The alternating days of frigid temperature and warm days (for winter in the East Coast) and the road conditions has me scheduling my runs and the types of runs I do on the fly. I try to run outside as much as I can because I really hate running on a treadmill.
So much so that it amazes me that there was a time in my life (many many many many moons ago) that I only ran on a treadmill and that I found running outdoors “too hard. I trained for my first race, Bay to Breakers, by running many miles on a treadmill. Now if the road conditions are clear and it’s not windy, I’m good to go out.
Last year the winter was so mild that I never had to run indoors. This winter, the weather is more of a typical NY winter. Slushy icy streets and sidewalks and harsh winds forced me to do a couple workouts on a treadmill. Admittedly I was dreading them a bit, but I think I found a way of working out on a treadmill without too much trepidation. Rather than doing long runs on them as I had in the past, I used my treadmill sessions to do speed or interval training.
Saturday I ran 2 miles at 7.5 mph (8:00 pace). Running on a treadmill is easier than running outdoors (see the pros and cons of running on a treadmill here), so it’s recommended that you add a 1% grade to make your treadmill workout equivalent to running outdoors (click on the link to see the empirical article). I did not for most of my run. It was really hot inside my gym, so at around .75 mile I decided I didn’t need to make it any harder on myself and I had the grade go down to 0%. I ended the run feeling a small start of a side stitch.
Yesterday I did mile repeats for the first time. I warmed up with a 1/2 mile at 6 mph (10:00) and then launched myself into my first mile at 7.7 mph (7:47). I rested by walking 1/2 mile at 3 mph (20:00) and then did another mile repeat at 7.7 mph. I rested by walking once more for 1/2 mile at 3 mph and completed my final mile repeat at 7.7 mph. I know my rest phase should be a little shorter, but I still think it was a good workout. I could feel myself developing the slightest twinge signaling a side stitch in the last 1/4 mile of the second and third mile repeat.
Having shorter harder workouts makes the treadmill less dreadful for me. I hop on and then I hop off. This week at some point, I plan on running 2.5 miles at 8:00 pace and a long slow run (around 7 miles). Looking at the weather, it looks as if Thursday will be my long slow run day.