The Treadmill Challenge

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When I began training for my first marathon, I quickly became addicted to running outside. Unless the weather included lightening or snow storms, I refused to run indoors. I found the treadmill mundane and felt as if I had to drag myself through my workouts. I’ve heard clients share this same feeling in regards to the elliptical or bike as well. Once I learned how to turn the treadmill into a challenge, I discovered a whole new perspective on treadmill training.

Always spend about five minutes warming up and cooling down no matter what is involved during your workout. This prevents injury and greatly reduces soreness. Use the bulk of your workout doing intervals, sprints or hills with recovery mixed in throughout. If you are unfamiliar with this type of training, don’t worry-I have easy instructions and an example for you!

  • 5 minute warm up: gradually increase speed (6 mph to 7 mph @ .5 incline)
  • 10 30-second sprints: speed up by .5-1 mph (7.5 mph to 8 mph @ .5 incline)
  • recover for 60-90 seconds: slow down to your base pace (7mph @ .5 incline)
  • 10 30-second hills: increase incline by 3-5 (7mph @ 4.5 incline)
  • recover for 60-90 seconds: decrease incline to base level (7mph @ .5 incline)
  • 5 minute cool down: gradually decrease speed (7 mph to 6mph @ .5 incline)

*I like to alternate between the sprints and hills

This workout sample is a time challenge. What that means is you will complete the warm up, 10 sprints/10 hills, and cool down as quickly as you can. My time was 26:07. Make sure you post yours!

Now if you are a beginner or do not consider yourself a “runner,” you can easily modify this. The pace you start at is up to you, so you could actually do the entire workout walking if you want. Another option is to take this onto an elliptical or bike. On an elliptical, use the cross ramp to create your hills and the resistance to modify the intensity. On the bike, try to use a Spin bike so you can stand during the hills and also change the resistance levels throughout. This workout is what you make it!

There are so many benefits to incorporating sprints and hills into your workouts. The sprinting improves the condition of your heart and improves your aerobic endurance. And hills are absolutely fantastic for toning and strengthening your butt and thighs. Not to mention, this workout will keep your mind and body engaged the whole time. You can finally kiss your treadmill boredom goodbye!

*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!

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~by Kimberly Olson

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