Hey folks! My name is Colan, and I started working at 605 this fall. Having recently exhausted my NCAA eligibility on the Augustana tennis team, I’ve reignited a passion for running and am loving it! As we transition into the holiday season, we also move into wintry weather. I loathe running inside, and I’ll choose a wet, snowy run over a treadmill almost every time. Treadmill runs seem longer and less exciting than outdoor runs. Sometimes, though, the elements are just too harsh, and running inside becomes the only option. Because I’m not the biggest fan of treadmills, I’ve been forced to find ways to make running inside more enjoyable, whether that means pumping my favorite workout tunes through my headphones or exchanging long slow miles for hill and interval workouts, the treadmill has at least become tolerable when the weather is not.
My go-to workout for escaping the dullness of treadmill running is an HIIT incline run. These workout can easily be adjusted on an individual basis, which makes them useful for just about everybody. Here’s a basic one to start with:
If you’re looking for an easier or harder version, just increase or decrease the inclines and speeds at your discretion. Or, if you’re looking for a super intense workout, try some Tabata sprints. This high intensity training can be done on an indoor track, Curve self-powered treadmill, or really anywhere. You simply run at maximum effort for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat that 8 times. This is great at the end of a workout and can even serve as your cardio for the day if you’re pressed for time (it only takes 4 minutes). You’ll be exhausted at the end, but this type of speed training is a great way to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic conditioning if you’re up for it.
If you’re running on the treadmill just to log miles, the sessions can become long and monotonous. Switching from outdoor running to treadmill running presents its own challenges, too. Typically, running your usual outdoor pace on a treadmill feels fast. This can be attributed to the treadmill’s lack of a “natural” feel. With a belt moving beneath them, many runners can take longer strides than normal, which takes more energy. Increasing the incline to 1 or 2% can make the machine feel a bit more like the road and decrease that fast feeling. This slight incline also reinforces proper running form because you’re forced to drive your knee up a little higher.
I know that getting on a treadmill is less than desirable when you’re used to pounding the pavement or hitting the trails, but when it’s the only option there are ways to make it a fun and easier transition. So next time you’re dreading another 30 minute session that’s going to feel like an hour, try an interval/hill workout. Or if you’re just starting to run inside, ease into it with a slight incline and a focus on form, not speed. Finally, if running inside just isn’t for you, stay warm out there!