Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spicing up your treadmill workouts

Happy Christmas Eve, EVE! It's a winter wonderland for certain in Minnesota, I am so happy for a white Christmas! Do you guys have a white Christmas on the books?? Still waiting?

It's been 10 days since my first marathon and I was basking in the high of such an experience for a good 7 days afterwards! I thought about increasing my speed, I researched a few books to read, I plotted an agressive race plan for the new year! And now, I am 10 days out with only one seven mile run under my belt. Tomorrow I will be doing a short tempo run to keep my motivation up! 

Feeling so great after accomplishing such a goal lasts quite a while when people in your life are asking about it even this far out. it was a high quite like no other for me. Being called a marathoner, finishing the race, rocking my time, are feelings that will make me warm and fuzzy till Minnesota thaws out.

Back to reality means back to running in cold and snow unless I want to face the dreaded Treadmill, which on some days I do. How to keep from being bored on the treadmill--spice up your workouts and still feel challenged?
Here are a few tips: 

1) Hand Weights - Grab a light weight set of weights to take with you! Pump your arms as you run or walk, do a few Tricep extensions over head or bicep curls as you cool down. Either way, your adding resistance and giving your brain something to think about while you are on the treaedmill. Whether you run and just hold them or walk and bust out some moves, the extra coordination required will be a mental challenge.

2) Interval training - instead of a regular interval training routine, try playing with the incline on the machine and walk or run hills in alternating minutes instead of sprints or run walk. Incline is an easy way to get your heart rate soaring and challenge your muscles. Believe me you won't get bored! 
3) Move with a movie - pop a movie in at home or download one to your Ipod to plug in and play at the gym. It will occupy your mind and pass the time as you get your workout in. Better yet, watch a treadmill workout and follow along or a walking workout video.

4) Treadmill tabata - 20 seconds of high intensity work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes three times through is a tabata series. You can do this on the treadmill easily with a run walk, sprint walk, and incline run walk. Play with the sets, just make sure that when you are in your 20 seconds of high intensity, it's HIGH! 

5) Plyo practice - who says we can't skip or bound on a hop on a treadmill! Spice it up with some forward moving plyometrics between walking or running to help increase speed and power, just make sure that you have the balance and stability to stay ON the treadmill.

If NONE of these work for you, you maybe able to try some of what this man is doing in his video, but probably in the saftey of your own home. Have fun!


Do you use the treadmill only when you have to or do you use it more often than not?

Christmas TIPS: All week I am offering little tidbits to focus more on the simple joy and truth of the holiday! 

Tip 5: Donate. The holiday season is when people think about donating their time to serve meals to the hungry, to spend a few hours sorting toys or clothes etc. And while that is a wonderful use of your time, it's been stressed to me that charity organizations are maxed out on volunteers during the holidays. 

Instead of exchanging gifts with family and friends, ask a donation be compiled for your favorite charity and send all the money you would have used on gifts to them. Then take some time in May, July and September to serve. This way, you spread your volunteering out to months that are more sparse, and there is no pressure of what to get aunt Betty or whether cousin Fred will like the fruit of the month club. Perfect way to take pressure off, feel good about giving and JUST in-joy the family. 

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