I have a “15/15 rule” for determining when it is time to hit the treadmill: If it’s below 15 degrees with over 15-mph winds I will stay inside and run on the dreadmill. Here are my top suggestions on how to make running on a treadmill at least a little more appealing so that you don’t skip your workout:
Keep It Interesting: Did you notice all those buttons during your last run on the treadmill? You probably didn’t since you were so unmotivated and the most you could manage was hitting the “Quick Start” button. Next time you’re on it, play around with the speed and incline buttons to create your own unique workout. You already know that if you mix up your run you’ll be constantly engaging your mind as well as your body, and the same holds true on the treadmill. Here’s a workout I like a lot that you can try too:
- 10-minute jogging warm-up at 2.0 incline
- 3-minute run at half-marathon pace with 4.0 incline
- 2-minute recovery at jogging pace with 4.0 incline
- 3-minute run at half-marathon pace with 4.5 incline
- 2-minute recovery at jogging pace with 4.5 incline
- 3-minute run at half-marathon pace with 5.0 incline
- 2-minute recovery at jogging pace with 5.0 incline
- 10-minute jogging cool-down at 2.0 incline
I start and end this workout with my normal stretching routine.
Try a Brick Workout: A brick workout is when you combine two or more sports into the same workout. You simply transition from one activity to the next without stopping or resting for more than the time it takes to get your shoes changed. Brick workouts are the bread and butter of many triathletes and something worth taking note of for us runners.
Start by simply going to a Spin class at your gym and giving a strong, consistent effort there. When the class is over, make your way to the treadmill where you will run at a significant incline and low speed to get your heart rate to the equivalent of a marathon or half-marathon pace for 20 to 60 minutes (I run at a 2.5 incline and 7.5 speed, for example). The result is an incredible blend of strength and endurance that passes quickly and won’t make you bored!
Now that you have the workouts to get you through indoor-training days, it’s time to find the perfect treadmill for you. Here are a few tips:
- If you’ve been using a specific type of treadmill at your local gym, start your research with that brand and/or model, as this will be the one most familiar and comfortable to you.
- Enlist the help of consumer reviews; no treadmill should be purchased without visiting Consumer Reports or TreadmillReviews.net.
- Have a budget in mind and stick to it! Everyone wants a zero-gravity AlterG, but trust me, that will break the bank for most people and you can find a sturdy, reliable model for much less.
- Measure the space (including the height) where you will put the treadmill before you start shopping. You don’t want to get home to find out the one you chose doesn’t fit in your spare bedroom or your head hits the basement ceiling when you run.
- Find a place for your treadmill that is not the bedroom you sleep in. It’s important to separate where you sleep from where you work out.