Five great treadmill training sessions for beginners

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Almost every gym has a fleet of treadmills. As an alternative to running outside or as an addition to your workout, they’re an efficient tool whatever your fitness goals. But how to make the best use of them? Whether you’re a seasoned indoor runner or haven’t stepped in yet, we’ve gathered five key workouts, plus advice on how and why to use a treadmill, to be something we can all benefit from.

Brian McClelland is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer with Fyt, the United States’ largest personal training service. An endurance coach, he works with everyone from swimmers and runners to cyclists and hikers. As such, he is well prepared to explain the difference between running indoors and outdoors, as well as the benefits of each.


From a physical and health point of view, running on a treadmill and running outside are very similar,” McClelland explains.

Still, for the runner, there are some major differences. “On a treadmill, you have more control over things like pacing, intensity, and incline level,” McClelland says. “You can train at any time of the year and at any time, day or night.” Of course, you lose out on the excitement of being outside, but at the same time, you minimize external limitations such as weather, temperature, traffic, or lack of daylight.

McClelland says, “Both options have their advantages and limitations. But it is not necessarily one or the other. Incorporating both options into the training plan will have positive benefits.”

Indoor and outdoor training both have their advantages, but the treadmill provides you with a tightly controlled environment that is useful for following a structured plan.

Running will improve your aerobic capacity, strengthen your bones, build muscle and burn calories. However, running in a controlled environment with easy access to hydration and nutrition, as well as training at a consistent pace, makes indoor running ideal when following more structured training plans.

All of this means that indoor running is great for getting through sessions that can be difficult outside. A clear example of this is the treadmill’s ability to create hills for runners living in flat areas. “If you’re training for an event that has some challenging hills, doing hill repeats on an adjustable treadmill will help give you the training impetus needed for those elevation changes,” McClelland says.

Another benefit of running indoors is that you’ll be much less likely to slip or turn; Some are especially useful if your workout includes fast stretches or longer strides.

For those who are less interested in running than gym work in general, the treadmill can also be a great way to book a workout. “Jumping for five to 10 minutes on a treadmill at an easy pace is a great way to get the blood pumping and warm up the muscles,” says McClelland.

“If you’re mapping out an hour at the gym, one option to start is by spending the first five minutes doing an easy jog on the treadmill, followed by a five-minute dynamic stretching routine. If your primary strength training workout is generally Go on for about 30-45 minutes, maybe fit in the last five minutes of cool down jog on the treadmill as well as the last five minutes of stretches.”

Many people consistently and successfully incorporate both indoor and outdoor running into their training, but there are many other forms of conditioning to choose from. Still, McClelland is a big proponent of choosing a treadmill when you’re at the gym.

“It doesn’t have to be running on the treadmill every day, but it is a solid choice as part of a conditioning day or as a way to help warm up your body before a strength training session,” he explains. Huh. “If someone is seeking advice on the best way to incorporate running on the treadmill into their weekly training regimen, I would recommend speaking with a fitness professional to find out why, how, and when to incorporate it into their routine. may be beneficial to them.”

Alternatively, if you’re ready to move on, here are five of McClelland’s favorite treadmill workouts.

The Five Best Treadmill Workouts

Your goal: active recovery

Exercise: A good easy one to start. This session is ideal for less experienced athletes or when you want to move the legs without increasing fatigue. Just build up to an easy pace and then maintain it for 20-45 minutes depending on how you feel. No need to advance time or pace; Active recovery work is perfect when you want to get healthy or get some exercise without overtiring yourself.

experts say: When performing this static workout, your perceived exertion should be between two and five out of 10. At this stage, you should be able to hold a full conversation. You can test this by chatting with the person next to you. If you have a heart rate monitor, keep your BPM below 70% of your maximum heart rate. If you feel like your heart rate is taking off from you, it’s always okay to walk. Rest until you are comfortable, then gradually build up to your comfortable running pace. Do this workout over and over, and you should be able to walk for longer periods of time while maintaining a lower heart rate.

Your goal: emulate outside

Exercise: Hill repeats. Classic resistance training for runners, hill repetitions are a great way to build leg strength in a comparatively short half-hour workout. However, in this example, we’ll use your treadmill’s gradient feature to create the hill. Begin on a treadmill flat for a five to ten minute warm-up at an easy pace. For each interval, try running at a tempo for one minute, with the gradient increasing by 2-3%. Between each set, switch to the flat setting and your easy pace for a two-minute recovery. Repeat five times, followed by a five-minute cool-down on the flat.

experts say: “I live in Chicago, which doesn’t have the best opportunities to do hill workouts,” McClelland explains. Fortunately, most treadmills have a feature that allows you to adjust their incline to simulate running uphill. Not only is this great for training for lumpy events, but the added difficulty will also provide increased training incentives. “To progress, gradually either increase the duration or gradient of your efforts or decrease the rest interval between each,” McClelland says.

Your goal: add some intensity

Exercise: Quarter-mile repeats. If you have 40-45 minutes to spare, this set of four quarter-mile repetitions involves a lot of time spent at a good level of exertion. Start with an easy five-minute build up to warm up. Follow this with five intervals where you alternate five- to 10-second intervals of long jumps with one minute of easy pace. Next, for each quarter-mile, you want to work close to your maximum effort level, while remaining slightly behind in reserve. Leave a leisurely three to four minute interval between each quarter and end with a five to 10-minute warm-down.

experts say: Progress after the warm up sets you up for some serious work in this relatively challenging session. If you know your mile pace, great. Otherwise, we’re aiming for a good lick. “Your effort for each quarter-mile should be strong enough,” McClelland says. “We’re talking about 80-89% of your max heart rate, or a level between seven and nine out of 10. Training takes place at a low intensity and 20% at a high intensity; this is called high-intensity sessions. will be counted as one of the

Your goal: build aerobic strength

Exercise: steady-state effort. This 45-minute session will focus on aerobic strength, which is an essential cornerstone of your performance whether you’re running a 5km or a marathon. Start with a 10-minute easy warm-up. Next, come up with three five-minute intervals at your half-marathon pace. Don’t worry if you are not sure about this. If you’re estimating your exertion rate, you can always aim for 71-85% of your maximum heart rate, or between four and seven out of 10. Essentially it should be something that you can sustain for two to three hours. Give yourself about three minutes of walking or jogging between intervals and finish with a 10-minute cool down.

experts say: It’s the sort of thing that often becomes part of a runner’s training program. So there is a lot of scope for extension of this session. “As you improve, you can add additional intervals depending on your training level,” McClelland says. “Alternatively, you can add time to steady-state effort or reduce the time devoted to each recovery interval. A final option is to increase the gradient to 2.5 or 3% if you’re feeling particularly strong.” grow in the middle”.

Your goal: Come fast

Exercise: speed ladder. This workout is ideally suited to be conducted on a treadmill. Freed from the distractions of the road, you can focus on getting through each section. If necessary, you can also keep your notes nearby. This one-hour workout begins with a 10-minute warm-up. This is followed by two minutes at a moderate pace slightly above this level and somewhere between three and five at your perceived exertion rate. The next two minutes are at tempo, or somewhere between five and seven on your rate of perceived exertion. In the end, the most challenging bit of the ladder is the two strong minutes closer to your maximum level of exertion. Follow it up with a very easy four-minute recovery. Aim for four sets and be sure…

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