Friday, October 28, 2011

EricG's Running Tips #26 The Dreadmill

Whatever the reason, and there are many, most of us will end up on a treadmill at some point. Nothing more exciting than running in place, indoors in front of the TV.  As much we may dread the treadmill (hence dreadmill) I have a number of ideas and practices that help me get through these workouts, and with significant benefit no less.

I understand these first two no nos are aids to help pass the time, but I have found that my way passes the time in an entertaining way too and gets me one hell of a work out.
  1. Don't read. I have never understood how people read and work out. If you are truly working out you can't possibly be able to focus on a book.
  2. Don't watch TV. I know they are there but don't plug in. Once again if you are focusing on a TV show or sporting event I am going to guess you are not focused on your workout. (Not to mention it's probably safer to focus on what you are doing. Ever seen someone go flying off the back of a treadmill. Looks funny as hell but I'll bet it doesn't feel funny).
  3. Nice one! Hope the movie was good.
  4. This is number one for me. Create a work out plan, such as speed intervals or hill repeats to implement during your treadmill run.  At a minimum, make it a tempo run, but I prefer the first two options. This will force you to work hard and keep your mind occupied as you constantly change what you are doing and have many shorter goals as opposed to one long goal of running for an hour on the evil but necessary human spinning wheel.
  5. Crank up the iPod. I put on may favorite tunes to help inspire me to work hard. I often work harder on the treadmill than I do outside. I think I am overcompensating but it works.
Here are a couple of sample workouts I will do.  Of course tailor your speed and incline levels to your level of comfort (or discomfort if you are working hard:).

Speed Option: Typical speed workout with equal intervals in distance and speed. 1 mile warm up. Then do 6 x 1/2 mile repeats at 8.5 to 9 with 1/4 mile easy between each back to 6.5. Finish with a 1 mile cool down at 6.5.

Important note; Anytime I am running "flat" I always have the incline on 1.0 to better simulate the effort of running outside.

Hill Repeats (I typically do these by time):
Option 1 ladders: 10 minute warm up. With speed remaining constant through the repeats at 7.0 or sometimes 7.5 I will run 2 to 3 minute hills with 2 min flat (1.0) between each. I will do the first repeat on a 4 percent incline and then increase each by .5 percent until I hit 7 or 7.5 percent. I will then do an additional 1 or 2 reps at the peak incline to get to 10 total reps (when I am doing the 3 minute reps I do it 8x). 10 minute cool down.

Option 2: After my warm up I will do 5 reps, 5 minutes each with 2.5 minutes flat (1%). Each hill will be on 6% and 7.0 speed. And of course a cool down.

All of the above will yield between 6 and 7 miles and take 1 hour or less. They also kick my ass, I love it.

Peace E


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