The 'mill is a fine tool for staying fit, but it's important to have a plan of action when you hit the machine. Not only will it make the time pass more quickly, but you'll get a greater fitness boost than you would if you did the same type of run every time you went inside. These four workouts from coach Jeff Galloway may have you rethink calling the machine "the dreadmill."
A fresh approach to running will boost your fitness and speed
1. The "Fast 15"
Do this workout when you're pressed for time-it's just 15 minutes long, plus a cool-down walk. Jog for three minutes. Then increase the speed to a faster pace and hold it for two minutes (it's okay if you're huffing and puffing a bit by the end). Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat the two-minute pick up and 30-second walk. Next, extend the run portion to three minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat. Cool down with a short walk.
2. The Pace Booster
Warm up for six minutes by alternating 30 seconds jogging with 30 seconds walking. Then increase your speed slightly and run for 30 seconds. Walk for 30 seconds. Continue this 30/30 ratio. Increase your speed slightly with each successive run segment. Do as many cycles as you comfortably can. Cool down with a short walk.
5 Great run on the mill workouts
3. The Distance Run
Increase your speed until you're running comfortably. Run for two minutes, then walk for one minute. Repeat this 2:1 ratio three times. Bump up the ratio: Run for three minutes, then walk for one minute. Repeat three times. End the workout by running two 2:1 segments, followed by two 1:1 segments. Cool down with a short walk.
4. The Hill Climb
Gradually increase your speed until you're at easy run pace. Run for three minutes. Raise the incline to 2 percent for one minute, then to 4 for one minute. Lower the incline and rest for one minute. Raise to 4 percent and run for two minutes. Alternate running two minutes at an incline and jogging one minute on the flat for as long as you can. Cool down with a short walk.
What's your favorite treadmill workout? How do you keep boredom at bay on the 'mill?
Susan Rinkunas is an associate editor at Runner's World, a magazine (and website) that informs, advises, and motivates runners of all ages and abilities-and we mean it. Her blog on Yahoo! Shine offers tips on running technique, nutrition and weight loss, shoes and apparel, and balancing fitness and life.
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