Friday, 21 August 2009

Top three ways to murder yourself on the treadmill

With my goal races quickly drawing nearer, I've been trying to up the intensity in my workouts. I'm still finding it hard to push myself when running alone (and my MP3 player died the day after I wrote the last post, so that opportunity has exhausted itself), but working three days a week has meant I've had three rounds of smashing myself on the gym treadmill.

I really can't stand doing steady state workouts (eg. 10k at xx/k) on the 'mill but it's actually a whole lot of fun when you're pushing the buttons at regular intervals. Twenty seconds or less is necessary to keep my mind focussed on the run I find. It might sound sacrilegious, but I now prefer running on the treadmill to running outdoors. The greater control I have over my pace is also a big plus. Too often when I'm running outdoors, my mind is willing, but my legs aren't prepared to co-operate. On the treadmill, I force those bastards to move or else we're falling off the back together!

So with that in mind, my three favourite workouts are:
1. 20 second Speed Incline test: Starting at 9.0 kph and 0% incline, increase the speed (by 0.1 kph) every 20 seconds and the incline (by 0.5%) every 0.5 km. How long can you last? It's pretty easy for the first 15 minutes, but it gets a lot harder very quickly after that.

My record (set on Wednesday this week) is 25:45 or 5.5 km. By the end I was running at 3:35/k at 5.0% incline and it was pretty bloody tough! My goal is to last 30 minutes. I've already seen big gains from the first time I did the test, managing only 4 km. All the hills must be helping!

2. Stairway to heaven: Start at 0% incline and increase by 0.5% every 0.5km. I like to play around with speed as well, increasing every 15 seconds say until I hit my lactate threshold and then backing way down to 9.0kph and starting again.

I did this workout for the first time on Thursday for 10 km. The second half was so hard! At 9.5% incline, even 9kph was hard to sustain. Definitely a very valuable workout. I'd like to be able to last 15k, which would be as steep as the treadmill goes hehe.

3. 8x800m w/ 2:00 off: Standard interval workout, but on the 'mill. I find it a lot easier to hold the pace I'm going for on the treadmill as compared to the track, and 800m is short enough that I can keep my concentration sharp.

I haven't actually done this exact workout on the treadmill yet, but did give an abridged version a go after the speed incline test on Wednesday: 3x500m at 3:00/k. It felt really good to get the legs turning over that quickly. I definitely wouldn't be able to do 8x800 at that pace, but that would definitely be my goal.

Did an 8k Melb marathon training run at Jells Park this morning and then ran home. A very pleasant 16.5 k run (5:44/k) that I wasn't really expecting to do (had just planned to do 12 but my Dad who had driven me in, told me he only wanted to do 8k and then sneakily did another 5k after I left and 'inspired' him:P).

Tomorrow is my club's annual 1 Hour run event. Forty times (or thereabouts) round the track..sounds like fun (not!).

1 comment:

michaelyw said...

I like the name of Stairway to heaven~
probably you can still rock on the treadmill without mp3 :)

(sorry I was using my friend's computer so the previous comment was a mistake)

Michael Lai