Running on the treadmill is a very effective way to stay in shape. Treadmill running can be a viable alternative to running on a track or on the street. Treadmill running can provide less impact on your joints and is a convenient way to exercise inside; however, the number one complaint of treadmill runners is boredom.
The good news is that there are ways to break up the monotony of running on a treadmill, while still maintaining your fitness goals. Whether training for a marathon or just to stay in shape, the following tips will help to stimulate your treadmill workout.
Interval training not only provides an effective way to change up your routine, it’s also a very efficient way to increase your metabolism throughout the day.
To perform intervals on a treadmill, set the speed on a low setting for the “rest” portion of the interval, and increase the speed setting during the “sprint” portion of the run.
For example, you can jog for 1 minute, and then sprint for 30 seconds. There are a wide variety of intervals that you can add to your routine.
Try to set goals regarding the amount of intervals and your run time before starting your routine. Additionally, always warm up with a slow jog for about 5 to 10 minutes prior to performing sprints.
Change the Treadmill Incline Setting
Almost all treadmills have several incline settings that you can choose from during your run. Similar to the speed adjustment during interval training, adjusting the incline will help provide a challenging workout for your cardiovascular system.
Increasing the incline can be compared to running hills. This can be a very effective tool to help break up the monotony of a run. There are also a wide variety of incline workouts that you can perform on a treadmill.
For example, start by warming up with a slow jog for about 5 to 10 minutes and then gradually increase the incline about every 3 to 5 minutes for the duration of your run. Try to do this for at least 25 to 30 minutes.
Another popular incline workout incorporates the principles of pyramid training. To do this, gradually increase the incline until you are about halfway into your run, and then slowly decrease the incline until you are running on a flat surface toward the end of your workout.
The Tabata method is an advanced form of treadmill workout. It is similar to interval training, except this method only takes 4 minutes to complete. This may sound too good to be true; however, this 4 minute workout has been shown to have similar physiological effects on your body as running several miles.
What is the Tabata method?
This workout involves alternating 20 seconds of hard sprinting with 10 seconds of slower running. During this routine, you will perform the circuit a total of eight times for a total of four minutes.
This may be a short workout, but you will be surprised at how difficult it is to complete as you get to about the fifth or sixth circuit. Due to the heavy impact on your joints, its best to do this routine about two times a week and make sure to get plenty of rest in between workouts.
Sometimes just listening to your favorite music will be enough to get you through a grueling workout. Many treadmills come equipped with Ipod or mp3 docking stations. Pick a soundtrack of upbeat songs that will help motivate you to train harder.
Music can also help you to have fun during training. For example, when your favorite tune comes on, take that time to increase your speed and try to keep that pace for the duration of the song.
While television and exercise are typically counterproductive, that’s not always the case when you add a treadmill to the mix. Sometimes you might want to go for a long run and not worry about focusing on your workout. Watching television can help to preoccupy your thoughts and help to emerge you in whatever you’re watching at the time.
You can use your treadmill workout time to stay informed of the current news, or even to catch up on your favorite show, while getting fit at the same time. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your workout goes by. Before you know it, you’ll already be done.
Keep in mind that watching television during your run is much easier during workouts that don’t involve sprinting. Interval training and sprinting often requires you to focus on your workout as well as the time involved during the run.