For some, running on a treadmill is akin to watching paint dry. It can be an incredibly boring way to get some miles into your pins. Others however, absolutely revel in the monotony of the dreadmill. It can be a place to zone out and focus on form and relaxation. It’s also an ideal way to get some training done when it’s miserable outdoors or you’re simply after a bit of variety in your routine. The training effect isn’t too dissimilar to outdoor running, that said, some folks are better able to maintain good form on a treadmill than others. To be honest, it can take a little getting use to, but embracing them is worthwhile, as no doubt there will be times when a tready is your only option. Think of holidays, work trips to foreign cities, or just when the weather is foul. There are going to be occasions where you have no choice but to dial up the rubber top!
Here’s our five favourite treadmill sessions for building your engine:
This is a tough one, where the fatigue creeps up on you and makes the final few reps murder. The idea is that you run at tempo pace for 60 seconds and then crank it up for 30 seconds flatout. The recovery is a 90 second jog. Aim for 10 reps.
A fun session that for many becomes a favourite. 6 minutes at tempo and then 60 seconds at 100%. Have a 3 minute jog recovery and aim for 3 reps. Try to make the last rep the fastest.
Start out fast and then settle into a tempo effort in the middle – Then speed up on the run home! This will teach you to moderate your sessions and manage the fatigue. Here’s the session: 1min effort/2min effort/3min effort/4/5/4/3/2/1….you get the drift! The recovery between efforts is 1 min super slow.
This is a simple 20 minute effort, where you start at just below tempo pace, then every couple minutes slightly increase the speed. The idea is that by the half way point you should be at tempo pace and from there, it gets tough as you speed up. The final couple minutes should be flatout!
Split Kilometer Reps
A simple session with a spin on it. It’s 5 x 1km repeats with a 3 minute jog recovery between, but the catch is you run 300m at 10km race pace, then 400m at 3km race pace, then the last 400m back at 10km pace. The surge in the middle will be really tough but it generally makes the slightly slower last few hundred meters feel comfortable.
*Tempo pace is roughly your half marathon race pace. On a treadmill, we suggest you aim to be slightly quicker.
**A 15 to 20 minute jog warm up is advisable, with a similar duration cool down.