Day 8 – It’s Hot in Herrrrre! (Or cold, snowing or rain) – Basic Treadmill Training

So, today is a relatively hot day for October here in the Carolinas where we might reach 80.  In the summer, though, if you can’t get a run in before 10 am then you can get into some dangerous heat.  Then in the winter it can be downright miserable with freezing rain.  

No matter where you live, don’t let the weather stop you.  Move it on inside if you really can’t stand to do anything outside.  Moving it inside means running on a treadmill unless you have access to an indoor track (I wanna know if you do!) or a bike, or doing some sort of exercise from a video.  

Here, I’ll address treadmill running.  Which I hate.  

First, when running on a treadmill always slope the machine to a 1%-2% grade in order to represent running outside.  Otherwise, treadmill running is easier.  If you are doing a warm up or cool down its ok to be flat but when getting into the training part use the higher slope unless you really don’t feel like it.  Just a pointer that’s all.

Second, you will seemingly sweat more than you would outside – maybe even without the heat.  This is because there is no wind or breeze going past you to wick the moisture off your body.  Bring a towel and definitely don’t wear cotton unless you are me.  I think I own 1 dri-fit t-shirt.  It just starts sticking to your body and is gross.

Third, know what speeds you need to go.  Most treadmills automatically give you a mph reading and will then show you your pace in terms of minutes per mile.  Average 8 minute miles are around 7.5 on the treadmill.  Play with the speeds and find a comfort zone – first in a warm up (slower) then you can always get faster.

Finally, it gets BOOORING on a treadmill unless you are lucky enough to have the ones with the TV on it so you can plug headphones in.  I hate treadmill running and find it very difficult to go over 3 miles because I get so bored.  Below are some ways to cut the boredom by varying your workout but always start out with a warm up and always cool down.  Reading a magazine or book is not suggested – especially if you have a tendency to be clumsy, like me.  The suggestions below are for those running more than a mile right now, and were actual workouts I gave my runners for treadmill base training.

Coach Scott Fav – Do a fartlek!  Jog for 2-3 minute intervals then run hard in between for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Running hard can be a mile race pace or 5K race pace or just a little slower – all this dependent on the distance you are trying to achieve.  I like this one because you have to concentrate on your form while running hard yet you still get a break – and you look fast if you are in a gym full of people!  The only problem is I can’t stop watching the clock on the treadmill while I’m running hard.

Davidson Simulation – if you know the trails in Davidson, North Carolina, you know the first and last mile are steep ups and downs.  So this would entail changing the slope of the machine at intervals – giving yourself a break in between.  Basically the same as above but slope, not speed.  Remember recovery interval is at 1%-2% then move it up higher every 2-3 minutes for another 2-3 minutes then back down again.  Or you can do the preslugged hill workout on the treadmill.

Tempo – after your warm up speed up the machine to your best 2 mile time plus 30 seconds per mile and run 3 miles.  Or speed up to your best 5K time plus 1 minute to the mile times and run 5 miles. So for example if I run a 2 mile time of 12 minutes then I will run 3 miles at a 6:30 pace.  If I run a 5K at 18 minutes then I will run 5 miles at a 7 minute pace. – This might not cut boredom so much but you will look good! (Pssst – don’t be afraid by those numbers, they are only examples – there is no way I can run a 12 minute 2 mile or 18 minute 5K!  Plug in your own numbers.

Accelerations – After a warm up, start increasing the speed on the treadmill every 1/2 mile by 0.1.  Go as far as you can but don’t forget to cool down at a slow pace.

The mixer – change up speed and incline as you go.  If you are running next to someone then challenge them.  Every other one, one of you calls out the speed and the incline just to make it interesting!

Finally, don’t forget to take a moment and stretch before you get off the treadmill, otherwise you might fall when it feels like you are going faster than the ground will allow!  (I’ve done this!)

Day 1:  Introduction – You are here :)
Day 2:  Start Small, Build Slow
Day 3:  It Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Day 4:  Stitches
Day 5:  Keep a Diary
Day 6:  Dangerous Thoughts
Day 7:  Week 1 Done – Some Suggestions
Day 8:  Treadmill Training – Baby it’s cold (or raining) outside
Day 9:  A Motivational Quote for You

Also, if you want more motivation, you might want to follow my Pin Board ‘Run’!