Growing up in the 90’s, jogging was the thing to do. Well, that and Denise Austin. Running has been a hobby of mine since I was a tween. I always did it at a consistent pace – distance was King, speed not even in the Court. Well, it took me nearly 20 years, but I discovered speed work. And my goodness, it feels damn good.
I have Barry’s Bootcamps to thank for the introduction. I went for the first time 4 years ago and was floored by the treadmill intervals. Literally, I fell off the tread a time or two, but also fell in love. I’ve been hooked ever since. I fell even further in love when training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon last year – the training program I followed, prepared by Nike Run Club, included 2 days of speed work per week. And while I’m not training for anything now, speed work is a part of my weekly routine.
You can do speed work on a track or treadmill. Or even on the street or trail, although it might take some calculation and familiarity with your route. I love the track, but find the treadmill more accessible at this point (because of my kiddos and childcare at the gym.) And that’s where I do most of the speed work – on the treadmill. I like it because you can play with speed, incline or both. Plus, it’s precise and the metrics are all there for you to gage yourself.
If you’ve never done any treadmill work before, you may feel uncertain or intimidated. That’s okay. Can I offer some friendly encouragement? F**k it! You have to start somewhere.
So, where do you start? A few things before we jump into the workouts:
- Always warm up before starting sprint work. My typical warm up is a mile at jog pace (6.0 mph).
- Always cool down after completing speed work. My typical cool down is 0.5 miles at jog pace (6.0 mph). Followed by a nice, long stretching session. This is a must to prevent injury.
- You do not need to identify yourself as a “runner” in order to get a great workout on the treadmill. It’s true. You just need to be open to the idea of working hard and breathing hard.
- The workouts refer to a base pace/recover pace. This can be anywhere from a 3.0 mph walk to a 7.0mph run, depending on your level of fitness. The idea is to safely work with speed, not to injure yourself by pushing it too hard.
- The Nike Run Club (NRC) workouts require some knowledge of your running condition. They might be better suited for a runner who already has some experience with training and racing.
- This NRC pace chart is very helpful in identifying what speeds to aim for.
- Be safe and have fun!
Hello Treadmill: 5 Go-To Treadmill Workouts
- This interval training routine was created by Barry’s Bootcamp for Pop Sugar. It integrates both incline and speed work and is 34 minutes long. It’s a great fit for someone whose just starting out with the treadmill. Find the PDF printout here.
- This sprint routine is courtesy of Nancy Anderson, one of my favorite Barry’s trainers. One round of this sprint work is approximately 14 minutes long. I like to complete this workout two times through for a thorough booty kicking. Combined with warm up and cool down, the total workout time is 43 minutes (for 2 rounds of sprints).
- This workout is from the weekly Nike Run Club emails I get. (You can sign up for weekly NRC workouts here.) With warm up and cool down, the total workout time is approximately 45 minutes.
- Another NRC workout for you. If you’re craving something very simple, but tough, this is your workout. With a warm up and cool down, the total workout time is approximately 35-50 minutes.
- And one last NRC workout here for you. The time will vary significantly depending on speed.
How about you? Are you a tread-lover? If not, are you willing to give it a shot?