Empire’s Kick-Ass Treadmill Workout of the Week
Each week the Empire Tri Club will feature a Weekly Teadmill Workout that will kick your ass into serious shape. Spice up your treadmill workouts by varying the speed and incline to significantly reduce boredom and give you the most bang for your buck. You don’t need to spend countless hours at the gym to see results. A high intensity 30-minute sweat session can fire up your metabolism and help you burn extra calories for several hours after your workout too!
This week’s workout:
Warm-up: Jog for 1 mile, slowly increasing your speed to a 10k race pace.
Main Set: 1 mile build
- 1 mile Build – Start at a moderate pace (level 6-7) Every 1/4 mile, increase the speed. Finish at a challenging effort (Level 8-9)
- 3 min recovery (easy jog, level 2-3)
- Repeat 2-4 times, until you complete your desired distance
Cool down: 5 minute jog
- Aim for a negative split – meaning each mile interval is the same time or slightly faster than the one before.
- Your 2-3 minute jog should be nice and easy – bring your heart rate & breathing back under control.
- Repeat as many times as necessary to complete your desired time or distance.
Incline for Treadmill Running *Because treadmill running is easier than outdoor running (since there’s no wind resistance), set the incline to 1% to better simulate outdoor running conditions. If you’re new to treadmill running, you may want to start with a 0% incline and then gradually move up to 1%.
Perceived Exertion When exercising, it’s important to monitor your intensity to make sure that your pace/effort is appropriate for the workout you’re doing. One way to do that is to use a Perceived Exertion Scale. In general, for most workouts you want to be at around Level 5-6. If you’re doing interval training, you want your recovery to be around a 4-5 and your intensity blasts to be at around 8-9. As you’ll see below, working at a level 10 isn’t recommended for most workouts. For longer, slower workouts, keep your PE at Level 5 or lower.
- Level 1: I’m watching TV and eating bon bons
- Level 2: I’m comfortable and could maintain this pace all day long
- Level 3: I’m still comfortable, but am breathing a bit harder
- Level 4: I’m sweating a little, but feel good and can carry on a conversation effortlessly
- Level 5: I’m just above comfortable, am sweating more and can still talk easily
- Level 6: I can still talk, but am slightly breathless
- Level 7: I can still talk, but I don’t really want to. I’m sweating like a pig
- Level 8: I can grunt in response to your questions and can only keep this pace for a short time period
- Level 9: I am probably going to die
- Level 10: I am dead
References: About.com Perceived Exertion Scale
Determining your heart rate (HR) zones for the bike or run
There are many ways to determine your heart rate zones. HR zones are important tool for gauging effort and incorporating this key indicator into any good training plan or workout. Many Empire Triathlon workouts will reference these HR zones – so it’s important to know your zones!
The common and least effective is 220-age formula (with differences in the formula if you’re a female). A more accurate way of calculating your HR zones is located in an article here. I like Joel Friel’s method because it is simple to use and doesn’t require any special testing equipment. Once you calculate these zones, you can set your heart rate monitor to targets to see if you’re meeting your training requirements. If you have a mid-high end heart rate monitor, it’ll be able to tell you the amount of time that you spent in any particular zone during the training session, and the minimum/average/highest HR achieved.
When conducting this test, either indoors or outdoors, it is very important to test under the same conditions. For this reason, I like to do the run portion on a treadmill or a track (with a GPS watch) and the bike portion on a Computrainer – on any indoor trainer/bike. Make sure if you’re bike outdoors that you 1) have a bike computer and that you 2) choose a consistent route and this relatively flat.
Be sure to test every fourth week if you are following a training plan. That “recovery week” should also include consistent benchmark tests so see if your training plan is effective or not.
Bob Leong, Empire Triathlon Club Ambassador