Coaching, Treadmill Workouts

Three Treadmill Workouts to Improve Speed

I’m transitioning my running to the treadmill this season and wondered how I can work on my speed. Do you have any tips or a workout you would recommend? Thanks, Amy
Kudos to you. The treadmill is an effective and safe way to continue your running workouts as the weather shifts to the winter. It provides a safe environment in the darkness of winter, free from ice and snow, and at room temperature to allow you to push your speed with less risk of injury. Plus, you can easily change your speed and incline which makes for a variety of options to train and keep your program fresh.

Transition gradually.

As you shift your running workouts to the treadmill, it’s wise to do so gradually as the movement pattern and impact varies slightly from outdoor runs. For instance, if you run three times per week, move one workout to the treadmill once per week. This allows your body time to adapt to the differences.

Assess yourself and set a speed goal.

Before you get started, perform this easy to follow fitness assessment. This will give you a sense of your fitness and how it correlates to your running speed and allow you to train from where you are safely. Make a note along the way of the pace that feels easy and conversational (yellow zone), the pace that is just outside your comfort zone (orange zone).
Once you know your yellow and orange zone paces, set a goal to improve both. It’s wise to set a series of small goals and build upon them as you go. For example, if your yellow and orange zones are 11:30 and 10:45 respectively, aim to shed 15-20 seconds per mile, or to run 11:15 and 10:30 pace at those same effort zones.
As you train to improve your speed, repeat this assessment every four weeks to track your improvement. Use the Via Tracker to analyze your results and maintain motivation to train.

Plan your weekly workouts and mix it up.

It’s important to mix up your runs with easy, moderate and hard efforts to avoid injuries and allow optimal recovery. It’s also important to plan your runs with an active recovery day after any hard running workout. Here are three fun speed workouts to weave into your running regimen.

Speed Intervals:

Warm up walking 3 minutes.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 7 minutes.
Beginner runners repeat: 5 times
Advanced runners repeat: 8 times
1 minute at a hard sprint red zone effort followed by 3 minutes of easy yellow effort jogging to recover.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 5 minutes and cool down walking 3 minutes.

Tempo Repeats:

Warm up walking 3 minutes.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 7 minutes.
Beginner runners repeat: 3 times
Advanced runners repeat: 5 times
5 minutes at a moderate orange zone effort followed by 2 minutes of easy yellow effort jogging to recover.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 5 minutes and cool down walking 3 minutes.

Spicy Repeats:

Warm up walking 3 minutes.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 7 minutes.
Beginner runners repeat: 2-3 times
Advanced runners repeat: 4 times
1 minute at a hard sprint red zone effort followed by 2 minutes of easy yellow effort jogging to recover.
4 minutes at a moderate orange zone effort followed by 2 minutes of easy yellow effort jogging to recover.
Run at your easy, yellow zone effort for 5 minutes and cool down walking 3 minutes.

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Coach Jenny Hadfield is a published author, writer, coach, public speaker and endurance athlete. To find out more, visit our Meet Our Writers page or visit Coach Jenny’s website.

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