As the temperature drops and the weather turns inclement more and more of us are heading indoors to do our runs. But judging by the constant stream of complaining that's filling my social media feeds many people are not very happy about the treadmill or as so many of you have come to affectionately call it the "dreadmill." While running inside doesn't always have the fresh air or the ever-changing scenery the treadmill can still be a great way to improve your overall running routine.
(PLEASE NOTE: ALL THESE EXERCISES ARE FOR EXPERIENCED RUNNERS ONLY)
You have probably heard the term before even if you have never run the routine. HIIT is a cardio workout that incorporates periods of low intensity running with periods of high-intensity sprints. According to the Journal Of Applied Physiology, this type of exercise can burn more fat than a regular endurance run. And it's incredibly easy to do on a treadmill.
Warm up on the treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes. Walk at 3 MPH for 2 minutes, 3.5 MPH for another 2, slow jog for the remaining time.
Increase your speed to your maximum. You shouldn't be able to maintain the speed for more than 30 seconds.
Reduce your speed to a slow jog or fast walk for 2 to 3 minutes.
Alternate between steps 2 and 3 for at least 10 minutes. You can extend your walk time beyond 3 minutes if you like.
Cool down for 4 to 5 minutes.
Many treadmills have built-in interval routines so play around with the numbers until you find one that suits you.
A fartlek is a Swedish word meaning "speed play." It's a cross between a HIIT run and an endurance run. You're basically adding 1 minute of higher intensity run followed by 5 or 6 minutes of your normal running pace. Fartleks have been around for 50 years and are a great way to improve speed and endurance. And, again, burn more fat than the usual regular 50 or 60 minutes of normal pace running
A negative split is when you run each mile faster than the previous one. And one of my favorite way of staying entertained on a treadmill.
Warm up on the treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes. Walk at 3 MPH for 2 minutes, 3.5 MPH for another 2, slow jog for the remaining minutes.
Start a slow jog at 5 MPH. Increase speed by .1 MPH every 1 or 2 minutes until you reach a maximum speed you can sustain for 1 minute. Try to improve your overall duration (and speed) every 2 or 3 weeks.
Cool down for 5 minutes.
I've incorporated these routines in my daily runs the last couple of years and I found speed and endurance had increased more than I ever thought possible. Last year I ran my fastest marathon and beat my old PB by 13 minutes. And managed to do so on just four long training runs. Changing the speed and incline of your treadmill is a great way to break the monotony of your treadmill runs.
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