Oh no! The treadmill

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  randys 13 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #2160

    randys
    Member

    In general I train on the road year round. The only exception being hill training which I do on the mill.

    The last time I did hills was last summer so I had a long streak of outdoor running going. But these past 2 days were just too much! I gave up and got on the mill. It was cold, windy and snowing outside and the roads were too slippery.

    On Tuesday I ran a really good 7 mile tempo run on the mill. I was worried about my speed lately. My tempo runs seemed labored these past several weeks. I guess the wind and extra clothing makes a bigger difference than I thought! The tempo on the mill felt almost effortless compared to the ones on the road. So, Tuesday I was happy I did a mill workout.

    I was far less happy on Wednesday. I ran 16 and around mile 12 I began to daydream about jumping off and heading out the door (and all I was wearing at the time was shorts and shoes).

    Plus, unlike outdoor winter running, where I often run 20 milers without water, I forgot to have water on hand at the mill. By mile 13 I started a mental battle over finishing the run without or stopping to grab a bottle.

    I hate stopping, for any reason, but at mile 14 I jumped off and got a drink then finished the run. I also swore that even if the roads turn to ice tonight I am going back outside. Once or twice a week for hill workouts is more than enough treadmill time!

    Randy

  • #17394

    Anne
    Member

    Hi Randy, what do you set the incline at for a hill workout on the treadmill?

    Do you change the elveation throughout the workout?

  • #17395

    randys
    Member

    Anne,

    Yes, I vary the incline and the pace. I do this to make the workout more interesting (less boring) and to work at a faster pace and a higher grade then I could for an entire session.

    I do a total of 7 miles.

    1 mile @ 5% interval pace

    1 mile @ 6% tempo pace

    1 mile @ 7% marathon pace

    1 mile @ 8% long run pace

    1 mile @ 7% easy run pace

    1 mile @ 6% tempo pace

    1 mile @ 5% interval pace

    Each mile is divided into 2 repeats and 2 recoveries (each at 400m or 1/4 mile).

    I don’t do a warmup so I begin the workout with a 400m reecovery. In other words each mile is:

    400 rcv – 400 hard – 400 rcv – 400 hard

    During the recovery phase I slow to an easy jog or walk. I want to hit the planned pace during each interval so I fully recover between them.

    As much as I prefer running outdoors its tough to beat the treadmill for hill repeats. No downhill pounding and its easy to select grade and pace.

    I also use the mill (sometimes) for interval workouts. I have a tendancy to start each repeat too fast and end it too slow. Obviously on the mill I don’t have that problem. But after a few workouts, once I am used to the pace, I take it outside (with my Garmin GPS watch to track distance I can do repeats anywhere).

    Randy

  • #17396

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Treadmills… 😛

    I actually went on a treadmill a couple of weeks ago for the first time in at least 2-3 years when a snowstorm left the roads unsafe to run on. If it’s risk my life or a treadmill, yes, I will choose the treadmill. The next day, I was paying for it. I would have challenged anyone on that day to tell me that the mechanics of running on solid ground and running on the treadmill are the same.

    Anyway, Anne brings up a good point. Treadmill running should feel easier if you are not running with an incline. Also, I find it to feel like an even bigger difference in the winter because of the clothes situation you mentioned, as well as the fact that at least around here slippery surfaces seem to slow you down a bit every step you take and the perpetual winter wind also slows you down quite a bit. To get an idea of how to account for wind resistance, you can see the chart in the training section of this site. You can find it in the menu on the left side at Training -> Treadmill Pace Conversions (or you can just click the link). This, of course, doesn’t account for extra clothing and the lovely conditions winter may throw at you.

  • #17397

    Zeke
    Member
    RandyS wrote:
    I began to daydream about jumping off and heading out the door.

    I wouldn’t advise that because going outside after being on the mill will feel really cold. However, I don’t mind starting outside, then when I get too cold, I head inside. Last weekend it was 10 below and I had a long run planned. I was hoping to get 4 miles outside, but ended up with 14, then I jumped on the mill for another 6.

    By mile 13 I started a mental battle over finishing the run without or stopping to grab a bottle. I hate stopping, for any reason, but at mile 14 I jumped off and got a drink then finished the run.

    Randy, you’re a little too strict for me. Do you really think your overall fitness is going to suffer if you have to stop a run for 1-2 minutes to get a drink? If that were the case I’d never stop to go to the bathroom.

