It’s almost winter time, and in some parts of the world we’re already faced with sub-zero temperatures and snowy terrain:
To some it’s the best time to drop the hammer and train even harder (me included). To others this is a nightmare… The days get shorter, the evenings get darker and much colder, not to speak about the slippery paths. Thus many transfer their training to a treadmill.
However, rarely does anyone truly enjoy a treadmill workout. You probably experienced the wuzzy feeling after you step down from one – your body moves faster than your mind perceives. This is a mismatch between muscle memory conditioned to unnaturally moving ground and the optic flow. It feels disorienting and dizzy. And that’s not even mentioning the boredom that comes with training on a treadmill.
What if I told you that treadmill workouts can be more than a grind?
Enter the world of easy yet challenging treadmill runs
The basic protocol for this type of workout goes as follows:
- Set treadmill to max incline. If you’re lucky to train on a more expensive treadmill, it can reach up to 30-40% of incline! For the rest of us 15-20% will do the trick.
- Adjust the speed according to your heart rate. This type of workout is oriented towards maintaining and improving the aerobic base. You should aim to go long and slow. Forget about the speed and cashing out for now — this can be added just before the racing season starts. A stronger base is crucial to improving stamina and running speed. As for the heart rate, here’s how you calculate your HR zones and aerobic base rate.
- Set a timer for 45-120mins. Depending on your current level of fitness you might need to start off easy.
- Keep your head up. To stay motivated and boost morale you can try one of the following: listen to audiobooks, catch up on your favorite shows, split the workout into efforts. I like to split my workouts into: 8mins of running followed by 2mins of walking or doing burpees. You won’t believe how fast the time flies when you split a workout into bite-sized chunks.
Ready to give it a go?
One last note:
There are a 3 reasons why training at an incline is beneficial for any endurance athlete:
- It’s impossible to run in bad form. Your body mechanics are going to adjust to gravity, e.g. you won’t be able to heel strike.
- Your body mechanics adapt to incline terrain. This means you won’t only be better at running uphill, but you’ll be faster when it comes to easier, flat terrain.
- Running uphill makes you a badass. When the race day comes you’ll also lap everyone else who trained on flat terrain.