Running is a great way to burn calories and increase cardiovascular fitness. But when bad weather hits and you take a day off, it can lead to two and three and four days off, and before you know it, you can easily slip out of your running routine.
That’s why many runners turn to the treadmill, either a quality in-home machine or a machine at the gym.
Treadmills are nice because you can run anytime, day or night, regardless of the weather. And it can actually be safer than running outside.
You won’t meet any strange dogs, wild animals, or strangers while running inside on the treadmill. Plus, treadmills give you a nice, smooth surface to run on and that can be easier on your joints than if you were outside, pounding the pavement (as long as you continue exercising with proper technique.)
When you run on a treadmill, it’s a cinch to set both your pace and your incline. By occasionally running on the treadmill, you’ll be able to gauge how it feels to run at a certain pace when you run outside again. And you can easily make small changes to your treadmill routine, which can lead to big results, fast.
To stave off boredom when you are working out, use headphones and download inspiring and motivating music from the Internet. Or download an audiobook.
You can also catch up on your TV by watching recorded TV shows. Just make sure that the viewing (or listening) doesn’t interfere with good running technique.
Another great way to alleviate boredom on the treadmill: Interval training.
Treadmills make it easy to interval train, which means alternating slower paces and gentle inclines with periods of faster paces and/or a higher incline. Interval training can really help you maximize calorie burn, too.
You can either use the preset running programs installed on your treadmill, or adjust the incline and speed manually.
As always, you’ll want to start your running workout by stretching your muscles before you even get on the treadmill. Then, once you hop on the machine, warm up for about a half mile. To do this, simply set the treadmill on a speed lower than you are used to when you run. Then start your interval training: alternate a slower speed with a faster speed, then back to the slower speed for specific intervals of time (one to five minutes).
As your fitness level improves, you can increase the length of the more challenging interval. You can also increase the incline of the treadmill as you run for an even more challenging workout.
You might find that it will help you to stay motivated and inspired in your workout if you tackle different training modes on different days. For example, one day you can interval train by focusing on the incline of your treadmill. The next day, focus on speed. The third day, you can interval train for both speed and incline.