allow for the lack of wind resistance indoors (1.5% incline usually does this).
The treadmill has an excellent warranty, with a ten year frame warranty, and a two year parts warranty. This, combined with a 300 lbs weight capacity proves that the treadmill is highly durable, and will be able to handle even the most intense of runs.
The price is a little high, but when you factor in its performance capabilities, and the realistic shelf life of this treadmill, you can see why we gave it a 4/5 score for value.
Best Treadmill for Serious Runners #5: NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill
The final treadmill on this list is by far the best home treadmill for serious runners. We’ll start with the only drawback; this treadmill is at the top end of the price range. But what you are paying for is a basically perfect treadmill.
A 4.0 CHP motor is the type of motor you’d expect to see in a gym (where 100 people per day might use it). The motor allows you to run at top speeds of 12 mph, and it will be whisper quiet compared to a lower-powered treadmill.
The treadmill also has a 15 percent incline setting, as well as a -3 percent decline. Allowing you to recreate both running up and running down hills. The treadmill has amazing cushioning, and will provide an amazing surface to run on. Shock absorption is excellent, and you will barely feel anything in your knees or ankles, even after running for hours.
Sure, it’s expensive, but this is the ultimate treadmill for a serious runner. If you have the budget for it then this is the treadmill for you!