In the fall my boyfriend and I splurged and bought a treadmill for our apartment. It was the perfect addition to our at-home gym in our basement, which we now refer fondly to as “the thunder dungeon” (I did not come up with the name, obvi).
Neither of us are particularly in love with running on the treadmill – and given the option, I’d say we’d both prefer to run outdoors any day – but when the mornings are really dark, and temps drop below zero, it’s pretty sweet having the treadmill conveniently located in our own home. Also, I can run in just a sports bra and booty shorts and binge on as much terrible TV as I want, which I don’t mind!
Lately, as part of training for 5Ks, I’ve been doing a lot of speed workouts on the treadmill. I would much prefer to do most of these on the track but unfortunately the one public track we have access to doesn’t have lights and I can’t get there during the day. Womp, womp.
However, I have discovered some pretty good workouts to do on the treadmill that aren’t completely boring or borderline terrifying (I haven’t fallen off yet!). I usually start each workout with a solid 15 minutes of easy running to warm up – also, my basement is cold.
- I know some people will scoff at this and say “How could you possibly do mile repeats on the dreadmill?!” Well, my mile repeats aren’t super fast paced so I don’t think I’m going to absolutely eat it.
- To do the workout: Start off with 15 minutes of easy running for a warmup and then do your first mile. I’ve been running them at 5K pace + 30 seconds, so for me that’s a 7:30/pace. In between each repeat I recover for 800m (or a half mile) at a super easy pace before beginning the next repeat. I’ve been trying to do each mile slightly faster, but I really only increase the speed by one. Finish with a 10-minute cool down jog.
Fartlek – 5-6 x 3:00 at 5K pace
- Fartleks are a great workout to do on the treadmill because they’re based off of time rather than distance.
- To do the workout: Start with a 15-minute warmup then jack the speed up to 5K pace for 3:00. Follow each interval with 2:00 of recovery jogging. Repeat this 5-6 times (or more if you’re up for it!). Finish with a 10-minute cool down.
- If you do a progression run based on time rather than distance, they aren’t so bad on the treadmill (especially if you have sometime good to watch!).
- To do the workout: Start with 30 minutes of easy running followed by 15 minutes at steady state and finish up with 5 minutes at 5K pace. My progression looked like this: 30 minutes at 8:49/mile, 15 minutes at 8:06/mile, 5 minutes at 7:14/mile. I finished with a 10-minute cool down.
Remember, these workouts work really well for me, but they might not be the best for you. If you want to try them go ahead, I think they’re fun! But be careful not to push too hard. You don’t want to end up like this:
I’m trying to figure out ways to make my dreadmill runs more enjoyable – I think I’ll try the progression run. :)
It’s a nice one to try! Hope you like it :)
Thank you so much, I love receiving your emails. I’m in Australia so whilst you are talking about extreme cold we here are having extreme heat waves so I will give your treadmill workout a go at the gym with the aircon on. I would much rather be out doors but in a heat wave it’s just too difficult. Thanks again for your inspiration
Loving these workouts! I’ll have to give them a try when I’m running on my dreadmill!
The Thunder Dungeon is a brilliant name!
I prefer to run outdoors, but am excited to get a treadmill next week for my birthday. Perfect for times like this when the weather is bitter cold. Looking forward to trying these out! PS I also love the name Thunder Dungeon hahah