    I think we’ve talked about this before but I’m curious what your 400m repeats feel like (i.e. the effort involved) when you’re doing 5% @ interval pace, 6% @ tempo pace and 7% @ marathon pace? It seems to me that those would be very hard efforts. Maybe since you’re only running for 1:30-1:45 it’s not a big deal. I just tend to focus more on form and less on speed when I do my hill repeats.

  • #17398

    randys
    Member

    Ryan,

    I agree! My legs usually feel worse after a treadmill workout. I think on the road our leg muscles are worked in a slightly different way.

    Small variations in pace and the irregular surface act upon our leg muscle differently throughout the run. While on the treadmill our pace and the landing surface never change. This may result in a smaller number of muscle fibers carrying the load.

    Zeke,

    I know stopping for a few minutes during a run will not effect my fitness. My biggest problem when racing is not my fitness; its my inability to cope with discomfort for the long duration of a marathon.

    If I were stronger mentally I would run faster times. So I try to run workouts, exactly according to the plan, at the expected pace, without variation. Sometimes that’s easy; sometimes it requires me to go outside my comfort zone. The more I push myself while training the easier I will deal with ‘negative self-talk’ in the race.

    Regarding the hills. I find the 6% and 7% grades to be harder than the 4% or 5%, regardless of pace. The interval pace is my 1600m interval pace (not 400m) and I hold tempo pace for 3 or 4 miles in regualr tempo runs.

    Even with the grade, maintaining this pace for 400m, is tough but doable. I struggle more on the higher grades even at slower paces. This is a tough workout, but in spite of my problem tolerating pain, if the duration is short I can tolerate it.

    Randy

  • #17399

    Anonymous
    Ryan wrote:
    I would have challenged anyone on that day to tell me that the mechanics of running on solid ground and running on the treadmill are the same.

    I run all my training runs on the mill and anyone who argues that is nuts! It saves my knees and allows me to train harder then I can on the roads so I continue to use it, but to say its exactly the same as running outdoors is just ridiculous.

  • #17400

    JCWrs
    Member

    Ooops that was me…gotta log in…gotta log in…gotta log in!

  • #17401

    GTF
    Member
    Zeke wrote:
    Do you really think your overall fitness is going to suffer if you have to stop a run for 1-2 minutes to get a drink?

    Lydiard say: any stop >15″ defeats the purpose of the run.

  • #17402

    Zeke
    Member
    GTF wrote:
    Lydiard say: any stop >15″ defeats the purpose of the run.

    I heard that too a month or two ago. That’s probably the silliest thing I’ve heard from Lydiard. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t – but how the hell are you gonna prove it?

    Hell, I stop to take a leak on nearly every run over 6 miles. I’ve been on 20 milers where I’ve stopped 5-6 times to go to the bathroom. I still find it amazing that I don’t have to pee during a marathon. I guess all those stops are what’s keeping me from running being elite. Damn, small bladder!!! 😳

  • #17403

    Zeke
    Member
    RandyS wrote:
    Regarding the hills. I find the 6% and 7% grades to be harder than the 4% or 5%, regardless of pace. The interval pace is my 1600m interval pace (not 400m) and I hold tempo pace for 3 or 4 miles in regualr tempo runs.

    Even with the grade, maintaining this pace for 400m, is tough but doable. I struggle more on the higher grades even at slower paces. This is a tough workout, but in spite of my problem tolerating pain, if the duration is short I can tolerate it.

    Randy,

    I was thinking about your hill workouts some more. I keep coming back with this idea that you’re doing them too hard (for this point in your training). It seems to me that you’re working your VO2 system given the pace and incline. Your race is still 13-14 weeks away and that seems too early to be running hard. Have you (or anyone else) thought about that at all?

  • #17404

    randys
    Member

    Zeke,

    Last night I ran hill repeats for the first time in this cycle. I did the workout I described earlier:

    1 mile @ grades of (5%,6%,7%,8%,7%,6%,5%) with 2 x 400m workbouts and 2 x 400m recovery per mile.

    Pace of each mile was (7:13, 7:35, 8:00, 8:27, 8:00, 7:35, 7:13). My planned mp this May is 7:35.

    When on the mill I usually wear the hrm. My HRR never even got to 90% and was under 85% for most of the workout.

    This workout, feeling as easy as it did, is a huge boost to my confidence.

    When I do this workout on Thursday I may start the grade at 6%. It felt too easy which was a shock; I expected to struggle! And my treadmill is ‘fast’, so my pace probably was about 5 secs quicker.

