Treadmill Workouts

Where I live, right now it is -6 degrees with a -37 degree windchill. Therefore, I am stuck running on the treadmill. As I was running yesterday, I thought how it would be a good idea to share some of my treadmill workouts with you readers! If you are like me, a treadmill can quickly get VERY boring! I mean, think about it….you’re running, but nothing around you is changing. You pick up your pace, but you don’t get anywhere any faster. Because of this monotony, I like to make my treadmill runs into workouts. This helps pass the time more quickly and keeps me from getting bored. Here are a few ideas for you readers who are also stuck on a treadmill this winter!

First things first….ALWAYS warm up on a treadmill. Don’t just hop on and increase to the pace you typically run. Start slow and work your way up over the course of 10-15 minutes. Then it should be safe for you to begin whatever workout you choose. Second, make sure you are familiar with your treadmill, wear the “safety” strap, and make sure you can run in a straight line :) That being said, here are some workouts.


1) Hill repeats. These are my favorite for a treadmill because you can very easily control the grade of the hill as well as how long the hill lasts :) Typically I will do 3-4 five minute hills at 4-5% incline with 2 minutes rest (walking) in between. The goal for this 5 minutes is for me to be in “zone 4” for my heart rate. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, or don’t like to do heart rate training, you can just do this at “faster than conversational pace”. This means that you should not be able to utter more than a couple words at a time. You should be working pretty hard, but not an all out sprint. After I’ve finished, I usually do a 10-15 minute cool down.

2) Progression runs. These are ideal for a daily treadmill run (meaning not a workout) because they keep your mind occupied without having to sprint. Typically in this type of run, I will start slow, and then increase my pace every 5 or 10 minutes by just .2-.5 on the treadmill until I have reached my marathon pace. Once I get to my marathon pace, I hold it for about 10-20 minutes and then either cool down, or if I want to make it a longer run, I progress back down by .2-.5 every 5 minutes.

3) Ladder workout. Warning: this is NOT for the faint of heart!! I did this workout a few times last year, and it may be in the books for me in the coming weeks! 2 X (2 min at 6:50 min/mile pace, 4 min at 6:40 min/mile pace, 2 min at 6:20 min/mile pace) no recovery, just go back into the second set! Then if thats not enough, after the second set, do 10-20 X (1 min at 6 min mile pace at 3-5% incline) with 1 min recovery in between each. After the 10-20 X 1 min, do 5 min easy run, then finish off the workout with 16 min at 1/2 marathon pace. THEN you can cool down :) Sounds miserable, and yes it is quite challenging, but man does it pass the time/miles! With warm-up and cool down, this should be between 9-10 miles once all is said and done :) Feel free to adjust the paces to your own level!

If you don’t feel like doing a workout, but need something to keep your mind occupied, you could consider watching a movie/tv show on tv (if you have the luxury of having a treadmill in your living room-I do not), or if you have an ipad, I’ve heard that works quite well to set up on some treadmills. If neither of those are options for you, in the past I’ve downloaded a book on my ipod and listened to that while running. Hope some of these suggestions have been helpful! Good luck, and stay warm out there!

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