Mix Up Your Treadmill Workout!

I confess, I am a fair-weather runner and I’m okay admitting it! If it’s raining or snowing outside, I will choose to run inside on a treadmill! Anyone else with me?! It can be so easy to fall into the same running routine when running on a treadmill. I teamed up with Ricky Perez (MVP Metro Club Fitness Trainer) to bring you some reasons why it is important to mix up your approach to running on a treadmill and share some great treadmill workout ideas!

Why is it important to mix up treadmill workouts?

  • Avoiding Plateaus
    • From a running fitness standpoint, performing runs for the same length of time and same intensity everyday will result in your fitness to plateau. Adding variety (hills, speed work) to your running workouts will help avoid this.
  • Avoid Mental Burnout by Keeping Workouts Fresh
    • From a mental standpoint, no one likes performing the same exercises every day! Keep your treadmill workouts fresh with a variety of workouts styles that will challenge you both physically and mentally.
  • Avoid Injury
    • Running is a very repetitive motion. Changing your running pace takes your body out of its normal gait and forces new muscles to be used as you run at a faster pace or at a steeper incline. This helps reduce your risk of injury by strengthening other muscles!

*NOTE: You should be performing 7-10 minutes of light walking or jogging both before and after each workout to warm up and cool down the body! Recommend setting the treadmill at 1.0 incline to mimic the added stress you would experience while running outside.

Option 1: Strength Workouts

  • Workout Focus: “Strength” workouts focus on building a runner’s aerobic strength. Runs are usually performed AT OR SLOWER than race pace. These types of workouts should be longer, steady state heart rate runs.
  • Workout Examples:
    • 12/10 Split Tempo (Time Based Workout)
      • 12-minute Tempo at goal 5k race pace
      • 2-minute recovery jog/walk
      • 10-minute Tempo at goal 5k race pace
    • Half Mile Repeats (Distance Based Workout)
      • Half Mile (0.50 on treadmill) run at goal 5k race pace – REPEAT 6 TIMES
      • Take 1-5-minute recovery between half miles based on fitness level

Option 2: Speed Workouts

  • Workout Focus: For those runners interested in competing, if you want to race fast you need to get out of your comfort zone and run hard, fast workouts a couple days per week. These workouts should be short, high intensity heart rate runs!
  • Workout Examples:
    • 30 ON / 90 OFF (Time Based Workout)
      • 30 second SPRINT EFFORT followed by 90 second RECOVERY WALK/JOG
      • Repeat 8-10 intervals!
    • 200 Meter Repeats (Distance Based Workout)
      • 200-meter (~0.12 on treadmill) SPRINT!
      • Take the time it takes you to complete the 200m sprint and multiply it by 3 to find your recovery time!
      • Repeat 5-8 intervals!

Option 3: Hill Workouts

  • Workout Focus: Hill training is great for increasing overall muscular strength as well as improving running economy. These improvements will make you more efficient, resulting in less energy spent over the course of a run!
  • Workout Examples:
    • Rolling Hills (Time Based Workout)
      • 20-minute run over rolling hills (ex: 60 seconds at 5+% incline, 60 seconds at 1% incline)
      • Repeat for 20 minutes
      • Focus is to maintain pace throughout hill workout. You do not need to sprint up or down hills.
    • Hill Sprints (Distance Based Workout)
      • Set treadmill to 7% incline and sprint hard for 1 tenth of a mile (0.10)
      • Repeat 8-10 sprints
      • Take the time it takes you to sprint uphill 3x as recovery (Ex: 12 second sprint = 36 second recovery walk)

Let us know how these workouts go for you and Run Strong!

Juanita and Ricky

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