Soon it’ll be Goodbye Roads, Hello Treadmill! Just because the weather may interfere with our ability to run outside doesn’t mean it can stop us from doing what we love best. Oh yes. Right now, we outdoor runners are already considering our indoor options, and how exactly we can maximize our favourite type of exercise, no matter what winter throws at us. Not sure you’re going to get the same workout inside?
Especially if you’re a newer runner, you might be worried that you’re going to have to give up your newly found runner’s high for a few months. But never fear. All you need is a treadmill, your running shoes, and these tips from the trainers from Skyfit, a fantastic fitness app that lets you take a live treadmill, elliptical or running class on your phone without going to the gym.
Lace up and read on.
THE ULTIMATE TREADMILL WORKOUT: How to get the most of running indoors
1. ALWAYS CLIMB
Always keep an incline of at least 1%. Roads are rough surfaces with uneven gravel, sometimes patches of grass, and some small hills. Treadmills don’t have any of these characteristics so in order to keep a consistent feeling during your transition from outdoors to in, set your treadmill to a 1% incline at all times. During warm up, the run, HIIT, sprints, and cool down, keep it at 1%. When/if you go back to road running in the spring, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
2. KEEP IT HANDY
Enjoy the benefits of the treadmill. Going for an outdoor run is excellent. The wind, the air, the other good-looking runners make it fun. But there are downsides to outdoor running, too — like having to carry your water in a pouch on your waist, your phone in an armband, your keys in a knapsack, and your wallet in a purse. With the treadmill, you can lay it all out on the machine, and not have to worry about holding onto anything. So feel free to bring an extra bottle of water, a towel, maybe the larger headphones than you’re used to. Bring it all. The treadmill can handle it.
3. CONTROL THE INCLINE
Use the incline control at your will. When running outdoors, we look for hills that fit our desire to climb, and hope that it works with our given path for that day. With the treadmill, you are in complete control of the incline. You can set it as high or as low as possible for as long as you want.
4. HOLD THE WEIGHTS
Work some weights into your run. One of the benefits of running on a treadmill is your access to equipment at the gym. So next time you step onto the treadmill, bring some 2lb or 3lb weights with you. When you’re doing your hikes, you can pick up those weights and start doing some arm work. You’ll get lean biceps and triceps, and burn more calories.
5. BUY NEW GEAR
When the fall starts, all the major athletic brands start selling their cold weather running gear. Some of it is amazing, but it’s usually pricey. Newsflash: When they start selling the cold gear, the warm weather gear goes on sale. And now that you’re running inside, you don’t need all that extra insulation (and cost!). So use your transition to treadmill as an excuse to buy awesome new workout gear on the cheap.
6. TAKE A CLASS
With Skyfit, you can take a live class. By having a trainer guide you through the treadmill workout, you’ll be less scared of making the transition. You won’t be nervous about getting the workout right, and you won’t feel like you wasted time. Plus, you’ll stay busy now that there’s no exciting outdoor scenery around you. Treadmill classes for everyone!
7. STAY CONSISTENT
To make the transition easier, it’s important to keep somethings the same, so that it feels to you like just another run. The easiest and most logical way to accomplish that is to keep the same shoes. You’re comfortable in them, you’ve worn them in just the right amount, you know exactly how to tie them. Those constants are all really powerful when you’re making the transition to the treadmill for the first time.
8. ALTERNATE RUN/LIFT
Numerous studies have proven that incorporating a little bit of weights into your run, or run into your weights, can help drive calorie burn. If you’re near a full set of weights, try an alternating set of lifting and running as follows:
- Run at 9mph for 1:30
- Bench Press – 1 set of 10, using 10 pound dumbbells
- Run at 9.5mph for 1:30
- Bench Press – 1 set of 10, using 12.5 pound dumbbells
- Run at 10mph for 1:00
- Bench Press – 1 set of 8, using 15 pound dumbbells.
And don’t worry, despite what you might think, bulking up with bench work is one of the biggest misconceptions of fitness.
9. SPEED IT UP
Outdoors, you may be an 8 minute/mile pace runner, or 7.5mph. That’s your speed when you have wind resistance, uneven terrain, and hills. On the treadmill, everything changes. Now you are on a smooth surface, impact absorbing treadmill, with no extra wind, and any hills are in your control. So push your speed a little. Instead of doing the 8 minute/mile, try pushing yourself to a 7:30 minute mile, or 8mph. You’ll realize that it actually doesn’t feel that much harder, if at all.