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keeping it interesting on the treadmill


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Long story short, I recently completed grad school and am looking to pick up where I left off about 2 years ago (plus an additional 20 lbs...ugh!). 

I've been hitting the treadmill for about 30 minutes at least every other day, but I want to be sure I keep it interesting enough (for both my body and my mind).  Right now I'm at best at a mix of jog/walk intervals and am contemplating re-starting Couch to 5k.

A few recent work-outs include:

  • Slower 30 minute walk at high-incline
  • Brisker 30 minute walk at lower-incline (actually the hardest one for me)
  • Jog 5 minutes, Walk 5 minutes, Jog 4 minutes, Walk 4 minutes, etc until zero.

Any suggestions for mixing it up would definitely be appreciated...what do you all do on the treadmill?

17 Replies (last)

At the minute I'm doing C25K? I'd try to do the walk/jog ratio (keeps your body guessing?) but increase your jogging times while decreasing your walking times as your stamina increases? Then you can work on your speed, and add inclines when your happy with your speed?

I can't do the tredmill - I get WAY too bored. 

Instead I hit the trails/sidewalks outside walking or running. I pick out houses I would like to live in. And people watch.

Can not do the tredmill.  *shudder*

aasil!!

I work out on my treadmill at home and I watch TV.  Often I will watch programs that my husband doesn't care for, so I normally woudn't watch. 

I also like to switch it up and give myself mini-challenges.  Like trying to go a certain distance at a particular speed or elevation, and I'm always trying to go just a little faster or farther than I did the previous time. 

I was an avid C25K'er for a while. As much as my schedule would let me, since I only made it out once a week and couldn't seem to move on to the second week without being dizzy halfway through.

Then I started going to the gym at my boyfriends work. It has expensive treadmills that don't even creak when you run on them (a big reason I wouldn't use the cheaper ones we have in the gym at our apartment) One day I decided to see how I could do... and I ran 30m before I even realized it. Straight. None of this off and on stuff from the C25K.

That was a few weeks ago, now I run about 45m. I put on my headphones and watch whatever show I can find on the treadmills TV. I try to base when I'm at the gym with when I know there is a good show on.

I found C25K to almost hinder my progression on building stamina. Maybe it's not better doing it this way, but it's working for me.

I can't stand the dreadmill. When I'm forced to run on it, I need a magazine (can't read while I run, but the pictures distract), the tv on and music.

However your variation of Run 5, walk 5, Jog 4, walk 4... keeps me distracted from how bored I am.

To keep it from getting boring, try different kinds of exercise on some days: go for a walk outside, ride a bike, lift, to Steep incline walking (...especially if you're lunging up the treadmill. That really helped improve my runs).

The treadmill is my only option at the minute. Of course it's not ideal, and I'd much rather be outside doing it 'for real'. I live in the middle of nowhere, on narrow twisty country roads that are too dangerous to walk/jog on. Plus I need a sitter for my two kids so I could get the time to exercise- which just isn't going to happen everyday for 45-60mins. Frown

So to keep me from getting bored on the treadmill, I have the telly up full or my MP3 plugged in, and alternate my jogging/walking intervals. I was completely unfit when I began the C25K. I couldn't go 60 SECONDS without getting dizzy. TOday I jogged for 20 MINUTES non-stop, fairly fast. I'm so completely proud of getting this far, and couldn't have 'just' stepped on the treadmill and done it straight off? And like Karozel, I mix it up a bit speed/incline wise to give my body a bit of 'extra' work during the workout?

It's trial & error what will work for each person. What is one persons delight may not work for another. So keep posting ideas for Aasil and they'll work out what will keep them motivated.

Good Luck Aasil!

When I am stuck jogging on the dreadmill I will use my ipod and download books from the library. They are free. I like to listen to a story or something, since we don't have access to a tv down in my basement yet. I'll also download special music playlists too.

Since you like a mix of walking and running and are willing to do inclines, there are lots of things to work on and some interesting self tests to do as well.  Here are some of the things that I work on (I use a treadmill during the winter, when the snow isn't good enough for skiing):

Walking really fast on the flat burns the crap out of you lower legs and ankles. You can work up to 5 mph without learning any special "racewalking" technique.

Build your running cadence up to 90 paces a minute (independent of actual speed). That reduces heel strike and has long term benefits to your stride and speed.

Use the online calculators to pick two different activities of the same cal/hr workload. Like walking 3.5 mph at 15% grade versus running 9 minute miles. Then do them and see which one is harder for you. Find your weaknesses and work on them.

If you have a HRM, you can do a true test of your fitness improvement by running the same program a month or two later and see if your cumulative or average heart rate is less. Or see how fast you can go at a preset heart rate. If this improves over time, it is true improvement, not just due to trying harder or higher pain tolerance.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Build your running cadence up to 90 paces a minute (independent of actual speed). That reduces heel strike and has long term benefits to your stride and speed.

Probably the wrong forum, but can I ask what you mean by this? I'm told I have a very short stride. I just assumed it had something to do with my short stubby legs. Frown I have no idea how to make it longer.

pgeorgian!!

 

All - thanks for the feedback.  I should add that I am a car-less urbanite, so walking outside is often my means of transportation.  That said, I find the treadmill to be good for intense, shorter workouts. 

Oldguysrule - would love to hear more about making the stride longer too.

I get bored really easily while using the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike.  To keep myself from falling over with said boredom, I try to change something every 2.5 minutes.  I'll change my speed or resistance or incline.  When I get bored a minute or so into a change I just remind myself that something is going to change in the next 1.5ish minutes.

Original Post by aasil:

pgeorgian!!

missed you.  this place is better when you're here.

    

Original Post by pgeorgian:

Original Post by aasil:

pgeorgian!!

missed you.  this place is better when you're here.

aww, thanks buddy!

Original Post by msdemeanor70:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Build your running cadence up to 90 paces a minute (independent of actual speed). That reduces heel strike and has long term benefits to your stride and speed.

Probably the wrong forum, but can I ask what you mean by this? I'm told I have a very short stride. I just assumed it had something to do with my short stubby legs.  I have no idea how to make it longer.

That is kind of funny, because I am 6'5 and am trying to shorten my stride! lol.

Cadence is the speed of the rythym of your feet R-L-R-L. I don't remember if a pace is two steps or one, but the 90 beats a minute I am referring to above is two steps. I use to take too long of a stride (overstriding). That allowed me to keep a lower heart rate, but hammered my joints more. 

Higher cadence at the same running speed means taking a shorter step. A lot of coaches have people use the 85-90 rate and run all different speeds (like 7 minute mile, 8 minute mile, etc.) as a training tool. Even the short guys have a hard time keeping that high cadence when running slow. That exercise is not popular.

Maybe your stride is short. I am no running coach, just learning from a friend who is on a city team. If you are already taking 170+ steps a minute then lengthening your stride will make you go faster. Maybe a stretching routine would help.

 

Personally, during the slower paces of the treadmill I try to simultaneously squeeze in some weight training. I keep my small dumbbells in the cup holders lol. 

17 Replies
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