Friday, January 20, 2012

Favorite treadmill workout.

When I was training for my April half marathon last year, at least two of my weekly runs were done on the treadmill. It's just what had to happen. Since I find the treadmill desperately boring, I tried all kinds of workouts to help me get through the runs. Some workouts were OK, some were really pretty good, and one was awesome. I fell in love with one awesome, easy, fun workout that I believe helped me finish faster than I had expected. I don't remember where I got the workout, so I can't give proper credit, which is too bad because it deserves it.

For some reason, I stopped doing the workout after the half. I don't know why, other than I rarely ran on the 'mill after April so I didn't need special workouts. Now, training for the marathon, I'm back at it. And I love it.

So, for those of you who have been slogging through treadmill runs, I'll share this bad boy with you. I promise you: It is easy. It is fun. It will make you faster.

Presenting . . .

1 mile warm-up (I start at about 10 min/mile pace and then go to a 9:30 pace for the last quarter mile)
12-15 bursts: 2 minute cycles of 30 seconds at 5K pace (I do 7:12) and then 90 seconds easy (I do 9:30 pace)
1 mile cool-down (I start at 9:30 and slow down each quarter mile)

That is it. 

You can do anything for 30 seconds, especially run at your 5K pace. If you are training for a half or full marathon, the 30 second 5K pace bursts will help keep some speed in your legs. If you're training for a shorter race, you'd probably want to go slightly faster than 5K pace in order to get the most benefit from the workout, and you could probably run fewer bursts. If you're not training for anything but you just want to keep your mileage up this winter, these bursts will take some of the boredom out of treadmill running.

So, have at it, friends. Enjoy!

What's your favorite treadmill workout?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

~ Felice


Zaneta @ Runner's Luck said...

I may have to try this workout! Thanks :)

Felice Devine said...

Do it! Seriously, I want to do it every time I am on the mill, but I know that speed is not what I need every time so I stop myself.

Manderz said...

I have to do a pyramid workout to get me through the mill! It's not necessarily a speed workout either cause you can just slow the speed down. Anyway I warm up for 5 mins then run 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 at either a fast speed if I am doing speedwork or a comfortable speed. Between each I run 2 mins at a slow speed.

Lauren {sweat junkie} said...

My favorite is one I did this week:
Warm up for 1 mile at a comfortable pace
At the same pace or slightly slower, HILL INTERVALS!
I did each hill for 2 minutes then knocked it back down to 0% grade for 1 minute.
My hills: 2%, 4%, 6%, 4%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 4%, 2%.
Then I did another mile at 0% at a little bit faster pace
It was tough but I felt like I got a really good workout. Hills always get me in shape fast!! I also like the fact that the intervals are based on time, not distance, so I feel like te workout seems to go by faster (for me, time passes much faster than distance!)

Unknown said...

my favorite treadmill workout is NOT using the treadmill. hahahahahahah. i so prefer being outside...

Nicole said...

Sounds like a fun one! I run on my 'mill a lot so I have quite a few runs in my rotation. My current favorites are hill sprints and my pyramids, lots of fun and keeps it fresh.

The Jesse said...

Sounds like a good treadmill boredom buster :)

Thanks for sharing!

Tea J. said...

Being a habitual treadmill runner, I'm without a doubt doing this Monday morning! Thanx.

Liisa Vexler said...

I've recently moved to Costa Rica temporarily and the roads are NOT made for runners (nor is the daytime heat). Therefore at least half my workouts each week are on the treadmill. I will be adding your workout and those of other commenters to my arsenal!

My favourite boredom buster is a good audio book.

Lisa said...

I've just started using the treadmill more frequently. Not training for anything in particular right now, but just want to keep up with running. I'll definitely give this a try soon.

Anonymous said...

Great workout! Seriously, intervals are all I can handle on the treadmill! (I'm an outdoor runner all the way)

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Anonymous said...

I call my workout the quickn sweaty.

0-5 minutes with 4 pace on 8 degree incline

5-15 minutes with 6-8 alternate pace per minute on 1 degree incline

15-20 minutes with 4 pace on 8 degree incline

Just got my treadmill last month (livestrong ls 8) and I'm loving it. I can't wait to try out your workout this month.

Thanks again

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