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The treadmill doesn’t have to be synonymous with the dreadmill, especially when icy roads, heavy snow and extreme cold threaten to wreak havoc on your winter training. It can be a valuable training tool when the harsh realities of winter threaten to compromise the quality of your key workouts.
Inserting a little variety into your treadmill workouts not only helps break up the boredom of running in place, it will also catapult you into kick-ass shape when running outside isn’t an advisable option.
“My advice is to vary the incline and speed on your treadmill runs,” coach Greg McMillan wrote. “Don’t just set the pace and leave it. Run up some hills—some small and some large. Visualize your outdoor routes and mimic their terrain on the treadmill. And adjust your pace from time to time.”
Three-time Mount Washington Road Race winner Eric Blake does many hill workouts on the treadmill to simulate the demanding inclines of the 7.6-mile all-uphill route. You don’t have to go quite as steep as the 10-12 percent grades he tries to replicate, but hitting some long hill repeats on the treadmill over the winter will keep you from getting bored and help build a solid foundation of strength to power you through your spring speed workouts.
1-3 miles of easy running, followed by 6 x 20-second strides
Increase the incline on your treadmill to a 6-8 percent grade and perform 6-8 half-mile “climbs” at your 10K race pace with 3-4 minutes of easy, flat running between reps.
1-3 miles of easy running