When we mention treadmill, most people think dreadmill; the back drop of the gym is monotonous, there’s no fresh air or sunshine and if you slog through the same workout every time, the tedium is real. However, with the right plan, treadmills can offer much-needed variety and even a burst of motivation. And with the days getting shorter and the weather dicier, there’s no better time to experiment.
Treadmills also allow you to see yourself progressing, says Jill Bishop Korn, a Washington, D.C.-based exercise physiologist. “The numbers are right there in front of you,” Korn says. “For people who like to measure, it’s a motivator.” There’s also the control factor: Treadmills allow you to train at a consistent pace (which can be hard to do outdoors), they don’t require navigating around puddles or stray branches, there’s less joint stress than with road running and they’re far safer for those who want to zone out and run with music.
One of the biggest complaints, of course, is boredom. To keep it at bay, skip super-long runs (save those for the outdoors) in favour of shorter, programmed sessions two or three times a week. Our bodies adapt quickly to new routines, says Korn, so be sure to spend at least part of your workout challenging yourself with a new speed or incline setting.
Below are three new treadmill sessions to try out -
THE ULTIMATE TREADMILL WORKOUT TO INCREASE SPEED
The Expert: Lisa Rainsberger, founder of Training Goals, Colorado Springs
The Workout: A “3-2-1” speed session
5:01-8:00 Fast pace
8:01-11:00 Recovery pace
11:01-13:00 Fast pace
13:01-15:00 Recovery pace
15:01-16:00 Fast pace
16:01-17:00 Recovery pace
17:01-29:00 Repeat 5:01-17:00
*Intermediate runners: Increase warmup and cooldown to 10 minutes each. Advanced: Increase the warmup and cooldown, and repeat the 3-2-1 fast/recovery block a third time.
THE ULTIMATE TREADMILL WORKOUT TO BUILD STRENGTH
The Expert: Michael Piermarini, director of fitness for Orangetheory Fitness
The Workout: Hills on hills on hills
5:01-6:00 Fast pace 2% Incline
6:01-7:00 Fast pace 4% Incline
7:01-8:00 Fast pace 6% Incline
8:01-9:00 Fast pace 8% Incline
9:01-11:00 Easy pace 1% Incline
11:01-17:00 Repeat the 5:01-11:00 section at: 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%, and 1% incline
17:01-23:00 repeat the 5:01-11:00 section at 6%, 8%, 10%, 12%, and 1% incline
THE ULTIMATE TREADMILL WORKOUT TO TORCH FAT
The Expert: Matt Nolan, master instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp, New York City
The Workout: Classic speed intervals
5:01-9:00 Fast pace
9:01-13:00 Recovery pace
13:01-45:00 Repeat 5:01-13:00 4x