Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mix Up Your Treadmill Workout

The treadmill is a common piece of equipment used in people's exercise routines and plans. It is a great way to lose weight, maintain weight, and just get your body moving. The great thing is you can adjust it according to skill and ability. But sometimes the idea of getting on a treadmill just seems boring, so here are some new ways to mix up your workout, and probably boost the number of calories burned. Always keep in mind that these workouts could be done outside if it's a nice day!

Adding in a hill workout provides your legs and lungs with an additional challenge, which can help improve your fitness. Any treadmill you use should be able to achieve at least a 10 percent grade--more than enough for a good hill workout. After you warm-up for a few minutes, increase the grade to 3 to 5 percent and run for two minutes. Lower it back down and run at your normal speed for two minutes. Increase the grade again and run for another two minutes uphill. Repeat this pattern four to six times before cooling down for a few minutes to end your workout. You can always mix up how much you increase, making some hills harder than others.


Progression Run

A progression run starts at a nice easy jog and builds in speed and intensity as you warm-up. By end of a progression run, you are running faster than you would on a normal easy run. For a 35-minute progression run, begin with 10 minutes of easy jogging, slowly increasing the pace up to a normal easy run effort. For the next 20 minutes, increase the pace a little bit, 10 to 20 seconds per mile, every five minutes. By the end you should be running at a fairly hard, but still comfortable, pace. After the 20-minute progression run, return to an easy jog for a five-minute cool down.
Interval training also can help you improve your aerobic fitness and make your time on the treadmill go by quicker. To improve your aerobic conditioning, add in some three-minute intervals at your current 5K race pace. If you don't know what you could run for that distance, use an estimate of what you think you could run for 3 miles if you ran as hard as possible. Warm-up for an easy 10 minutes and then increase the treadmill speed to your desired pace and run that for three minutes. Ease it back to an easy pace for another three minutes and then repeat the harder interval. Try doing three to five faster intervals. (This is a good workout to do on a track. You can do a couple easy laps, and then a couple hard laps, and repeat until you can't do the hard laps.)

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