USA Triathlon News Blogs Multisport Lab Three Treadmill Spec...

Three Treadmill Specific Workouts to Maximize Performance

By Parker Spencer | June 01, 2021, 3:16 p.m. (ET)

Athlete Running on a treadmill
Photo Credit: TRiRig

Treadmills have long been used as an alternative to outdoor running during inclement weather and overall convenience. However, treadmill training can be an important regular part of any endurance athletes training program. Holding a consistent pace can be more difficult outside when there is greater potential for distractions and obstacles. Inside, it’s just you and the treadmill. The convenience of a treadmill at home is hard to beat when consistency in training is a key component to improvement. Having a treadmill allows you to easily get into a routine and maximize your fitness. Many of the best endurance athletes in the world use a treadmill during regular training. Whether you are a competitive endurance athlete looking for an edge on your competition or a recreational athlete seeking ways to be more efficient, the workouts below can be used to accomplish your goals. Using a manual treadmill like the TrueForm Runner gives you the advantage of increasing your speed at you own pace. The curve on the TrueForm is so slight and it allows you to maintain a natural constant speed, balance, and rhythm


Hill Workout
:
Why do it? Hills help you build power and strength that flat running cannot. It is also less impact on your legs and can decrease the chance of a lower-leg injury.

WARM UP

15-minute easy pace (5/10 effort)

Pre Workout Running drills

MAIN SET

4 to 6 sets of 1 minute running @ a 6% grade (8/10 effort) with a 2-minute rest between each set

COOL DOWN

10-minute easy pace cool-down run (5/10 effort)


Fartlek Workout
:
Why do it? Research shows that Fartlek training can improve maximal oxygen uptake and resting heart rate. In other words, it’s an efficient way to improve your fitness.

WARM UP

15-minute easy pace (5/10 effort)

Pre Workout Running drills

MAIN SET

20-minute run alternating between 3 minutes @ a 7/10 effort and 2 minutes @ a 4/10 effort

COOL DOWN

10-minute easy pace cool-down run (5/10 effort)

 

Progression Run: Why do it? Progression runs are a good way to get the biggest bang for your buck in one workout. Depending on the length and the intensity of the session, you can improve aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity and VO2 peak all in one workout session.

WARM UP

15-minute easy pace (5/10 effort)

Pre Workout Running drills

MAIN SET

15 minutes @ a 6/10 effort

10 minutes @ a 7/10 effort

5 minutes @ a 9/10 effort

COOL DOWN

10 minute easy pace cool-down run (5/10 effort)

 

NOTE: The efforts described in these workouts are based off a rate of perceived effort (RPE) scale of 1-10. One (1) being your walking pace and ten (10) being your all-out sprint pace. Here is a good article on RPE from Triathlete.  

 

Parker Spencer

Parker Spencer (Tempe, AZ) is a USA Triathlon Level III Certified Coach and current head coach of USA Triathlon’s Project Podium. He is also a certified exercise physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. He came to USA Triathlon from his alma mater, Liberty University, where he served as the head coach of the men’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s cycling, and men’s and women’s triathlon teams. In addition to his role at Liberty, Spencer held various positions with Endorphin Fitness from 2012-16 including as director of coach operations, head coach of adult programs and Junior Elite High-Performance Draft Legal coach. In his first two years as the Project Podium head coach, Parker’s athletes have two World Cup top five finishes, six continental cup podium finishes (21 top 10 finishes), one junior continental championship podium finish, one Pan American Games qualifier, four Junior/U23 World Championship qualifier and one Tokyo Olympic Test Event qualifier.