Whether snow and ice cover your favorite running routes or rainy runs are more frequent than not, more runners gravitate towards the treadmill in the winter months than any other time of year.
But here’s the problem: the treadmill is approximately tens times more boring than the longest of long and slow outdoor runs. Even though it’s preferable to slipping on ice or not running at all, the treadmill rarely compares to the fun of outdoor runs.
Hard running workouts like high intensity intervals usually make time fly by faster on the treadmill, but not every run can be done at high intensity without quickly leading to injury, overtraining, or lots and lots of fatigued and soreness.
Easy runs play an important role in training: they improve your aerobic fitness, increase your durability as a runner, and decrease your risk of injury. But if you’re stuck inside for a majority of your runs thanks to winter weather, the temptation often increases to ditch the easy runs all together in favor of fun treadmill workouts.
There is a way, though, to keep your treadmill runs easy without being so bored you lose all motivation to even complete the run, much less continue in your training when you can’t get outside to run.
Easy Run Treadmill Workout
This easy run treadmill workout will beat treadmill boredom without pushing you so hard that you lose the benefit of an easy run. How? Little surges of speed and small hills are sprinkled throughout the run to add variety for both your mind and body.
Your easy pace isn’t one specific pace, but rather it’s a range. For most runners, easy pace is approximately 45 to 120 seconds slower than marathon pace, or just about 2 minutes or more slower than 5K pace. Most importantly, easy pace should feel truly easy; you should be able to easy converse in full sentences, which is why it’s also called conversation pace. If you have to ask yourself if you’re running at an easy pace, you probably aren’t running easy enough.
How else can you add fun and variety to an easy treadmill run?
- Begin at the slower end of your easy pace range (about 2 minutes slower than marathon pace). Every 3-4 minutes, increase the pace by 0.1 mph until you reach the faster end of your easy pace range (about 45-50 seconds slower than marathon pace). Return to your starting pace and repeat for the remainder of your run.
- Throw in frequent hills, from a 3-8% incline, every few minutes while maintaining an easy pace.
- Change your pace by 0.1-0.5mph with each song, as long as you stay within your easy pace range.
If easy runs on the treadmill are still boring and mentally difficult for you, remember that one of the benefits of treadmill running is that it builds mental strength as you have to focus on a rather boring task for an extended amount of time.
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday!
How do you entertain yourself on treadmill runs?
Would you rather run in below freezing temperatures or in the rain?
Did you have President’s Day off? We did and saw Deadpool, which was so funny (and, thankfully, not as graphic as I worried).