I love running, and I love talking to people about running. Running is something that is so basic, you can do it almost anywhere, and it doesn’t take a lot of stuff. You just do it, simple as that. However, I haven’t always loved running. It’s something I’ve learn to love over the years, like broccoli and mouthwash. It’s good for you.
From talking to people, it seems like the biggest opponent to running is pretty basic: time. Finding the time is half the battle. Between my 9-5 job with the hour commute, daily stuff like cooking and cleaning, spending time with the hubby, and (oh my gosh, no way) relaxing, the weekdays get eaten up pretty quickly. In order for me to get a good run in, most days I have to run early…like really early. I try to wake-up by 5am, and I am happy if I am running by 6am.
Because it’s normally dark when I need to run, and because our apartment is surrounded by highways, I am forced to rely heavily on the treadmill. I don’t hate the treadmill as much as other people do: it allows me to control my workout, the bathroom is close by, and I get to catch up on the news (TV options at 6am are limited: it’s CNN or informercials). However, I do agree that the treadmill can get boring from time to time.
While training for my first marathon, I have made it my mission to make the treadmill into an awesome training tool.
I have come up with some workouts that are beneficial because:
- I my change speed and incline, offering variety for my muscles
- The changes in speed and incline help blast through extra calories
- They involve some thinking, which makes my time on the treadmill go by faster
- The variety of incline and speed help simulate an outdoor run
I have included one of my favorite workouts below. Please keep in mind that I am not a personal trainer. I am simply someone that has been running for a long time, and I have learn to listen to my body. Don’t do this workout if you are just starting out. Listen to your body and stop if something feels off. This workout should training you, not hurt you.
The purple section is meant to be 5-6 miles. It doesn’t mean you have to do 5-6 miles. If you are up to 2 miles, do it for 2 miles! It’s a great workout, no matter how far you go.
I start at a moderate incline and pace for the first 0.25 miles, increase the incline to a steeper (but manageable incline) for the next 0.25 miles, recover with no incline for 0.25 miles, and finish the last 0.25 miles at a tempo pace. Tempo pace should be about 0.5 mph (0.5 min/mile) faster than your race pace.
The red section is the last mile, and with all the changes in speed, it goes by very quickly. Every 0.1 mile, I change the speed, cycling from an easy pace to a tempo pace. This is my favorite part: I’m almost done, I get to go really fast, and I also get to rest a little.
Try this workout and let me know your thoughts! Also, let me know if you’d like to connect on RunKeeper. We can race!