Five great run-on-the-mill workouts for all levels.
The treadmill can be more than a stopgap on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate but some love the treadmill and some more hate it. Done right, treadmill training will help you maintain and improve your fitness throughout the summer and wet season so you’re ready to race or outpace your running buddies.
Whether you’re a convert or a sceptic, here’s how to get the most out of the mill. Five workouts that make the best use of a treadmill’s program features.
1. RACE SIMULATIONS – Do it to train for the course
It’s possible to get an elevation chart for many races so you can simulate its topography.
- THE WORKOUT -> Mimic the course by using a race’s elevation map to time your ups and downs on the treadmill. For instance, say you know there’s a killer hill two-thirds of the way into 10k you’ve entered. All you have to do is hit that “up” button at the same point in your treadmill run.
- INSIDE SCOOP -> On the day, when you get to that hill, you can console yourself that you’ve done it before and that it felt much worse when you were stuck inside.
2. RANDOM INTERVALS – Do it to mix things up
Unpredictable changes in inccline and speed provide a more complete workout than a steady pace on a flat surface because they force you to work different muscles.
- THE WORKOUT -> Just a little variation in your run helps the time go by mush faster. Try a 10-minute warm-up, 20 minutes of random intervals and a 10-minute cool-down.
- INSIDE SCOOP ->If you don’t have much time, this will give you a burst of intensity over a short period. Plus, it’s a healthy change for obsessive runners who like to plot out every split.
3. SPEEDY INTERVALS – Do it to get faster
When you do intervals on the track, almost everyone slows down over the last few repeats because they’re fatigued. On the treadmill, you can only slow down when the belt does.
- THE WORKOUT -> Try three sets of three minutes at about 10 seconds per kilometer faster than 5k race pace. It takes the treadmill a few seconds to get to your interval speed, so start timing once you’ve reached it. Do two minutes of easy jogging in between each rep. Add another set every two weeks.
- INSIDE SCOOP -> It’s a killer but the results will show.
4. TV TEMPO RUN – Do it to lock in your pace
Tempo run are hard to get right. Inexperienced runners tend to go too fast or too slow. Once you’ve entered your target pace, the treadmill makes sure you stay at the right speed.
- THE WORKOUT -> Start with 1 10-mins warm-up, and move up to your tempo pace when an episode of your favorite series begins. Jog during the adverts, then resume your faster pace when the programme comes back on. Cool down for 5-minutes.
- INSIDE SCOOP -> As you improve, try maintaining your tempo pace throughout.
5. HILL REPEATS -> Do it to design your own terrain
You can control the gradient of the hill, and you don’t have to run down it and place more stress on your quads. Instead, you can flatten the belt for a few minutes of recovery, then go back at it.
- THE WORKOUT -> Try one-minute runs up a four percent incline with two minutes of slow, flat jogging in between. Build up to 10 reps at six percent.
- INSIDE SCOOP -> This gives your cardiovascular system a challenge but it is easier on your legs. “You’re doing the same intensity as on a track but on a track your legs have to move much faster” says US Olympic Marathoner Magdalena Lewy-Boulet.