My 2 Treadmill Tips

>> Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday night, I did 13 miles on a treadmill. With no TV, no music, and no reading material - simply my reflection in the mirror and the numbers counting up on the display in front of me.

It's a good "mental toughness" sort of a workout. I have 2 minor things that I like to do to help the run stay strong, and I think they are things other people could benefit from.

#1. NEGATIVE SPLIT THE "HARD" MILES. This isn't a groundbreaking idea - lots of people do that on treadmills. It gives me "something to do" every mile or 2. It helps keep me from going super numb while running on a suckmill for that long.

On Thursday, I warmed up for 2 miles, and then I ONLY sped up.

- Miles 3 and 4 were done at 8.5 mph (7:02 / mile)
- Miles 5 and 6 were done at 8.9 mph (6:44 / mile)
- Mile 7 was done at 9.2 mph (6:38)
- Mile 8 was done at 9.4 mph (6:22)
- Mile 9 was done at 9.7 mph (6:10)
- Mile 10 was done at 10.0 mph (6:00)
- Miles 11-13 were easy as cool down

My second point is related to the first one:

#2. END EACH MILE TRYING TO RUN "EASY" BEFORE UPPING THE SPEED. I started doing this 2 winters ago, and I like it. It gives me something else to focus on for a while.

Here's what I mean: let's say I'm running mile 8. For the last 1/4 mile or so of mile 8, I ONLY focus on making it feel as easy as possible. I know I'm not slowing down - I have the treadmill set to 9.4 mph. But if there's an adjustment I can make to my stride, my breathing, or my arms to make it feel easier, I DO IT.

The idea is that by the time I have to bump up the speed, I feel like I've been running "easy," and I NEED to bump up the speed. (Sure, this sounds great in theory, but I'm still hurting near the end of those harder miles.)

So here's my Tip of the Week for treadmill running: Try upping the pace as you go, and focus on running as smoothly / easily as you can before cranking up the speed each time.


A quick plea: The winners of the "Endurance Blog of the Year" will be announced on on Monday, so that means you have less than 2 days to still vote for me! Please vote on the poll below (or click here to go to the poll on the contest's website).

Thanks everyone!!

p.s. I did a "max out" sort of swim the day before my long treadmill run. It was the 3rd time I've done this swim workout. It contained a long WU, then five 100s ALL OUT with lots of rest. Click here to find the workout on my Examiner page. And if you're looking for other winter workouts, check out this VO2 Max treadmill workout, or this treadmill "step-down" workout, or this strength routine to add power to your swim.

But more importantly, don't forget to vote for Steve in a Speedo as "Endurance Blog of the Year" by voting above or by clicking here. THANKS!! Happy weekend!!

4 comments:

Sean in NY 4:34 PM, January 15, 2011  

Jesus, Steve! You start faster than I finish (that's what she said!). My main treadmill goal is to negative-split the entire treadmill run. Do you set the treadmill at an incline when you're running to try and mimic outdoor running? I always have mine set at 1.0. I'd also be interested if any other readers have comments on how they get through a treadmill run (w/o music or tv). Thanks!

Steve Stenzel 7:25 PM, January 15, 2011  

Ha! Hey Sean, I keep my treadmill at 0 incline. I know you're supposed to set it around 1-2 degrees like you do to mimic outdoor running. But with my Achilles issues, I'd rather keep it flat for the run and just understand that it's a bit faster than I can ACTUALLY run.

Does anyone else have thoughts on how to get through a boring treadmill run for Sean? Thanks!

SteveQ 12:33 PM, January 16, 2011  

In case you or your readers haven't heard: the Metrodome will be open to running again Tuesday!

Big daddy 10:49 AM, January 17, 2011  

I too like to play with the speed to keep things interesting, but I just tend to modulate it, not to try and negative split the run. Good tip though-one I plan to use in the future.

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