Embracing the Treadmill

December 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Latest Thoughts

With the onset of winter comes less daylight & tricky footing forcing many athletes to complete their runs on the “dreadmill”.  While the treadmill can seem daunting and mentally stale, it is possible to get quality sessions completed with the fun factor in-tact.  Here are some guidelines and four treadmill sessions to maximize your winter run training while embracing the time indoors.

Helpful TipsTreadmill image

  • Set treadmill at 1% grade for all runs aside from any specific hill reps.  This will ensure you are running closer to the feel of running outdoors.
  • Always have a towel and bottle with water or electrolyte drink on hand with increased sweat rate.
  • Use of a small fan may help keep you cooler and more comfortable and be sure you have good ventilation.
  • Don’t “race” your neighbor.  Stick to your specific workout and don’t worry about what speed or grade the person next to you is running.
  • Include some light stretching after WU and a few minutes of easy walking before you get off the treadmill to re-establish your equilibrium/balance.

Training Sessions

#1 – Buffer Buffs Hill Reps (one of our CU triathlon team sessions)

  • WU:  15’ easy jogging w/4×20’’ bursts and 40’’ easy for recovery at the end.
  • 45’’ hard z3-4HR/5k effort at 4-6% grade.  Get off treadmill and do 5 squat jumps.
  • 15’’ sprint z5HR at 4-6% grade.  Get off treadmill and do 20 high knee skips.
  • 45’’ moderate z2-3HR/half marathon effort at 4-6% grade.  Get off treadmill and do 10 push-ups.
  • 45’’ fast uphill z3HR/10k effort at 4-6% grade.  Get off treadmill and do 10 split squat jumps.
  • 45’’ moderate z2-3HR/half marathon effort at 1% grade.  Get off treadmill and do 10 double leg hops.
  • 1:30 fast z3HR/10k effort at 1% grade.
  • Rest 2-3’ walking/standing on edge of treadmill.  Repeat pattern 3-4 times.
  • CD: 10’ easy jogging with final 2-3’ walking.

#2 – Split Tempo Run

  • WU:  15’ easy jogging.
  • 10’ HRz2/RPE 3-5.
  • 5’ HRz3/RPE 6-8.
  • 2’ HRz1/RPE 1-2.
  • 5’ HR z3/RPE 6-8.
  • CD:  10-20’ easy.

#3 – Ramp Ups

  • WU:  15-20’ building effort to top of z2HR/RPE 3-5.
  • Starting at the speed where you ended your WU, increase treadmill speed by .5 every ¼ mile until you max out.
  • Note that speed and then run 5’ easy.
  • Complete 4-6×45’’ intervals at your max.  Recovery is 1’ easy jogging.
  • CD:  easy jogging for duration of time.

#4 – 1’ Efforts + 1k

  • WU:  10-15’ easy with 4×20’’ bursts and 40’’ easy jogging for recovery.
  • 2-4x(1’ moderate/RPE 3-7 w/30’’ rest after each. Include 1k at 5-10k pace after #4 of each set).
  • Walk/jog easy for 2-3’ between sets.
  • CD:  5-10’ easy.


Happy Running!


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