Treadmill Speed Workout: Maxing Out!

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2021

I did an ALL OUT treadmill run on Friday. Here's a link to when I last talked about this 8 years ago. The workout is simple: after a bit of a warm-up, you crank up the treadmill by 0.5 mph every 60 seconds until you're dead. Here's a bit about the workout from that post:

[April 2013]

I ran 2 miles easy in 15:48 (around 7.5 mph), and then started the guts of the workout. As I sped it up every 60 seconds, I tried to make sure I was ending each minute by "running easy" - I wanted to keep it feeling easy and not labored (even if it WAS getting tough).

My 0.5 mile splits as I was speeding up were:

3:29 (6:58 pace)
2:56 (5:52 pace)
2:36 (5:12 pace)

I made it past 12.0 mph, 12.5 mph, and I held 13.0 mph for about 15 seconds to finish another 0.25 mile in about 1:10. Those final 75 seconds were killer: 12.5 mph is 4:48 pace and 13.0 mph is 4:36 pace! So the heart of the workout was 1.75 miles in 10:11 (average of 5:49 pace).

(Yes, it was a bit easier because I was on a treadmill, but I still use it as a bit of a gauge of fitness.)

So that's ALMOST the longest I've ever lasted for that workout! I did 1 minute at 12.0 mph, another minute at 12.5 mph, and then 15 seconds at 13.0 mph, whereas my best in the past was somewhere around 3 minutes at 12.0 mph.

I was aware of those times from 8 years ago when I hopped on my treadmill last week. I also knew that our treadmill maxed out at 12.0 mph, so the goal was to see if I could hold 3 minutes like I referenced in that post above from 8 years ago.

I told Henry I was going to be running at the treadmill's max speed, and he told me to call him down when I was doing that - he wanted to see the treadmill moving that fast. So I called him down just after I hit 11.5 mph, and he was there when I cranked it up to 12.0 mph:


Henry's first pic of me as I watch the speed increase.


His pic of me running 12.0 (even though there's no look of speed in this photo - dammit).


End of the workout. That gentle looking incline in the graph
in the middle is the climb to 12 mph. Looks can be deceiving

I warmed up around 7.5-7.9 mph, and then I started the "speed" of the workout with a bump up to 8.0 mph. I increased the speed every minute by 0.5 mph, and I ran 0.5 mile splits of:

[last week]

3:32 (7:04 pace)
2:58 (5:56 pace)
2:37 (5:14 pace)
0:58 (0.2 miles, 5:00 pace)

1.70 miles in 10:05 (average of 5:55.9 pace)

I finished with 2 minutes at 12.0 mph (that's 5:00/mile pace), so I wasn't able to hit 3 minutes like I had hoped. I was done. My legs were REALLY flying - I had missed that feeling.

Oh, and notice those splits are 1-3 seconds slower than when I did it at our old Y 8 years ago even though the speed was the same. I think that's completely due to the fact that our treadmill is not a "professional" model and therefore it's slow to change speeds. No biggie. Fun workout. But not doing that again for a while...

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