Ramp Up Your Treadmill Workout

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by Casey McIlvaine

treadmill workoutSummertime means warm weather, lots of sunshine, and longer days. With that comes outdoor activities and taking your indoor workouts, outdoors. Running on the roads or tracks are a great way to spend some time outside, while also getting your workouts in. But, there are times when that just isn’t possible, thanks to Mother Nature. Summer thunderstorms are the pits – but cranking up that treadmill doesn’t have to be.  If the weather’s preventing you from tackling those hills, try some of these treadmill workouts those with their personal trainer certificate recommend as a change of pace to keep your cardio workouts fresh.

TV training
Many people use the TV on their treadmill as a way to distract them and to pass the time while they’re running on the treadmill. But, it can also be used to help you structure your workout. Half-hour TV shows typically last for 22 minutes, with eight minutes of commercials. Run hard for 22 minutes and take your breaks during the eight minutes of commercials. If your treadmill or gym doesn’t have TVs, you can also use music in a similar way. Run hard for one song and then take a break on the next song.

Stack the cards
Take four index cards, and on each card write one word: Run, run fast, jog, or walk. Put the cards in an envelope and keep them on top of the treadmill’s control panel. Do a warm up for one mile and after that, pick a card, without looking at the words, out of the envelope. Do the exercise that is written on the card for about three to four minutes. If it says run, begin with an easy pace, likewise, if it says jog, go at your warm-up or cooldown pace. When the card says run fast, go fast enough that you’re pushing yourself, but don’t go so fast that you’re really going all out. The variety and change of pace of this workout will bring a nice change to your standard treadmill routine.

Climb the ladder
Why try to reinvent the wheel, when this classic speed drill is already right there waiting for you? The ladder gradually increases the length of your intervals by one to two minutes, as opposed to sticking with a series of equal-length intervals. When you complete your climb up the ladder, you’ll decrease the intervals by the same increments on your way back down the ladder.

Here is one example of a ladder workout:

One-mile warm up
Pick up your pace for two minutes
Slow down and recover for two to three minutes
Four-minute pace pickup
Four-to five-minute recovery
Six-minute pace pickup
Six-to seven-minute recovery

Once you complete your climb up the ladder interval, climb back down in the same increments:

Six-minute pace pickup
Six- to seven-minute recovery
Four-minute pace pickup
Four-to five-minute recovery
Two-minute pace pickup
Two- to three-minute recovery
Cool down

Try these and beat boredom on the treadmill for good!

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