Winter is here. There, I said it. Even for those of us who live in North Carolina and embrace shorts and sports bra weather practically year-round; winter is here. I won’t rub it in — with the exception of a few months, I lived in New England for 32 years, so I know what winter really means.
At some point, inclement weather is probably going to force even the most die-hard runners inside. Mother Nature plays a hard game that even full-face masks and screws in the bottom of your favorite run shoes can’t beat. But, don’t worry, after years in New England, I have you covered.
Check out these three treadmill workouts that make the road to nowhere a lot more exciting:
TREADMILL WORKOUT 1: SPEED DEMON
The treadmill is a great place to work on speed. It’s a controlled environment, you can blast the music and this workout even allows you to take a break between those all-out efforts.
The workout goes like this. Run for 5–10 minutes at a warmup effort, then get ready to sweat. You have 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. Your 30 seconds of work come at a hard effort. For purposes of this workout, hard means you should not be able to sing along with your favorite song. Rest means rest. Jump off to the side, catch your breath, increase the incline and get ready to run again.
The magic of this workout comes in the incline. After each 30-second run, increase the incline by 1%. You will do this until you get to 15%. (That’s 15 minutes of your time!) If you want more, put the workout in reverse, decreasing incline each round. Choose a pace you can sustain at all intervals. This may mean it’s almost impossible at 15%. Just remember: It’s your last interval, you’ve got this.
TREADMILL WORKOUT 2: IS THIS HOW YOU USE THIS THING?
Maybe you’re sick of running on the treadmill. That’s OK, there are plenty of ways to utilize this machine and break the boredom. You can move differently — that’s different directions, different exercises, different running motions. Think shuffle, lunge and walking backward. Get comfortable with these motions and moving in different directions before increasing the pace. Start slow, focus on form and try not to hold on to the treadmill bars.
The breakdown looks like this:
TREADMILL WORKOUT 3: MOUNTAIN CLIMBING
If you are craving some elevation, this workout is a power-hiking dream. The trick, slow the pace (somewhere between 2.0–4.0 simulates a walk or power hike more than a run), keep your chest up and resist holding the side rails. (When spring comes around, you can’t take those side rails outside with you.)
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don’t just hop on the treadmill and hope for the best — we all know, in treadmill world, 1 minute feels like 10. So, take these workouts and fight the boredom this winter and throughout the year — they are fast, efficient and, dare I say it, a bit exciting, too.