Treadmill Workout of the Week: Aerobic for the Win

Don't let cold weather stop your progress.

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If you’re feeling the need to come in from the cold right now, we certainly don’t blame you: January is on average the coldest month of the year for most of the country. It’s the time of year when runners are most likely to sing their praises to the treadmill that they might otherwise ignore.

A good treadmill workout, however, can benefit your training any time of year. But if you only give it your attention every so often, you might not know exactly how to utilize the machine to your benefit.

The following workout is week four in our five weeks of treadmill workouts, created by USA Triathlon coach and Colorado Running Hall of Fame athlete, J’ne Day-Lucore. The following workout of aerobic intervals is meant to help build leg speed without reaching total fatigue. Day-Lucore’s philosophy is to make every minute count, which is why the sets get progressively harder from start to finish with recovery sets that still require a bit of push.

Ready, set, treadmill!


Treadmill Workout: Aerobic Intervals

After this 45-minute workout, you’ll feel like you’ve put in some real work. You won’t even miss your outdoor track or favorite road route.

A note about the workout: Rather than a specific pace, you’ll be running based on your rate of perceived effort (RPE). This high-effort workout calls for an RPE of 8 and 9 specifically–just below your max speed. The intervals that follow should be run at “aerobic pace,” which should be 1 minute per mile slower than the preceding 90 and 60 second intervals. Aerobic pace should still be a bit of a heart pumper, but will feel like a relief after the faster intervals.

Start with a 15 minute warm-up jog, gradually building your effort every five minutes or so. To start, keep the grade of the treadmill flat. You’ll be bumping it up once the workout begins.

Main Set

  • 4 x 1:30 at 5 percent incline, RPE 8 with 30 second rest between intervals
  • 5 minutes at aerobic pace
  • 6 x 1:00 at 1 percent incline, RPE 9 with 30 second rest between intervals
  • 5 minutes aerobic pace

Cool down for 5-10 minutes with a well-deserved easy jog. The whole workout should be about 45-minutes total.

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