Thursday, August 12, 2010

Treadmill Thursday - Hills on the "Mill"

YAY!  Week one of Treadmill Thursday, [Jamoosh, please try and contain yourself].

Now, you may not know it but every [every] treadmill comes with a "see results faster" button.  They are standard issue.  Press "this" button and you are guaranteed faster results, more fat burning [= better abs as per Petra's comment, love her], crank up your fitness level, enhances running economy & strengthen the legs.

This fabulous button is simply labeled, "incline".

Yes, it's easy to understand why this is the case.  A recent study at the University of Georgia found that uphill running activates nearly 10% more muscle per stride than running on a flat surface.  I know, I know, duh, Emz.  However, when it comes to treadmill running, if you are NOT pushing up the incline to 1% [hill workout or not] - congrats, you just completed your run ----- "down hill".

A 1% incline is ALWAYS needed just to try and replicate the energy requirements of running outdoors.

Now indoor hill training - that a whole other load of fun.  With treadmill training, it's as easy as pushing that fancy button. 

Here's two options for you to try.
[side note - I never listen to music or watch TV until after I have warmed up {one mile}.  I think this is important especially with all the tools we may or may not use to keep us from getting "bored" on treadmill runs.  It's important [as with any running - in or out] to tune into our BODIES during this warm up phase.....any pains, tightness, etc].

Opening workout:

Yes, this is conservative but all "first" should be, right?

1.  4 X 3minutes at 10k speed at a 4% incline
     3 minute recovery jog at 1%
     **over time you can..**
     [work up to 7-8 intervals with a 30-60 second recovery]
     [increase treadmill speed - - don't make major changes immediately.  If you
     were running at a 7.0 try running at a 7.2]

No, a 4% hill doesn't push your leg muscles to the limit - - but again, you can work up to a 8-10% incline over time.

Go hard approach:

Form is important [always].  I find it, even more important as the incline gets higher.
Try and remain as perpendicular to the treadmill as possible [yes, you will be leaning slightly forward].  Arms should be straight forward/straight back - - - - - no Irish jig' arms.

2.  An 8-11% incline which last anywhere from 30-60 seconds.
     2-3 minute recovery periods at a 2% incline
     Pace?  You will need to determine this yourself.  Push yourself but make sure your form is good throughout.  There's No point running a 10% incline at a 7.5mph pace if your form sucks.  It shouldn't feel comfortable or enjoyable - so push yourself!
Eventually, you can do as many as 18 reps X 45 second intervals or 14 x 60 second repetitions per workout.

Now just as with many races . . . . the 1/4 mile FLAT stretch of road which follows the hill [up or down] can be hell.  I heard a fellow marathoner say in Prescott last May, "the hill doesn't hurt me but the recovery from the hill does".   I didn't understand his point then [mile 6] but I sure did by mile 14.  For this reason, I have learned to stay focused during the "recovery" portions.  Check posture, form, arms, core during these mindful minutes.

Closing argument: [heee hee hee] If you are great on "mill hills" you will be DYNO-MITE on the roads.  Says ME.

Is it Friday yet? ;)


Matty O said...

you are one crazy chick.

You haven't convinced me to run on tread mills yet... maybe next thursday you will?

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Ugh, that just sounds like it sucks, So I am writing it down and sticking it into my running workouts

Rae said...

Sweet! I can't wait to try these! Thanks for the tips. Stupid question though...when you say 1% incline, that means an incline of 1 on the treadmill right?

Allie said...

Dear EMZ,
I am 1.74% Irish and I am offended by your post. Maybe I can't help it that my Irish Jig arms are flailing around, it's genetic! I don't appreciate you making fun of my heritage, especially when I am trying to run on a GD incline!


Emz said...

Allie. Game. On. -- I'm feisty #1.
BDD - even if it's a lie.... Happy me!
Rae-yes. :)
Marty-O --- best compliment. Ever.

Melissa said...

I sooooo didn't know that about the 1%. Now when I go today at lunch, it will be at 1%!

Allie said...

LOL, you can be #1, I'll be #1.25

Emz said...

Allie-well that's no fun. Now I want to be #1.25

Marlene said...

Thanks for sharing some of your tricks! The t-mill is not for me, but I still find it interesting to find out what works for others... especially SPEEDIES like you!

Jamoosh said...

Figures - give all the credit to the "incline" when many experts recommend also training with a "decline" since it more accurately links to the pounding your body will take out in the real world.

Emz said...

jamoosh - dead. again. bye.

That's next week Mr. Smiles.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I believe in the power of the incline, but if I do it too often (all winter?), I get pains in my shins and then have to run on the treadmill with no incline. I'm now sad that those runs don't count and the tears are making my treadmill begin to rust (at least in my mind, as I'm at work, which is a totally a different treadmill, though the tears and rust are the same).

Anonymous said...

i love my treadmill, especially on a day like today when it's raining cats and dogs - and an incline is even better. most people listen to their ipod or watch tv while on the treadmill. i think i'm the only runner on the planet that just likes the quiet. i'm never bored. :)

really a nice blog, chica.

Luke said...

Nice workout. I am always worried that treadmill running will shorten my stride or change my form.

Adrienne said...

Love treadmill ideas since I'm there most the time.
Great workout. I'll have to bookmark this and get back to it when I'm on my hill phase.

@Jamoosh--what experts have ever talked about decline being helpful? Never heard that.

Something I've noticed on form: If your arms are swinging the "Irish jig" it's likely your core isn't as strong. Strong core will help with the irish jig swing.

Good advice on trying to focus on recovery portion. I need to try that, I'm usually too busy trying to breathe.

suzy@countdownto26.2 said...

Ugh. I thought my hill work was nasty - that sounds just awful! But gooooooood for you!

Kevin and Kim Partridge said...

I can't believe you are sharing your secrets for the whole world to see! You know I am an incline girl, and I totally agree with the flat part being hard (I hate moving my incline to 0%), now if I could just get my incline to go to 15% like it does at LA.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

THANK YOU I'm about to start "learning" hills via treadmill!

Adam said...

So, do you always set the treadmill to 1%? I did for a while but then I started forgetting and now I have gotten out of the habit.

Petraruns said...

Abs? Did you say abs? Treadmill incline means Emz abs?

Ok I'm going up the hill.

Megan said...

Where I live/run/race is sooo flat. I never train for hills. But if one gets thrown in I can't handle it. I meant to train for it this season. Thanks for the reminder.

Megan said...

Um...I was trying your incline plan this AM and I fell off my mill. Well, I fell hit the belt and ended up pinned against the wall. I'm fine beside the bruises, road rash and wrenched shoulder. This is the 2nd time I fell off the mill. At least this time I was alone and not at the gym. :)

runningwithababyonboard said...

I LOVE your blog. And I never knew I was supposed to be running a 1% incline on the treadmill. I'm going to try your workout... it sounds tough (even the easy one!), but it's just to hot and humid to run outside lately.