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Workout I Did: Treadmill Hills + Strength


Treadmills and I are getting friendly lately! Credit: Jeff Blackler, Flickr

Because I’m a runner now, I’ve been getting friendly with the treadmill. Running outside is definitely preferred, but 20-degree weather really dampens my running spirits. And because my relationship with running is just blossoming again, I’d really rather not push my luck and do miserably cold outdoor workouts. Plus, I’ve got baby-sitting services at the gym that I have to take advantage of to get my workout in, so to the treadmill I go!

Over the weekend, my hubby — who has found his inner Fit Bottomed Dude post-Tough Mudder — and I dropped off the kids to have a running date. The treadmill running date actually proves to be a bit dangerous. Turns out, chatting and glancing to the side while running on a treadmill is not recommended. I didn’t have a fly-off-the-‘mill disaster, but I did catch my foot on the treadmill and get a really good shoe-squeak wake-up call to face forward and pay attention. At least I would have had someone to laugh with, right?

Usually when I’m on the treadmill, I change up the incline and speed on my own. But Alan is actually the one who hipped me to running the preset treadmill programs. Turns out, they’re there for a reason, and it’s way easier to let them do the thinking for you. The inclines make you push yourself, and you can always switch up speed as needed. Here’s the workout I did over the weekend.

Workout I Did: Treadmill Hills and a Strength Circuit

Treadmill hills, level 5 for 30 minutes. I walk a couple of minutes to warm up before I get going at a 6.0 mph pace. Incline at level 5 goes up to a little over 3, but nothing too bad. After each incline push, you get a minute of recovery at no incline before it ramps you up again! When I’ve done my final biggest push, if I’ve got more in the tank (which now that I’m a runner, I do!), I kick up the speed for the last “straightaway.” I feel like I’m sprinting when I go up to 7 mph or higher, but it’s fun to push at the end. I hit about 3.2 miles with this workout.

Another benefit to the presets? The cool down! With a 5-minute programmed slowdown, it’s harder for me to skip it as I feel like I need to complete the “planned” workout.

Strength circuit, three times through. After the cool down, I headed over and grabbed some 8-pound weights. Here’s what I did over there:


After that, I stretched and foam-rolled it out! Foam rolling is my new addiction, but that’s a love letter for another post…

How do you keep treadmill workouts from getting too boring when you can’t run outside? —Erin

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