Friday, January 3, 2014

Avoid the Cold, Don't Avoid Your Run---Tips for Treadmill Running

Edgewood, KY 4-Day Forecast

High: 36  Low: 27
High: 37    Low:-10
High: -6      Low: 9
High: 4        Low:-2

Most (sane) people, unlike Chris (pictured at the right),
 would take one look at these temperatures, and avoid running outside. Makes sense, but it doesn’t mean you have to avoid your run altogether. Personally, I’m not a fan of the treadmill, but when it’s -10 degrees out a treadmill doesn’t sound all that horrible..

Now, if you aren’t used to running on a treadmill there are a few things you need to know.

Warm Up Right
Most runners know their pace and plug it in right away on the treadmill, but what many people don't know is that going from zero to sixty could cause injury. When we run outside our bodies naturally and gradually roll in to our optimal pace. Below is a basic way to warm up to help make your workout as beneficial and safe as possible:

  •          Walk for 3 minutes: Start easy and build  up to a brisk walk in the last minute.
  •          Jog for 3 minutes: If you know your marathon pace, this effort is about 1 to 1.5 minutes slower per mile.
  •          3 x 20/40: This is 20 seconds fast, 40 seconds recovery. Goal here is to get the blood pumping and have you ready to hit your intervals/training session at 100 percent.

Watch Your Step                             
While the cushioned surface helps prevent injuries, some people report aches and pains after putting extra time on the treadmill. Be sure to run at a pace you can comfortably sustain. If you can’t keep up with the treadmill without grabbing the handrails, you’re going too fast. Holding onto the handrails can throw off your stride and create a twisting motion, which can lead to injuries.  As you tire, lower your speed or incline.

Use the Incline to Your Advantage
Running on a flat treadmill is similar to running down a slight decline on the open road. Combined with the treadmill’s inertia, you could start to over-stride a bit and lose your natural running form. Standard Treadmill Protocol is to set the incline at 1% as the baseline for all your runs.

As you begin to improve on the treadmill, the natural tendency is to increase the speed at which you are running, but this won’t translate to the open road. Instead of just going faster; challenge yourself by increasing the incline.

Decipher the Pacing Info
Many treadmills show pace as miles-per-hour (MPH). Below is a cheat sheet so you can find your minutes-per-mile pace, more commonly used by runners:

·         4 mph = 15:00 minutes per mile
·         4.5 mph = 13:20 minutes per mile
·         5.0 mph = 12:00 minutes per mile
·         5.5 mph = 10:55 minutes per mile
·         6.0 mph = 10:00 minutes per mile
·         6.5 mph = 9:14 minutes per mile
·         7.0 mph = 8:34 minutes per mile

Now that you’ve read some tips on treadmill running, watch the special edition of Wednesday with Wheels to hear his perspective and advice about running on a treadmill. 

Happy Running! 

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