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4 Treadmill Workouts From Your Favorite Runners On Instagram

Whether it’s the dark mornings, the below freezing weather or the icy roads, many of us may be forced into treadmill workouts over the next few months as training for spring races begins to pick up.

Treadmill running has a stigma of being boring and monotonous – and it definitely can be – but there are ways to make the time on the “hamster wheel” challenging and even fun! Below are some tips to help you get through your treadmill runs followed by a great hill workout and a handful of butt-kicking workouts from a few of the Saucony 26 Strong coaches. These speedy ladies have all logged their share of miles on treadmills and are pros at making the time pass quickly while getting an awesome workout in. I also post a bunch of workouts I complete on the treadmill – you can find me here.

Variation: I try to mimic running on the roads when I am on the treadmill. I never run on a flat terrain and/or the exact same pace for more than a few minutes. Play around with the incline and/or the pace, even if it’s just picking up or slowing down the pace by a few seconds. This does two things: it keeps me distracted and it helps change up the muscles I am using.

Break up the run: Much like long runs on the roads, it can be daunting if you think about how many miles you have left. I tend to focus on ½ mile segments. I concentrate on getting up to the next ½ mile, then down from that ½. And before I know it, the mile is over.

Distract yourself: When I run outside, I love to let my mind wander. I have a harder time doing this on the treadmill, so I usually use that time to catch up on TV shows I’ve missed. Or I start a new series that I only watch while running. This gives me something to look forward to when it’s time to log some longer runs.

Start Slow, Finish Fast: Treadmill runs are a great way to practice progression run or fast finish runs. You control the pace. Start a bit slower than you normally would and gradually pick up the pace as the run progresses so that each mile is a bit faster than the previous mile.

Be positive: It’s easy to moan and groan when you are stuck on the treadmill. But rather than dwell on the negative, try to focus on the positive. In lieu of being outside in that sub-0 weather or trying to do speed work on icy roads (and potentially injuring yourself), you are staying warm and getting a solid run in. It may be your last resort (as it’s mine) but the treadmill allows you to still run!

Hill Workout
Warmup: 1-2 miles
Workout:

  • 5-15 sets of:
    • 2 min @ 4.5% incline
    • 2 min @ 0% incline

Pace: Moderate effort (a bit faster than your normal easy pace). 6 out of 10 effort
Cooldown: 1-2 miles

Lindsey Hein’s Beginner Workout
Warmup: 5 min walk + 5 min easy jog
Workout

    • 10 sets of:
      • 60 seconds on (hard effort)
      • 60 seconds off (recovery)

Pace: 7 out of 10 effort
Cooldown: 5 min easy jog + 5 min walk

Jess Hofheimer’s Advanced Workout
Warmup: 1-2 miles
Workout:

      • 4 sets of:
        • 3 min @ Marathon Pace
        • 3 min @ Half Marathon Pace
        • 3 min @ 10k Pace
        • 2 min easy jog (recovery)

Pace: See notes on pace below
Cooldown: 1-2 miles

Laura Anderson’s Advanced Ladder Workout
Warmup: 10 min
Workout:

      • 5 min @ Current Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Goal Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Current Half Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Goal Half Marathon Pace
      • 2 min @ Goal 10k Pace
      • 2 min @ Goal 5k Pace
      • 2 min @ Goal 10k Pace
      • 5 min @ Goal Half Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Current Half Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Goal Marathon Pace
      • 5 min @ Current Marathon Pace

Pace: See notes on pace below
Cooldown: 10 min

One of the most important aspects of these workouts is selecting the appropriate pace. If you pick paces that are too slow, you won’t reap all of the benefits from the workout. If you choose paces that are too fast, you may not be able to physically finish the workout. Or you could complete the run but wear yourself out or cause injury.

The best way to get a good idea of what paces you should be targeting is through McMillian’s Running Calculator.

Step 1: Enter a recent race time. If you’ve raced in the last few weeks, enter your time here. If you haven’t race, take a good estimate of what you think you could run a 5k in right now – be realistic!

Step 2: Click “Calculate my paces” (Note: your goal race times are not relevant since you want to take into account where your fitness is at right now)

Step 3: “Race Times” will give you an estimate of corresponding race times. “Training Paces” will give you an estimate of paces you should aim for in training. Both of these are simply estimates – you may be better at short distances, so the time predicted for the marathon may be outside of your ability right now or vice versa.

 What is your favorite treadmill workout? Tweet @nycrunningmama and @womensrunning with your favorite!

NYC Running Mama

Michele Gonzalez is a mom of two young boys, a marathoner, Ironman and ultrarunner. She is a West Point grad and former Army Captain/Iraqi Veteran x3, as well as an ambassador for Sparkly Soul Headbands, Garmin and Generation UCAN. She blogs at NYCRunningMama.com