LAST WEEK ONE OF THE BLOG POSTS featured an an article that recommended 3 different indoor treadmill workouts. I was eager to try the “hill climb” routine: start with an easy 1-3 mile run, then on the treadmill with the grade increased to 6-8%, run a half mile at 10K speed and follow with easy 3-4 minute run. Repeat 6-8 times. Finish with 1-3 mile easy run.
My 10K speed is about 10minute/mile. Some of you may be much faster, others slower; don’t fret over numbers. They are what they are. It’s an often-repeated saying that “a 12 minute mile is just as far as a 6 minute mile”.
In this fitness center (I was visiting on vacation) the treadmill incline could be increased from Number 0 to 15, at .5 increments. There was no indication on the machine of the exact percent incline that corresponded to each .5 increase (but most treadmills maximum is a 15% incline, so likely it was .5%).
I started at “6” incline and set the speed at “5.5” (I presumed this was 5.5 miles/hour, “6” would have been 10 minutes/mile), to ease into the workout. However, I ran the most of it at a “3” incline and “5.5” speed, only performed 4 repeats, and walked most of the 2 mile cool-down. The first concern of any and every workout for me is safety. I do not wish to injure myself such that I cannot run at all for while. This routine seemed like it might be too much for my degree of fitness. I needed to start at a lower effort level.
With this recent experience in mind, I researched the topic of treadmill hill climb repeats, and found one by Matt Fitzgerald in Competitor.com that considers WALKING on a STEEP INCLINE to be a safe, low-impact alternative to running. His caveat is to “ease into it and avoid switching over to it abruptly” especially if you plan to use it as an alternative workout when you are injured”. The article recommends incorporating this uphill walking workout once a week while NOT INJURED, so that you can continue to do it if or WHEN AN INJURY OCCURS, and “your body is already adapted to” it and “you transition to daily walking” instead of running.
Check out the full article for the specifics of the workout, which consists of walking on the treadmill at a maximum incline, starting at a low speed and increasing to the highest while still walking (not running). I’ll try this too as it seems like a brilliant way to rescue a training plan in the case of injury. I’ll also continue to ease into the hill climber running routine.
What are your experiences with incline treadmill workouts?
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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