I’ve been able to do a lot of thinking about my training in the past year, and it hasn’t always been up to snuff. Whether it was neglecting strength training (hardly did any to get ready for my half, but I have a solid plan for it now), neglecting cross training (also neglected for my half, and wasn’t fully committed to it in marathon prep… again, a pretty solid plan now), or just plain being scared to run because I wouldn’t always perform as well as I envisioned (okay, that still happens sometimes. working on it). The treadmill doesn’t help that last part too much. How well can you really expect to perform when you live in a giant snowbank of a climate in the winter, and you’re running on something that keeps a pace for you?
Then, I found a few treadmill workouts in Runner’s World (video) that might just help break the boredom cycle, at the very least. If you can’t watch the videos, here’s a summary of each treadmill workout (again, via Runner’s World and Jeff Galloway). All workouts are measured in time, not distance.
Treadmill Hill Climb Workout
If you live in a snowy/icy area in the winter, this is a great alternative to slippery hills.
- Warm up for 3 minutes, gradually increasing the pace to an easy run
- Raise incline to 2% and run for 1 minute
- Raise incline to 4% and run for 1 minute
- Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
- Raise incline to 4% and run for 2 minutes
- Lower to 0% and recover for 1 minute
- Repeat the last two as a set as many times as you wish
Treadmill Distance Workout
This isn’t really a “distance” workout, since it clocks in at 4-7 miles, depending on your pace and number of intervals.
- Warm up for 3 minutes
- Easy run for 2 minutes, walk* 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
- Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat 3 times)
- Run for 4 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
- Run for 5 minutes, walk* for 1 minute
- Increase intervals as desired
- Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)
- Run for 1 minute, walk* for 1 minute (repeat twice)
Pace Booster Workout
- Warm up for 6 minutes, alternating a jog for 30 seconds, walk* for 30 seconds
- Repeat this interval as many times as you wish, increasing the run speed each time
Fast 15 Workout
Great for if you only have 15-20 minutes of time and still want to get in a run.
- Easy run for 3 minutes
- Run for 2 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
- Run for 3 minutes, walk* for 30 seconds (repeat)
- Short walk to cool down
*Why walk? Well, besides the face that it’s a Galloway workout, walking will change things up on the treadmill and keep the workout from becoming stale. If you don’t think walking will give you any good fitness benefits, you can probably take it down to a jog or easy run instead.
Last night I warmed back up to the treadmill by doing the Fast 15 workout. I originally planned to stick right to the program, but I felt so good that I extended a few intervals to 4-5 minutes with a 30 second walk. I was tempted to just jump right in and push the pace through the remaining time, but I felt a small twinge in my right IT band, and knew that I needed to take it easy. I’ll get there on the speed and distance. One day at a time for now. In the end I hit 1.63 miles in 15 minutes, including 60-90 seconds of recovery in there. Stoked.
I was beaming as I ran on that treadmill. It just felt so, so good to be back in my sneakers. It also helped/was amusing that the guy next to me was trying to show off and told his buddy he was going to do “just a mile.” He bumped his pace up to 7.4, increased the incline to what looked like 6 or 7%, and maybe made it 30 seconds before he had to jump off and take a breather. It’s cool, dude. I wouldn’t judge you if you were doing a 5.8 pace at 0%, or maintained 7.4 at a high incline.
Side Note: Be Careful
This has nothing to do with treadmills or anything else in this post. This past weekend, an old friend of mine and his wife were in a head-on collision and are both in the hospital with multiple injuries. Please, be careful this season, both in your cars and out on the sidewalks/shoulders. It’s almost impossible to not run in the dark, so wear lots of light-colored clothes with reflective accessories. Drive slowly. Be careful.