Learning to Love the Treadmill

treadmill-runnerIt’s that time of year when there are fewer daylight hours, the kids are home from school on holiday breaks, and it can be cold outside, possibly even icy or snowy. These are all reasons that you may not be able to head outside for a run or walk – but it doesn’t mean you have to lose momentum when it comes to your health and fitness.

Many people do not enjoy spending time on the treadmill, but there are ways to keep your workout from becoming boring. The beauty of the treadmill is that you are in a controlled environment where you can try new paces. It is also the only place that I encourage you to use headphones while running. You can even set the treadmill at a 1-2% incline to simulate running outside.

If you have to take to the treadmill, you can make the time pass more quickly with a structured workout. Here are some workouts to try:

Hill Repeats
After your warmup, put the treadmill at the fast end of your easy day pace. Increase the incline for 2-3 minutes and then take it back down to 1-2%. Try any incline from 5-15%. You can do this for the duration of your run for that day, but don’t forget to cool down.

Progression Run
Start the run at an easy warmup pace. Afterwards, slowly increase the pace each mile until you are at race pace or faster. The goal would be to hold that pace for a half mile to a mile. Finally, do a slow cooldown to finish.

If you want to do intervals on the treadmill, here is a guide to common interval distances:

0.25 is ¼ mile or 400 meters

0.50 is ½ mile or 800 meters

0.75 is 3/4 mile or 1,200 meters


Good luck, and have fun mixing it up on the treadmill!

– Amy Begley, Atlanta Track Club Coach

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