During the warmer months, I do almost all of my runs outside – regardless of how rainy, windy, or warm it may be, I gladly battle the elements over running on the treadmill any day . However, I find myself logging many more miles indoors once the cold weather hits and the icy roads, sleet, and snow prevent me from completing my scheduled speed and tempo runs.
It has always been extremely difficult for me to get on a treadmill and just run. The clock never seems to move and I am constantly tempted to stop when I get even the slightest bit out of breath.
I have found that if I have a workout to focus on [rather than just run for X minutes or miles], then it’s much easier for me to stay on and finish the workout/distance I had planned. Three of my favorites are: The Ladder, Sprint and Lunge, and Fun with Hills.
1[a]. THE LADDER
- Designed as a 60-min interval training workout (not including warm-up)
– Warm-up [5-10 min] @ easy pace
– Run alternating intervals of hard and easy [they should add up to 10 min -> first is 10 min, next two are 2 (recovery) + 8 (hard)]
– Hard intervals should get progressively faster; recovery intervals should be consistent
– The chart shows the paces I [try to] hit. You can alter them as necessary
– Why I love this workout: Despite being a 60+ min workout, the time flies by – you’re done before you know it!
* I tweaked this workout from one mentioned in Running Times (my favorite running magazine)
1[b]. THE LADDER [CONDENSED]
- Same concept as 1[a] but designed for those days when you only have 30 min
– Warm-up [5 min] @ easy pace
– Instead of adding up to “10 min”, the hard/easy intervals should add up to “6 min”
* Note: You can easily increase or decrease the length of The Ladder by manipulating how many minutes you start with and/or your Recovery time
2. SPRINT AND LUNGE
– Designed as an 8 min long set; can be used as a stand-alone workout [I will do between 3-6 sets] OR added to the end of another workout [will do 2-3 sets]
– Warm-up [10 min] @ easy pace
Each set includes:
– 2 min @ easy pace (I shoot for MP + 45 sec)
– 3 min @ 5k [or faster] pace -> I often start at 5k pace and gradually increase the speed until I’m running as fast as I can the last 30-45 sec. [Note: When the 3 min are up, you should be completely out of breath!]
– 2 min @ recovery pace [slow enough pace where you can get your heart rate under control]
– 1 min @ lunge pace [I set the treadmill to 0.9]
– Repeat with no break/walking in-between sets
– Cool-down [5-10 min] @ easy pace
– Why I love this workout: Great for working on your speed while your legs are tired
3. FUN WITH HILLS
- Warm-up [10 min] @ easy pace
– Alternate 3 min @ 0.5% incline with 2 min @ designated incline
- KEEP THE SAME PACE THROUGHOUT!
– I start incline @ 3.0% and increase by 2.0% until 9.0%, then repeat and start decreasing until I’m back to 3.0%
– Cool-down [5-10 min] @ easy pace
– Why I love this workout: There aren’t too many hills where I live – > gives me the hill workout I need to practice how to maintain a steady pace going up hills
*If you are unsure what your pace for a specific race distance may be, Running Times has a great tool that will predict your time based on your performance at different distances.
Do you enjoy running on the treadmill?
What are some of your favorite treadmill workouts?
Michele Gonzalez is a wife, mother, ultrarunner, and FitFluential Ambassador. A former Captain in the US Army, she is now a stay at home mom who is currently training for a sub 3:10 marathon and her first Ironman (NYC – Aug 2012). Her blog, NYCrunningmama, focuses on her training and races, as well as pregnancy and motherhood. To learn more about Michele, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog.