The dreaded January is finally here. Most of the Midwest and the east coast are dealing with actual January temperatures and snow totals. We woke up to -2 and a -10 wind-chill today. Now’s the time to commit to a treadmill or find an alternative cross training. It can be very boring, but it’s all in your mind set. If you set yourself up for success and follow a workout, it will go so fast. Winter treadmill training has many benefits. It beats the cold, you won’t slip on ice, it’s not dark, you can listen to blaring tunes, you can people watch or watch tv and you can make sure you hit your paces. The outdoors in the winter can be amazing running weather, but when the cold temperatures hit and the ice is bad, you must take it indoors. Here are 4 workouts to add to your indoor routine.
1. 800 meter repeats. You can’t go wrong with this workout every week if you needed to. 800 meters on a treadmill is about .5 miles. Warm up for 10-15 minutes of jogging then hit 4-8 repeats with 3 minutes jog recovery between sets. Finish with a 5-10 minute cool down. This workout with get the blood pumping and oxygen flowing. Pick a pace that is uncomfortable but doable for 3 minutes. The goal is to be fatigued. This workout will gain speed and stamina.
2. Hills. Need I say more? Obviously training for hills is much better outdoors, but sometimes you don’t have a choice if conditions don’t allow. If you’re training for a hillier spring race, you must incorporate hills. Jump on the treadmill, warm up 20 minutes jogging and hit the hills. Set the incline for something between 4% and 6% and run at your goal pace for 60 seconds. Jog recover for 90 seconds. Repeat 8-12 times. Cool down, jogging 5-10 minutes. This workout will gain strength and build your stamina on hills. No one should hate hills. Embrace them. Let them challenge you and defeat them.
3. The dreaded Tempo run. I find this to be the toughest workout when training for road races. It is mentally more challenging than it is physically. Tempo runs should be incorporated into your weekly runs. Depending on what you’re training for will depend on the exact tempo, but for starters, let’s do a 20 minute tempo run. What is your goal pace for your next race? If it’s a marathon, grab that pace and hang on to it for 20 minutes. You should be able to run this pace without being miserable – comfortably hard. If you’re training for a 10k, 10 mile or half marathon, you will want to go a bit faster depending on your goal. I would adjust as you need to, but remember, you want the pace to be hard, but not impossible. Turn the tunes on ‘stay’. Breathe. Warm up and cool down 10 minutes each.
4. Pyramid. The last workout is a fun one and you have to be paying attention to the minutes! This is a type of progression run. After your warm up, you will increase the mph (miles per hour) .1 every 1 minute. Start from a comfortable pace and go up for 10 minutes, then back down for 10 minutes. Warm up and cool down at least 10 minutes or more.
There you have it, 4 simple treadmill workouts to blast the boredom! You will be paying close attention to your workout that the time will fly by! Leave a note or question if you have anything to add!