group of young people running on treadmills in modern sport gym

Despite how much you may hate it, running on the treadmill provides a safe and convenient solace from the worst that winter has to offer.

RELATED: When the weather outside gets frightful, training indoors can be delightful

Additionally, treadmill running offers a number of unique advantages including a softer surface with less impact on the body; controlled and consistent pacing; fueling and hydration require no effort at all (just stash your bottle and energy on the machine) plus an environment where wind, precipitation and extreme temperatures are not a factor so you can dress light and comfortably. Yet despite all these benefits, few runners would ever admit to enjoying running on the treadmill (the hamster wheel, the dreadmill, etc.).

Most would agree that the worst part of running on the treadmill is the boredom and monotony of it. Running for 30 minutes can feel like 3 hours!

So what better way to beat the boredom than by spicing things up with a workout?

Here are a number of runner-tested (and approved) workouts that can help you stay fit, get fast and also decrease the perception of what seems like an eternity on the machine.

Hills

5-15 minute warm up – 8-12 x 60 second hills at 8-10% incline with 2 minutes rest at 1-2% incline – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 5-8 x 2 minute hills at 6-8% incline with 3 minutes rest at 0-1% incline – 5-10 minute cool down

Run at a easy/comfortable pace but alter the elevation: 2-3 sets of 3 minutes at 1% – 3 minutes at 3% – 3 minutes at 5% – 3 minutes at 7%

Short Intervals

5-15 minute warm up – 10-15 x 1 minute ‘ON’ (5-10K pace) with 1 minute ‘OFF’ (very easy) – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 8-12 x 400m/o.25M at 5-10K pace with 400m/0.25M easy – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 2-4 sets of 1 minute fast (half marathon pace) – 1 minute faster (10K pace) – 1 minute fastest (5K pace) with 2 minutes between intervals and 5 minutes between sets – 5-10 minute cool down

Long Intervals

5-15 minute warm up – 5-8 x 800m/0.5M at 5-15K pace with 400m/0.25M easy between – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 6-10 x 1K/0.64M at 5-15K pace with 400m/0.25M easy between – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 3-5 x 1M/1.6K at 10K-half marathon pace with 800m/0.5M easy between – 5-10 minute cool down

Tempo

5-15 minute warm up – 2-3 x 10-15 minutes at half marathon pace with 5 minutes easy between – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 2 x 20-25 minutes at half or full marathon pace with 5 minutes easy between – 5-10 minute cool down

5-15 minute warm up – 20-40 minutes at half or full marathon pace – 5-10 minute cool down

Note: A lot of treadmills, even here in Canada, display miles as the default unit setting. If you’re using one that only works in imperial units, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on your distance and pace conversions before you go. Here are some of the most common ones (calculations are approximate):

1 mile = 1.61 K
2.5 miles = 4K
3.1 miles =5K
5 miles = 8K
6.2 miles = 10K
7.5 miles = 12K

6.8 mph = 8:50/M = 5:30/K
7.5 mph = 8:00/M = 5:00/K
8.0 mph = 7:30/M = 4:40/K
9.3 mph = 6:26/M = 4:00/K
10.0 mph = 6:00/M = 3:43/K


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