Treadmill running is an easy way to start working on your speed and endurance. Yes, the machine does *some* of the work for you but you can still get a killer workout.
Runners tend to love or loathe treadmills. Regardless of where you stand, treadmills do have benefits including being able to still run safely and comfortably when it’s dark or in wet or cold weather as well as the ability to control your training parameters.
Good treadmills also provide a softer landing for runners compared to bitumen or concrete, which helps to reduce the impact on your joints and lowers the chances of injuries such as knee pain and stress fractures.
Despite opposing opinions, research has found that running on a treadmill is the same as running outside, so long as you make some adjustments. Setting the treadmill to a one percent incline mimics the effort you would have put in if you were overcoming wind resistance on an outdoor run over uneven terrain. s
Remember, that treadmills typically require less work from the runners because the belt does some of the work, so if you want a solid indoor training session, you need to increase the incline and workload so you’re not cheating yourself.
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You can convert almost any outdoor running workout to the treadmill but be sure to warm-up first with some dynamic stretches and a brisk walk or light jog for five to 10 minutes. Here are five types of workouts that are ideal for indoor training.
Tabata for endurance – four minutes
20 seconds sprinting at the safest maximum speed possible then jump one foot on each side of the treadmill and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times.
Fartlek for speed – 20 to 30 minutes
This is one of the best methods for improving speed, endurance and stamina. It involves short bursts of sprints in your race-pace or tempo run. Unlike interval training where you alternate between a slow and fast pace, this workout will see you switching between a fast run and a sprint. Run at a fast pace for two minutes and then sprint for 30 seconds.
Hill sprints for stamina – 20 minutes
This workout mimics an outdoor hill session. Gradually increase the incline and sprint uphill for one minute as fast as you can and then jog downhill for one minute at a moderate pace. The beauty of doing this session on a treadmill is that you can choose the incline and gradually build up to it.
Follow this incline workout: 4 percent up, 0 percent down, 6 percent up, 0 percent down, 8 percent up, 0 percent down, 10 percent up, 0 percent down, 12 percent up, 0 percent down, 10 percent up, 0 percent down, 8 percent up, 0 percent down, 6 percent up, 0 percent down and 4 percent up, 0 percent down (with the last one being a sprint).
Tempo for long-distance
Training for long events such as half and full marathons should involve a weekly tempo run. A tempo run is a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run.
Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success – your metabolic fitness. A tempo run is easy to do on a treadmill. Start with a jog and build up to a comfortably hard pace and then maintain it for 20 minutes. Circuit training
Change up a boring treadmill jog, and get your entire body involved. Perform a circuit of a 300m sprint, then jump off the treadmill for 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, 15 squats, and 15 dumbbell curls into an overhead press. Finish with a one-minute plank. Rest one minute and perform three, four, or five circuits for a varied and challenging session. There’s hardly a muscle in your body that won’t be utilised in this circuit.
If you don’t have the confidence to try these workouts on your own, then get some help from these terrific digital treadmill training tools.
Apple Fitness+ treadmill workouts
Apple Fitness+ treadmill workouts use different inclines and speeds to help you go farther, get faster and burn calories at your own pace. Each treadmill workout features ‘Getting Started’ videos that show how to safely set up the equipment and introduce proper form and technique.
The Fitness+ treadmill trainers curate their playlists, so the music is perfectly mapped around builds and beat drops to power your workout – ensuring you always get amazing music, tailored to keep you moving. There are loads of treadmill workouts that range from 10 to 45 minutes, and all levels include modifications.
Zwift’s elite coaches craft workouts to make you the runner you want to become. The free programs are tailored to your fitness level and easy to follow, taking the guesswork out of training and making it fun.
Whether you’re prepping for a 5K, half marathon, or triathlon event, your training needs are covered. Head out solo or join a group workout and dig into post-run metrics to have your best season yet. Find your friends and run laps with them in real-time, by connecting to third party apps like Strava and Garmin Connect.