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How To Make The Most Of Your Treadmill Workout

by Alexandra Parren

treadmill running winter snow training marathon

If wintry conditions prevent you from running outside, the treadmill might be your only option. While this is rarely a good thing (although some athletes actually prefer the treadmill!) you can still have a good workout and get those miles in.

Use heart rate data

Heart rate training is a great way to maximise results and be able to get more out of your training session. By using a fitness wearable that incorporates heart rate tracking, you will be able to monitor your heart rate throughout the workout to make sure that you are working hard enough! A lot of heart rate trackers will allow you to do a VO2 max test and even an FTP test which will give you your personalised heart rate zones and this will help you to identify where you want to be when you're running.

Do hill repeats

If you live in a flat area, the treadmill can be your only opportunity to get some hill training in, so make the most of it! Hill training as well as sprints are vital for getting faster at running and improving your overall fitness. Pounding the pavement for mile after mile is good for acclimatising your body to endurance, but hill work and sprints will improve your overall form, not to mention the fact it'll save you when you inevitably hit a hill during your race!

Try Fartlek training

Fartlek may sound like a hilarious word to us English speakers, it's actually a very important method of training. From the Swedish meaning 'speed play', Fartlek training refers to a type of interval training when you mix up the speeds and intensities randomly. Most types of interval training will have you doing the same repeats, such as 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. However, in Fartlek, the idea is to keep your body guessing and change it up every time, so you might sprint for 40 seconds, then walk for 20 seconds, then jog for 50 seconds, then sprint again for 30 seconds and so on. The more random the better, as this will stop your body from adapting and will help you see better results.

Don't get distracted

You'll see at lot of people at the gym who will sit back on a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill with a book, magazine, or even a film in front of them. While the logic of this is sound, it is not conducive to a good workout. If you are focussed on something else, you won't be focussed on your training. You need to concentrate on your running, listen to your body, and push hard to get results. If it feels easy, it's not working!

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