Hi friends! Happy Tuesday!
We’re in the thick of winter here in the midwest and for some of you that may mean you’ve been logging endless miles on the treadmill. This for sure used to be me too! I absolutely recommend that you add weight lifting into your routine if you haven’t already (a la To All My Cardio Queens + Kings blog post). BUT ALAS, some indoor cardio is necessary if you live where the winter is cold, snowy, + icy (so icy right now here in Wisconsin!).
I wanted to give you guys some ideas on things you can do to change up your running workouts and improve on your times.
Reasons I love these workouts that I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks: 1) I have a plan when I get to the gym, 2) they are challenging, 3) friendly competition with myself and some of my friends that also love to run.
This series is going to get my booty on the treadmill, because I haven’t been doing much cardio at all this winter. From a cardio queen to a weight lifting queen, I’m trying to find balance myself 🙂 I’ll be doing each of the weekly treadmill workouts right along with you and then in 8 weeks we’ll do the challenges again!
Running shoes: Do you have a good pair? This is essential to aid you in your running journey and help to prevent injury. I run in Brooks Women’s Adrenaline series, a supportive model that works for my foot. I’ve said it before, but get yourself to a running store that will analyze your foot and stride to learn what running shoe is best for you! They are experts and will take good care of you. In Madison I love Endurance House, Fleet Feet, and Movin’ Shoes.
Water bottle that squirts: I’ve tried a ton of water bottles, but the CamelBak Podium Big Chill Insulated Water Bottle Race Edition is my favorite. You can easily squirt water into your mouth without having to stop running or cycling.
Headphones + music ready: I’m obsessed with these Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones headphones that my husband gifted me for Christmas (love not having a cord) + I always have Pandora ready to go (if I’m working out I love Kanye or Beyonce in my ears). The other trick is going during a show that you want to watch. Two birds, one stone and it makes the workout go WAY faster.
Capris: I typically run in a crop unless it is warm outside. Getting something that fits really well is essential because then you don’t have to worry about pulling your pants up. Sounds funny, but seriously…I only run in certain capris + use the others when lifting. I love the Lululemon Inspire Tights and Wunder Under Crop II. I always say this (and my husband will probably roll his eyes), but I see Lululemon as investment pieces. My first pieces that I bought in 2010 I still wear every week, so they last! I wear size 6 if that helps you pick your size.
How I decided to set this up was to give you two different runs to measure where you are currently and then one speed workout a week to help you improve. A lot of runners make the mistake of trying to get faster simply by doing steady state cardio runs (meaning going the same pace for a long period of time). But as any track or cross country athlete or coach can tell you, your meat and potatoes workouts are the speed workouts.
The two runs in the challenge section are a great measuring stick for where you are right now! I’m choosing to do both, but you could pick one if you’d rather. I’m going to do them again in 8 weeks to see if I can improve on my times. Warmup first + then hit the treadmill:
One Mile Challenge: Run a mile as fast as you can, log the time.
I’m going to do this, this week! So check out Instagram to see how I do.
24 Minute Challenge: Run as far as you can in 24 minutes.
My distance. 3.2 miles
My strategy: I knew I could run at least 7:30 pace, so I started there. This was a very mentally challenging exercise, because I wanted to slow down just as bad as I wanted to speed up to attain more distance. I kept at 7:30 and then with 4 minutes to go I knew I could go faster with each remaining minute, so I made myself increase the speed.
Speed workout of the week
Each week I’ll post one speed workout that you can do in order to improve your times. I have LOTS of running experience including competing and coaching the collegiate level.
Why I love this workout: There is nothing like coming back DOWN! I love that the hardest part is in the middle and then you get to come back down from it. Mentally this allows me to push through it. You can adjust the pace of the workout if you need to go slower or faster than the ones I wrote.
My recommendation would just be to know the adjustment from the beginning and stick to it! If you are an advanced runner that typically does your steady state runs at 7.0 mph, start there and apply that to the ladder.
I made the workouts easy to screenshot or save the image, so you can take it straight to the treadmill with you.
Hope you enjoy pushing yourself a little bit on the treadmill!
Tag me on Instagram or comment on Facebook to tell me how you do!