You are a woman who enjoys running, yet you can't always run outside due to the weather. Running on a treadmill gets you by, but it's not the same as your running workouts outside. Instead of the same old treadmill routine, try some intense treadmill workouts that can give you a great workout indoors on those days when the weather is an issue.
Prior to starting the indoor hills workout, warm up for five to 10 minutes. Start running on the treadmill at a moderate pace -- 30 seconds slower per mile than your most recent 5K. Every 30 seconds, increase the incline by 2 degrees until you reach 12 degrees of incline. Run at this incline for one minute, and then decrease the incline by 2 degrees every 30 seconds. Complete three to five hills like this. If you need more difficultly, increase your speed by half a mile per hour, or increase the incline up to 14 degrees for each hill.
A fartlek workout involves alternating easy running with hard running. After a five- to 10-minute warm-up, you will begin alternating between one-minute of easy running and one-minute of hard running. For the easy minute, choose a pace that is 30 to 60 seconds slower per mile than your most recent 5K. For the hard minute, choose a pace that is 30 to 45 seconds per mile faster than your most recent 5K. Every minute, you will need to change the speed from the easy pace to the fast pace. Alternate between easy and hard for 20 to 30 minutes, and then cool down. If either pace seems too fast or too slow, make adjustments, but make sure there is a large enough gap between fast and slow to notice a difference.
Progressive intervals are one of the toughest treadmill workouts for women. After your warm up, start running at an easy to moderate pace, much slower than race pace. From there, you will increase the speed by half a mile per hour every 30 seconds. Continue to do this until you reach a speed that is very difficult for you to maintain, then set your speed back to your starting pace for two minutes. Repeat these progressive intervals for 20 to 30 minutes, making sure not to run so fast that you feel as if you are going to fall off the back of the treadmill.
A tempo run is simply a constant speed run that is near race pace. Warm up for five to 10 minutes, and then set the treadmill at a pace that is 10 to 15 seconds slower than your race pace. You will run at this pace for two to three miles. Although not quite as fast as your race pace, the tempo run is still very fast, and is effective at helping you to improve your race times. Make sure to maintain a constant breathing rate and relax your stride. Cool down for 10 minutes following your tempo run.
- Runner's World: Treadmill Workouts
- Core Performance; Mark Verstegen
- High-Performance Sports Conditioning; Bill Foran
Scotty Brunning is a Chicago-based health and fitness writer. Having worked with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, he has a plethora of fitness experience. He is an ACSM-certified health fitness specialist and a Cooper Institute master fitness specialist. Brunning holds a master's degree in health and fitness.