with Performance Specialist Mike Simon, CSCS, CPT, FMS, USAW

It is very rare to find someone who enjoys getting outside to run during the winter months.  From December to late March it can be difficult to find the motivation to run outside especially when temps are below 40 degrees on a consistent basis.  Unfortunately we cannot write anything that might motivate you, but we can help with some treadmill workouts that can help switch up your routine and can help keep you on track.

The research on treadmills compared to outdoor running shows that there is not a difference between the training mechanisms.  One may argue that running outdoors you can get the natural ups and downs of the streets but treadmills have the ability to incline for feelings of hills and some can even decline like running down a hill.

Treadmills have the quick start option to get into a run and stay at a consistent pace while many other treadmills also offer the ability to train with pre-loaded programs. A good workout for the treadmill (that you can also do outside) is a form of fartlek training.  Fartlek is “speed play” in Swedish.  When we mention fartlek training we mean “speed running” and an example would be to run at a comfortable, easy pace for 3 minutes and then for 20 seconds ramp up the speed to a comfortable yet fast pace.  After the 20 seconds of speed is over you slow the pace back to a comfortable run.  Repeat the process a few times at your leisure but make sure the easy pace is how you end the workout to allow your body to cool down.  This workout is good because A) you’ll increase then decrease your heart rate like an interval workout would do and B) it helps combat boredom.

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