Tag Archives: treadmill

Fun with Interval Training

I’m beginning to like interval training on the treadmill, go figure!

My latest workout was:

6 minute warm up at a 10.5 min per mile pace (about 1.5 min/mile slower than my training pace).  I was only planning on warming up for 5 minutes, but since I was just about at 1/2 a mile, I went another minute to make it an even half mile.

Intervals:  I intended to do 4 sets of the following:

  • 1 min at an 8 minute per mile pace (7.5 mph)
  • 1 min recovery at 9 min/mile (6.6 mph)
  • 1 min at 7 1/2 min/mile (8 mph)
  • 1 min at 9.5 min/mile (6.3)

I say intended because in the second set, I forgot the first recovery minute so I ended up doing:

  • 1 min at an 8 minute per mile pace (7.5 mph)
  • 1 min at 7 1/2 min/mile (8 mph)
  • 2 mins at 9.5 min/mile (6.3)

I then followed that up with another 4 minutes following set 1 and then another of set 2.  A total of 16 minutes of speed work, followed by 3 minutes to cool down.

It is amazing how quickly the time goes by on the treadmill when you play little games with yourself!  When you only focus on getting through one minute at a time, rather than a 20 minute chunk of time, the time goes much faster and the workout is much more enjoyable.  Hmmm, I think there is a life lesson in here too!





End Treadmill Boredom!

As I mentioned earlier, I find running on the treadmill tedious, but given the girl on treadmillweather, I have decided to make it interesting by doing interval workouts.  Basically intervals are short bursts of speed followed by a little longer recovery. Coming up with a new pattern makes each workout fresh and interesting.  The key is to make sure that the recovery sets are slower than a typical training run.

Yesterday I decided to take one of the track intervals to the treadmill.  My comfortable training pace is about 9-9 1/2 minute miles (or 6.6-6.3 mph on the treadmill).  What I did was increase the distance of my speed intervals from 1/4 to 1/2 to 3/4 miles, (while decreasing the speed slightly), and then decrease the distance back down  with rest intervals in between:

  • 10 minutes warmup at 6.3 mph (9:30 min pace)
  • 1/4 mile (400 meters) at 7.5 mph (8 min. pace)
    • 1/4 mile recovery at 6 mph (10 min pace)
  • 1/2 mile at 7 mph (8 1/2 min pace)
    • 1/4 mile recovery at 6 mph
  • 3/4 mile at 6.6 (9 min pace)
    • 1/4 mile recovery at 6
  • 1/2 mile at 7 mph (8 1/2 min pace)
    • 1/4 mile recovery at 6 mph
  • 1/4 mile (400 meters) at 7.5 mph (8 min pace)
    • 1/4 mile recovery at 6 mph (10 min pace)
  • 5 minutes cool down working from 6-5 mph (10-12 min pace)

WOW, this workout kept me looking at the distance, not the time and I was shocked to see that I had spent 40 minutes on the treadmill!

And when I added up the distance I had gone over 4 miles, with 2 1/4 of them being at a faster pace than my typical training pace.

I recommend trying an interval workout, even if you are a walker.  The theory is the same, if you walk at 3 mph, make your intervals 3.5 and your rests 2.5.

Or you can change the incline.  Use 0 as you rest and have your intervals on 1% or 2%.  You can play around with your own patterns, just remember to make the rest intervals slower than your comfortable pace.

Have fun and let me know how you do!



My Running Goals for 2013

Now that winter is here and  it is cold and messy outside, I typically stop running.  Last year, I didn’t run from December until late March, and as you can imagine it was hard to start back up.  I felt like I was starting over (something you really don’t want to do!)  Luckily, after some initial difficulties, I was able to get back into running shape and ended up running strong all season.

However, this year, one of my goals is to improve my 5K and 10K times over the last two years.  In 1998, at my peak, my best 5K time was 21:41 (6:58 pace).    Since I’ve started running again (about 3 years ago), my best time has been 25:52 (8:19 pace).   This year, I am shooting for beating 24 minutes or 7:44 pace.

Also in 1998, my best 10K time was 46 minutes, (7:24 pace).  My most recent Market Square 10kbest has been 53:01 (8:32 pace)  For this year, I have set a 10K goal of under 50 minutes, or an 8 minute per mile pace.

I think these goals are reasonable…Tough, but doable.

Here is my plan:

I have done minimal speed work over the past few years (2-3 track workouts each year and the occasional race).  This year I plan on regularly going to the track.  Even if it is hot or rainy, or if I’d rather be doing something else!  And I plan on running at least a little during the winter.

Since I really find it hard to run on a treadmill due to boredom, I have decided to use my treadmill running to do some speed work.  So far this month, I have done three sessions of interval training.  The interval workouts keep my mind occupied and so they aren’t as tedious as simply running on the treadmill.  This is my most recent workout :

  • 5 minute warm up at a 9:30 pace (treadmill mph setting 6.3) 
  • 10 minutes of the following intervals (for a total of 7 speed intervals)
    • 30 sec at 7:30 pace (8 mph)
    • 60 sec at 9 minute pace (6.6)
  • 5 minutes cool down at 9:30 pace

I have all sorts of “fun” interval patterns to try, I’ll keep you posted

Also, if you are like me and prefer to use minutes per mile pace rather than mph, here is a handy conversion guide from HillRunner.com