Friday, February 14, 2014

Fighting Treadmill Boredom

I love the treadmill, but a lot of people ask me how I can run on it most days of the week.  I think it is fun.  I watch TV or listen to music and people watch. 
Sometimes I run sprints or do 400m or 800m repeats.  I rarely do the same workout.  If I do get tired of it (meaning my legs feel overused)  then I switch to the AMT or Stairclimber. 
Overuse injuries are common with treadmill running because your terrain doesn't vary.  So your feet are hitting the same spot over and over.  Putting the treadmill on a 1.0% incline can decrease foot and shin pain caused by overuse.  I'm pretty sure my pain/soreness lately is related to overuse and muscle imbalance.
Today I tried a different sprinting technique.  Tabata timing can be applied to many different workouts. I decided I would try it with treadmill running.  It was really fun and I got super sweaty.  I didn't even feel pain and the faster I got, the more relaxed my body felt.
Tabata timing is 20 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest.  Repeat for your desired length of time.
For sprints, you set your number of minutes, incline 1.0%, and then choose a speed. Run 20 seconds, then hop off for 10 seconds--let the treadmill run the whole time.

This is doable for everyone.  You could speed walk, then hop of for 10 seconds. Do not try to start with 9.0 mph sprints unless you have done them at that speed before.  If you don't run regularly, start slow and speed up until it gets a little hard.  Remember you only have to do it for 20 seconds at a time.
My starting speed was 9.0 mph
  • Once the treadmill gets up to speed, jump on and run for 20 seconds.
  • After 20 seconds, hold onto arm rest and jump off to side rails. Leave the treadmill running.
  • 10 seconds rest.
  • Jump back on and run again.
After 5 minutes I changed speed to 9.2 mph
At 13 minutes--speed= 9.4 mph
At 18 minutes--speed= 9.6 mph
Total time: 24 minutes
60 minutes--Yoga class
Try this and let me know what you think.
Even if you do 5-10 minutes worth, you will get sweaty.

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