I know, I know, you immediately think I’m crazy for 1) liking the treadmill and 2) running on all year long. But before you say the treadmill is the most boring thing ever, just hear me out for a second.
The treadmill is a tool that lots of professional triathletes frequently use. For one, it is a great way to get an uninterrupted run (no stop lights!). Additionally, it provides a way to work on speed, leg turnover and specific paces, in a controlled environment. And finally, it is convenient. The treadmill is not a fair weather friend. Rain or shine or snow, the treadmill always provides an option for getting in a solid run.
So just how do we make running on the treadmill tolerable?
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Create a structured workout. and arrive at the gym with it memorized or written down. Having a plan helps the time go by quicker and the structure will keep you focused.
Own it. Bring all your gear with you to the treadmill and spread it out in like you own the place. Arrange your water bottle, snacks, iPod, and anything else you may need so that it can be easily reached during the workout. This will be your home for the next hour, so make it cozy.
Warm up. It's important to start all workouts with 15 minutes easy to test out the treadmill and get used to it. Not all treadmills are the same so take a few minutes to figure out how it works. Then, get off and do 5 minutes of drills and stretching to get your body ready for the more intense part of the workout.
Build into it. If you are doing speedwork or intervals, take up to 30 seconds to build into your desired pace. This will give your legs a chance to find their rhythm and will save yourself the embarrassment of getting spit off the back of the machine!
Learn the Treadmill Hop. When your interval comes to an end, slow down the pace a few ticks and then hop off. Hold on to the side rails and straddle the moving treadmill by placing your feet on either side of it. Practice this at slower speeds first until you get the hang of it – we don’t want anyone to fall off!
Cool down. Always finish a treadmill run with a good cool down of 5 to 10 minutes. To stay focused during this last section, I like to decrease the speed every 30 seconds or 1 minute until the end of the run.
Doesn't seem so bad now, does it? If the pros do it, so can you!