We may be a little biased here at NordicTrackCoupons.com, but we believe treadmills to be one of the best training tools for runners. Running on a treadmill is not only a convenient tool for the winter and summer months when weather can play a big factor in ruining your outdoor runs, but a treadmill can also be a very valuable tool to runners for developing speed.
As stated in this article from LiveStrong.com, “On a treadmill you can dial in your speed, incline and interval length to run without interruptions or pacing concerns.” They also go on to say how your gait with be a little different a treadmill than on a road or track, so you will want to compensate and be aware of this. Use these tips in a previous post of ours here, to help you maintain your posture and stride on the treadmill.
The main advantage of speed training on a treadmill is the fact that the treadmill does not allow you to slow down or accelerate; instead the treadmill keeps you at a steady speed throughout your workout. Often times while you are running you start to slow down as you get tired, usually not even realizing you are doing this because you are feeling the same intensity and physical effort being applied to your body.
The treadmill forces you to keep up the pace and speed you had planned for your training session, ensuring you power through those last few sprints at the full speed intended. You will most likely feel the extra burn and intensity at the end of your first speed training workout on a treadmill making you realize that you may have been cheating yourself on some of your training workouts.
Here are 3 speed training treadmill workouts to try from this article on TreadmillTalk.com:
Be sure to start all your speed training workouts with a five-minute warm-up walk or slow jog.
Interval training is one of the most common type of speed work, and the one that has been shown to have the best results. In interval training, you mix up speeds of higher intensity, or harder than normal training pace, then recover with an easier slower pace, and then repeating these two segments over and over.
Many treadmills will come with interval programs preloaded, or custom programs that allow you the ability to set it up yourself. Doing a preloaded program will be best, as stated in the Treadmill Talk article, because it allows you the ability to run without having to constantly watch the clock and having to change the speed yourself, allowing you to get more out of your session.
You can mix and match your interval workouts with longer and shorter intervals for different benefits. Running longer intervals with help you gain aerobic endurance, while the shorter sprints will build speed and explosive strength.
Pyramid workouts, also called ladder workouts, are where you running progressively longer intervals, or you can also run decreasingly shorter intervals. You can even combine the two, for a longer more intense workout.
An example of this would be, “do a 1-minute run, then a 1-minute jog or fast walk for recovery, followed by a 2-minute run, 2-minute slow jog, a 3-minute run, 2-minute slow jog, and so on, up to a 5-minute run and then 2-minute recovery. Then start to decrease the run times as you make your way down the pyramid.”
Here is a great Speed Training Pyramid Workout to try to help give you a good idea.
Fartlek workouts, according to this article, are a lot like pyramid or interval workouts yet a lot less structured. These workouts still mix up intervals of sprints and slower jogs at different durations, yet you adjust the speed as you the runner feels appropriate, there is no set time frame.
Fartlek workouts are best for more experienced runners who know how much they are capable of and will push themselves to that level, yet will not push themselves beyond that. You change the fast and slow intervals to fit your needs and fitness level. A good rule is to try to maintain the 60% to 80% zone of maximum hear rate, and to use a faster-than-race pace to help improve your speed and endurance.
Try this Interval Fartlek Workout found here to help get you started.
During these hot summer months it’s a good idea to get your speed training workouts in on your home treadmill and avoid heat stroke. Treadmills will help you keep your speed training workouts honest and consistent to help you improve your speed, you will soon see that you are getting faster and faster.