A quick jump on the treadmill at home might be more convenient than a 20-minute commute to the gym! The goal in this article is to show you how treadmill training can be useful and totally not “boring and stale”. So, let’s get right to it.
Let’s get right into the bread and butter of treadmill training. Most treadmills come with different training sessions already baked into them, all you need to do is hop on and follow the treadmills instructions. It might start of slow and increase the speed progressively until the end or it might have you doing sprint repeats. Let’s have a look at the most common pre-made workout options on most treadmills:
I challenge anyone who thinks treadmill running sucks to get through this training session. A lot of runners don’t have easy access to challenging hills – so this one will definitely be a kick in the butt. After a warm-up at an easy pace the treadmill will increase its inclination to simulate running uphill. The twist here is that you’re not just running up one hill… you’re continually going through periods of high and low inclination in order to ‘reach the top of the hill’! It’s definitely a tough session that will have you lying on the floor with your calves on fire.
Hill Climbs smaller sibling, the hill run will still challenge you, albeit to a smaller degree. The inclination on this workout won’t be as intense as the hill climb – this one is perfect after a hips and core strengthening session.
This session is similar to what you’d do on the road. After a warm-up period the treadmill will increase its speed in order to raise your heart rate. After a few moments (depends on what the treadmill brand as pre-defined this to) it will slow back down to a recovery pace but don’t get too comfortable – most interval training sessions have 3, 4 or maybe even 5 repetitions!
This one might come in handy during the holiday season. The weight loss workout is structured in a way that will continually increase your speed, in a controlled and sustainable manner, until the end of the workout. This means that you might start at a 6:00 minute per km pace and finish running at 5:20.
HOW SPEED WORKS
Some people stray away from pre-made workouts because there is a false idea that they won’t be able to keep up with the pace the treadmill sets for them. However, since you’re running on a machine, you can always adjust the intensity in real time. If the current pre-set pace seems too hard, slow it down a little.
Treadmills don’t have set paces for pre-made workouts. The way they increase and decrease their speed is using percentages. If the pre-set speed was a 5:00 minute kilometer and the machine is programmed to increase your pace by 30% in interval training, then you will be running at 3:50min p/km.
However, if this is too fast for and you slowed it down to 6:30, your interval running speed will still increase by 30% which in this case means you’ll be running each interval at a 5:00min p/km pace.
The calculations may be more advanced than this, but this is the general notion. A treadmill wont force you to run at a certain speed if you cannot handle it!
TURN UP THE INTENSITY
Remember that the pre-made sessions already come with the easiest setting dialed in. If you’re ready for a harder session or if you’re a more experienced runner be sure to ramp up the intensity before you start. To do this simply choose the session you want to start and increase the intensity (usually by pressing the ‘up’ arrow) before pressing the START button.
Alright, this one can be difficult, but it will definitely make the treadmill a lot more fun. This mode will allow you to create your own workout. In this mode you can set how long the warm-up period is, you can input speed and inclination increases along the run and you can also create a cool-down period. It may take a while to set up but once it’s done you’ve got nothing to worry about (other than surviving your own workout)!
Another way to approach the manual mode is to simply hop on the treadmill and start running. As you run, play around with increasing and decreasing the speed and inclination – if you’re feeling adventurous, this will definitely give you a good workout!
No watching movies on your phone! I’m in a gym environment every day and sometimes I see people using the treadmill while watching movies on their phone. I understand that some people like to ‘escape the treadmill’ by watching videos while they are running but I always advise against this! If you think the treadmill is boring – try one of the pre-made sessions (like the ones mentioned above!). Watching videos will simply draw your attention away from the running itself and possibly throw your running technique out of the window. Music and podcasts are ok in my opinion because you can still keep an eye on your arms and legs, while movies have the tendency to suck all of your attention onto the screen. Focus on running and anticipate (prepare) yourself for the next sprint period.
Running on a treadmill is useful, especially when compared to skipping out on a workout. So, shake off the stubbornness and hop on a treadmill! Don’t content yourself with 20 minutes of continuous running – mix it up and add some sprints and inclination into the mix!
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