Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crazy from the Heat...Treadmill tales

This time last year I swore up and down that I would never, never, ever, never run outside in the summer.  I was that emphatic about it, only crazy people would be out running in upper 80, 90, 100+ temps.  Guess what?  I have become one of those crazy people.

So far we have had over 30 days of triple degree temps.  We start our mornings at 85 degrees and it is still well over a hundred past 9pm.  It's severely cramped my lunch time runs and has left me resigning myself to one of the treadmills in the fitness center at my work.  It's kind of ironic that the way I started my running adventure is now my least favorite way to run.  I would rather watch paint dry than have to step foot on the treadmill.  I am finding new ways to keep my treadmill days challenging though.  My scenery may not change but the workouts certainly do.

My two favorites so far have been both interval based and stay around twenty to thirty minutes.

I started running 1 mile as fast as I can after I hit the mile mark, I will walk for one minute.  After that minute is up, I will speed back up a little past my previous speed until I hit mile two.  Walk again for one minute.  Then the last 1.1 mile at the fastest speed yet.  Then end with a five minute cool down.  All of this is done on random incline.   This interval work has given me several pr's for 5k time, 1k time, fastest mile.  Because it's been so hot and I have slowed down greatly when I do run outside it's hard to say if any of the speed work has paid off in terms of cutting time off my outside runs.  Can't wait to see how it translates.

The other treadmill work has been working on inclines so I can defeat my nemesis hills.  I stumbled upon this one on twitter.  The original one can be found here.  Quick and Sweaty 20 minute workout.  I have modified it a little for me depending on the days. But this is totally charging up my quick indoor lunch runs and this one I can say has definitely improved my stamina on hills.  I can definitely see a difference when I come up to the hilly portion of my long runs.

My  modified version:
Gradually increase speed and incline the first minute.
Then from minutes 1-5:  8.0 incline, speed at 4.0

Minutes 5-10 (maybe - if I'm not on a time crunch I extend this portion out a bit)
incline: 1.0
Speed alternating by minute between 7.0 and 8.0

Last five minutes:
ramp the incline back up to 8.0
Speed starts at 4.0 but I end up around 4.5

I have really loved the addition of this one to my treadmill arsenal.

I do still have a long outdoor run on weekends, and so far I have gotten up to 6.6 miles.  I got a late start this morning and it was so hot that I stopped short today at 4 miles. I plan to get up early tomorrow and try to get up to 7 miles.

Can't wait for cooler weather, but at least now my treadmill days are anything but boring.