3 Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workouts

Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m eagerly anticipating a full day off Thursday, lots of yummy food and most importantly, spending time with the people I love!

Last week was not the best for running. I took 3 days in a row off, which I haven’t done since I gave birth. It was much needed and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back into my routine.

Here’s how last week panned out:

Weekly Running Re-Cap 11/17-11/23

Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – 0 miles , sick
Wednesday – 0 miles sick
Thursday – 3 easy miles, #runch
Friday – 6 miles easy, AM
Saturday – 5 miles, Afternoon—during Max’s nap, tempo
Sunday – 5 miles, PM

Saturday’s run was a naptime fail. I planned to run 7 or 8 miles while Max napped. Little man had other ideas. He woke up just as I finished the 5th mile, SCREAMING at the top of his lungs. Poor dude is working on four molars at once and it must have been too much for him. We spent the next hour cuddling while he dozed off and on in my arms.

Snuggles > extra miles
Snuggles > extra miles

Note to self: Never make plans when you have a baby/toddler. THEY KNOW. It’s like they have a sixth sense that alerts them whenever their mom is planning something around what they’re doing. And they are legally bound to mess those plans up by any means necessary.

Anyway, Saturday and Sunday’s runs were both on the treadmill. You know, the treadmill I’ve been gushing about for the last week and a half? I have a feeling I’m going to put a lot of miles on that thing this winter. It’s just so much easier to run in the morning or evening once Max is off in dreamland. With Andy gone most nights, it just makes sense.

My "new to me" treadmill. She's got some miles on her, but she's still running great!
My “new to me” treadmill. She’s got some miles on her, but she’s still running great!

Don’t get me wrong here. I prefer to run outside over the treadmill any day. Especially in the winter. Nothing makes me happier than frosty air and snowflakes falling as I run. I love the silence and the beauty of winter running.

But a running mama’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to get in a run and that means the garage treadmill is where I’ll be racking up the miles. With at least 3 months stretching ahead of me where half (or more) of my miles will be on the treadmill, I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite treadmill runs. Back in the day when I first started running distance—~11 years ago—I pretty much only ran on the treadmill. In order to break up the monotony, I made up various workouts. Here are 3 of my faves that I’ll be resurrecting on those cold, lonely nights on the dreadmill.

Max has found alternative uses for the treadmill.
Max has found alternative uses for the treadmill.

*Note: I am not a running coach or a personal trainer

Workout 1: “Ladders”

I think ladders is the name of a workout that we did on the high school track team, but I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone workouts from (gulp!) 11 or so years ago.

My version of ladders looks like this:

Warm-up: 10 minutes

Climb the ladder: 10:00-20:00

*Each “rung” is one minute long. Start at a comfortable pace. I start at 7.3. Each minute, increase your speed by .1. So the next minute I would be at 7.4, then 7.5 and so on until at 19:00 minutes you are running hard. Not a full out sprint, but a pace you can’t hang on to for an entire mile.

Jog 1 minute

Repeat the ladder as many times as you want until you reach your desired mileage or time.

Cool down with 1 easy mile.

I recommend standing up during t-mill workouts, but Max likes to do his own thang.
I recommend standing up during t-mill workouts, but Max likes to do his own thang.

Workout 2: Song Sprints

Warm up.

Next, use the song you’re listening to as a guide. Run an easy pace during slow songs. During fast songs, run comfortably hard during the verses and sprint the chorus.

Repeat until you reach your desired mileage or time.

*For this workout, you can either create a playlist where every other song is slow and every other song is fast, or you can set any playlist to shuffle. This will offer even more variety. It’s pretty nuts when you get 4 fast songs in a row!

Workout 3: Short sprints

Warm up.

Run 1 mile at marathon pace.

Sprint all out for 30 seconds, jog for 90 seconds. Repeat for 2 miles.

Run 1 mile at half marathon pace.

Repeat until you reach desired mileage or time.

Cool down 1 mile.

This workout is literally an ass kicker. To turn things up even more, bump your incline up during the half marathon pace mile. You’ll definitely feel it the next day!

Happy treadmilling!

Do you prefer running outside or on the treadmill?

What are some of your favorite treadmill workouts? I definitely need to add more to my list!

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