    The key was the recovery every 400m. I did the recovery with 0% grade and a very easy pace (whatever pace II needed to recover before the next interval; most between 8:30 and 9:00).

    As far as starting hill repeats now: I plan to do 1 or 2 of hill workouts for the next 4 weeks (2 in weeks when the long run is 16 miles and 1 in weeks when the long run is 20+, which is every other week).

    Then I go to 1 or 2 workouts a week of short intervals (7 x 800m @ 6:35 pace) for 4 weeks. Finally 4 weeks of long intervals (3 x 1600m @ 6:50). Also 1 or 2 workouts a week based on the long run.

    Then the first tapering week where tempo runs are only quality workout. Followed by race week which is easy milage, strides and marathon pace runs.

    Oh, and from now till the race, on weeks where I do 1 primary workout because of the long run, I do an ‘up-tempo’ run too. Depending on how I feel I run anywhere from marathon pace to tempo pace. Its not a real ‘tempo’ run but depending on how I feel sometimes it is.

    Anyway, the treadmill workouts the past couple of weeks, including a marathon pace run (with a HRR below 80%), a tempo run (with a HRR below 85%) and now this hill session has boosted my confidence greatly.

    Unless something goes wrong I will have my sub 3:20 on May 1st. This is a large jump from my PB of 3:29 but really is less than it seems.

    I ran the 1st 3:29 at this race last year (in very poor conditions). I was training (before the leg injury) for a sub 3:25 last fall. With the injury I still ran a steady marathon in November and ran another 3:29. This time without a sharpening phase (the injury allowed me to continue running but ran mostly easy pace runs). Without the injury I could have run a 3:24.

    I see going 3:19 now as really a 3:29, 3:24, 3:19 progression over 12 months which is a reasonable rate of improvement.

    I am a very structured and patient person, If I can get the 3:19 this May and a 3:14 in Nov I will be on track to get to a sub 3:00 by age 50 (3 years). Thats the long range goal; and I like taking small chunks at a time so that every race is an improvement instead of a disappointment.

    My long runs now are at last years marathon pace (8:00 pace, 3:29 finish) and they feel easy. I could run a 3:29 BQ off of base training now. A year ago that was my racing goal and felt difficult. Today that goal would be easy.

    The same is true of the hills. Last year this was a workout I struggled to complete and dreaded doing. This year it felt almost easy.

    Randy

  • #17405

    Zeke
    Member

    1 mile @ grades of (5%,6%,7%,8%,7%,6%,5%) with 2 x 400m workbouts and 2 x 400m recovery per mile.

    Pace of each mile was (7:13, 7:35, 8:00, 8:27, 8:00, 7:35, 7:13). My planned mp this May is 7:35.

    When on the mill I usually wear the hrm. My HRR never even got to 90% and was under 85% for most of the workout.

    Maybe we’re just “arguing” over semantics. 85-90% of HRR seems more like a tempo workout to me. However, when I see someone with an MP of 7:35 running 7:13 pace at 5% incline – it seems like it should be harder than a tempo workout.

    As far as starting hill repeats now: I plan to do 1 or 2 of hill workouts for the next 4 weeks (2 in weeks when the long run is 16 miles and 1 in weeks when the long run is 20+, which is every other week).

    I don’t have a problem with hill repeats 13-14 weeks out, it’s HARD hill repeats 13-14 weeks out. However, you said they feel “easy” so I guess you’re “okay.”

  • #17406

    randys
    Member

    Zeke,

    I think the key to them ‘feeling easy’ is the fact that each repeat is only 400m. I could not do this same workout if the repeats where 800m (even with 800m recoveries). At 400m I may be getting well into the anaerobic zone but am only holding it for 2 minutes or less before I recover.

    With the 400m recovery I am clearing any lactate that accumulated before the next repeat begins so I am almost starting fresh (although the peak HR did climb a little higher with each repeat).

    Of course I am a little down again today. I just got off the mill. Did a 13 mile medium long run at easy pace (8:27 on the mill), which is supposed to be a recovery run before Thursdays hill workout.

    The HR was 5-8 bpm higher than it was doing my 6 mile recovery run (same pace) on Monday. This could be an effect from yesterdays workout. In any event I will do Thursdays workout without increasing the intensity. I will wait till I see how I feel after Sundays 20 to decide on changing the hill workout protocol.

    Randy

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