It was only recently that I overcame my fear of the treadmill. I was convinced that my clumsiness would send me flying off the back end of that never-ending path. My first run never broke a speed of 5 and had my shirt attached to the little safety stop clip–which I later learned no one actually wears.
Months later, I am a huge fan of the treadmill for the sheer control. I know how far I’ve gone, how long it took me to get there, and how many calories I burned. I can even control how many hills I climb.
However, I never use any program options. I only ever press the “manual” option and come up with workouts myself. While I initially spent my 30 minutes completing a flat run, once I got a handle on the machine I began to experiment.
- Intervals–Warm up for five minutes, run hard for two. Walk for one. Run for three. Walk for one. Run for four. And so on. Speed play will help to keep your heart rate elevated and also helps the time pass.
- Goals— Set challenges for yourself. I try to run 3 miles in my 30 minute run. And for the middle mile, I try to make my best mile time (8 minutes).
- Hills— Don’t forget about the incline setting. I realized today that the calories per hour on a slow speed but high incline is equal to a flat run at faster speeds. Vary your incline to simulate the outdoors and walk or run up hills.
After years of swimming, my transition to gym workouts left the sets and workouts behind. It only recently occurred to me that a swimming workouts can be modified and applied to running workouts, to an extent. Take what you already know and adapt it to new exercises. For example, 4 x 50’s mixed sprint can translate to running laps just as easily as swimming them.
Of course, program options can do all of the work for you.