Sunday, February 17, 2008

A not-so-dreadful treadmill workout

Today, I had a choice: run outside in the blowing snow and heavy winds or run at the Y. So really, my choice was this: do nothing or run at the Y. I reluctantly chose the latter.

I was staring down a 55-minute run--I have a coach right now through Carmichael Training Systems, because I'm taking their power cycling class--with no plan except to survive it. Ten minutes into it, I composed a workout simply because 45 more minutes of the same pace, same incline and same tedium might have sent me toppling over the back of the 'mill, mentally. I'm a big believer in breaking things up: to get to point E from point A, think B, then C, then D, then E. If I only focus on E, I can get discouraged embarrassingly quickly and quit.

So enough rationale: here's the workout.
10 minute warm-up (you knew that part). Set a base pace (BP) and base incline (BI) during the warm-up. This should be a comfortable, I can run for an-hour-straight, no-prob pace. For me, that was 6.2 mph and 2% incline.

20 minutes of climbing intervals:
4 minutes at 4% at BP, then 4 minutes recovery at BP + BI
3 minutes at 5% at BP, then 3 minutes recovery at BP +BI
2 minutes at 6% at BP, then 2 minutes recovery at BP + BI
1 minute at 7% at BP (this one is hard!), then one minute recovery at BP + BI

(Note: 30 minutes already done! More than half-way through the workout!)

20 or 22 minutes of speed intervals (for this, I lowered my BI to 1.5% and kept it there for the duration)
4 minutes at 6.7 mph, then 4 minutes recovery at BP + BI
3 minutes at 6.9 mph, then 3 minutes recovery at BP + BI
2 minutes at 7.1 mph, then 2 minutes recovery at BP + BI
1 minute at 7.3 mph, then 1 minute recovery at BP + BI (while doing this one, marvel that this is slower than the pace of a recovery run for an elite marathoner)
Bonus: 1 minute at 7.5 mph, then 1 minute recovery at BP + BI

(Note: this part was much easier than increasing the incline, so it's kind of fun to do it second and see how fast you can go.)

3-5 minutes of cool down and wham-mo: I was done! It still felt long at parts, but getting through four minutes mentally is cake compared to thinking about laboring through 55.



Anonymous said...

Way to go on the 'mill workout! I've been doing my morning Army PT at the gym with my unit and have been on the 'mill all winter - or dreadmill as I call it. I try and get on one next to one of my coworkers and then we chat it up during our "runs"! That helps too.

KK said...

Great Workout, Dimity!

How is the IT band holding up?

I agree wholeheartedly about your choice to avoid the fierce Colorado wind-will it ever stop? It seems like everyday is windy here!

Hang in there and keep on keepin' on!

kelly said...

That is exactly what I have to do at the gym just to get through hideous treadmill runs! The funny thing is that after all my "fake training" runs, I have actually gotten faster--who knew the treadmill could be good for you?! Speed benefits or not, I would rather be plugging away outside! Will Spring never come??