This last stretch of bitter cold, unpredictable snow storms and early night fall can be pretty cumbersome, especially when you want to get outside to train for running season. Winter weather may force you to hop on the treadmill, but after reading this, you’ll thank us for a dose of tough treadmill love.
Depending on your taste, treadmill running may not tickle your fancy because you feel it doesn’t offer the same benefits of running outdoors. However, there are some key advantages and workout schedules that will propel you to the head of the pack this season.
Here is a quick list of benefits before we get to the race training guide:
- Cushioned treadmills reduce stress on bones and joints
- They’re great for pace training (for beginners)
- No need to worry about dodging traffic or other pedestrians
- Safely run indoors at night
- Plan and track goals easily
Race training requires discipline
Before beginning any new workout schedule, dust off that treadmill manual, or download it to your computer to fully learn how to get the most out of training. Pay particular attention to how your machine tracks distance, running times, speed, incline percentages, heart rate and calories burned. Unlike hitting the pavement or a trail, treadmills can act as your silent coach during winter race training. To go a step further, keep a log of this information to track your progress.
Your silent treadmill coach is only controlling the quality of your physical workout; you have to conquer the mental challenges associated with longer runs. Because you’re training for a specific outdoor race indoors, you have time train your mind to focus on breathing, stride, and exertion which are key components to avoiding fatigue and the burns. Of course we all need distractions at some point so have your favorite tunes ready to go!
RACE TRAINING WORKOUTS
Specific Course Training
Designing your workout to emulate the inclines and stretches of your favorite or goal race is a great way to train. This will help you get used to certain challenges associated with that race way ahead of time.
Getting used to certain hills in your race will prepare you mentally and physically because you’ll have an, “I’ve done this a million times before” attitude when the time comes to show and prove.
Shake things up
Spontaneity is the spice of life. Running at the same pace and on the same incline will get extremely boring! It’s inevitable!
Keep your muscles guessing by mixing up the speed and incline intervals at random. Begin with a 10 minute warm up, 20 minutes of random intervals and end with a cool down for a new work out every time.
To add more spice to your workout, lengthen and shorten your running times to workout different groups of muscles in different ways. Just remember to offer more intensity in your shorter workouts.
Paced Sitcom Tempo Run
Perfecting tempo can be an uphill battle. Learning how to get your tempo right on the treadmill is a safe way to get ahead. Inexperienced runners tend to go too fast or too slow, and that will hasten pace training results. Once you’ve entered your target pace, the treadmill makes sure you stay at the right speed.
Start with a 10-minute warm up, and move up to your tempo pace. Jog during commercials, and resume the faster pace when the show comes back on. Cool down for five minutes.
Timed Ladder Workout
One effective use of treadmill time is the ladder workout. This works well if you have a limited window for running. Start by warming up with a 10- to 15-minute jog. Then, run four minutes at half-marathon pace. Jog one minute. Run three minutes at your 10K pace. Jog a minute. Run two minutes at your 5K pace. Jog a minute. Run one minute all out. Jog a minute, then come back down the ladder in the same fashion. Cool down with at least five minutes of jogging. This will take 40 minutes.
Regardless, of your running experience, or time set aside for working out, there is a plan here for fit your running needs. Don’t let old man winter slow you down, or you’ll be at the back of the pack this spring. Get a head start now by showing your treadmill some need quality time.