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Abandon the Streets with the Ultimate Treadmill Workout

Feb 18, 2014

Abandon the Streets with the Ultimate Treadmill Workout

Missed your morning run because of the icy roads? Abandoning your work out on occasion is understandable, but with the winter we've been saddled with, you'll never get your heart rate up if you keep using snow as an excuse.

Time to stop procrastinating, and hop on the treadmill.

Although we've lately heard it referred to as the "dreadmill," the powerful piece of equipment provides an undeniable escape route when exercising outside is impossible. You can actually obtain a better, more focused workout, often in less time that it'd take you to complete a run outside. There are differences to get used to, sure, but when you don't have to wear tons of layers based on the outside temperature or worry about the precarious state of the ground under your feet as you pick up the pace, you just might come to embrace the distinction. Plus, inside, with less distractions you can pay attention to your breathing and how your hamstrings are holding up on that steep incline. 

Speed workouts, an important part of a training regimen, can actually be easier on the moving belt, and today's advanced machines simulate ground running. The even surface that a treadmill provides can benefit your body, particularly if you're prone to injury.  

Runner's World's Chief Running Officer, Bart Yasso, believes that treadmill running can be an effective training tool. When you're running outside, you have no foolproof way of checking your form. On a treadmill at the gym with mirrors all around, you can see what you look like and upright yourself if you're slouching forward. 

While you could conceivably do a long run (let's say 16+ miles) inside, it's best to start out with a shorter, high-intensity run. An uphill walk can be a decent option if you've got knee issues, but if you really want to feel the burn, try one of the following recommended running exercises.

1. Firm and strengthen your tush with a glute-sculpting run. According to Fitness Magazine, twenty minutes three to four times a week is all you need. This segment suggests walking at a 4 mph pace, but up the ante by going at a 6 mph, and you'll burn way more calories. The trick is to increase the incline settings gradually for about a minute or two at a time. There's no doubt you will feel this the next day, but that's the best part. Instead of trying to find hilly terrain in your backyard, let the hills, so to speak, come to you.

2. 10k pace interval to make you faster. This is one of Yasso's treadmill favorites. Always take care to warm up. Your muscles need time to get going, and if you're unaccustomed to running indoors, this is especially important. Allow your body some time to adjust to the different demands. After the warm up, things start to heat up: your 10k goal is the pace you want to run at for about five minutes. Slow down for two minutes in between the faster intervals, and see if you can do up to five repetitions. Don't forget to cool down; it is just as, if not more, important than the warm up.

3. Mile repeats for speed and endurance. Following an easy warm up, change the speed on the dial to something you can handle for a full mile. The goal is to do four mile repeats. You want to test your limits, so your breathing should be strained, and you should be pushing it. Rest for one to two minutes in between the repetitions. Cool down for at least ten minutes after completing this strenuous routine.

While you're at the gym, consider cross-training with one of the workouts featured in the slideshow above.

By Stacey Gawronski

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