Temps are dropping and, for those of us in the colder regions, sometimes indoor workouts are a must. We couldn’t think of anyone better to share some treadmill workout tips than Claire and Sara, co-owners of tread HAPPY, a group running studio with three locations including one in our hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Their classes are for runners and walkers of all levels and are driven by bumpin’ music and encouragement on and off the treadmill. Whether you’re looking to try a treadmill class or hit the ‘mill on your own, these three tips for crushing a treadmill workout are for you!
We own a treadmill studio and can Remix Your Run® year round. We know that as temps drop, many more of us may start to shift our workouts inside. If you’re the type that abhors indoor running, though, take heart (and perhaps if possible come visit us at one of our three studios where we can maybe, just maybe, change your mind). Yep, trust us. Gone are the days of slogging along on the “dreadmill.” And if we can’t convince you here, maybe Beyoncé can.
And it’s not really a secret at all, is it? Running in its basic form, is not a trend. It’s a tried and true athletic endeavor that has withstood the test of time. Indeed, we truly were born to run. And by run we at tread HAPPY® mean walking, jogging, sprinting, and/or racing. No matter your pace, if you’re legs are moving in a repetitive and continuous gait cycle, you are, for all intents and purposes, running – and you ARE a runner. We know that running can benefit your body and mind in so many ways. Rigorous research has found that running has health benefits that extend well beyond the calorie burn. It can bolster your cardiovascular endurance, strengthen your bones and joints, keep your mind sharp, and relieve stress. And it can make you happier. Yes, the highly sought after “runner’s high”, that boost of endorphins and energy that act as a natural anti-depressant, is most certainly real.
The treadmill itself is also not new to the game. But what is, is the different ways to make best and most engaging and, dare we say, most FUN, use of it. Even if you don’t have access to an indoor coach or motivational group setting like we provide at tread HAPPY, there are many ways to up your running game to look and feel better this winter. Here are some of our favorite tips for crushing a treadmill workout:
Make a killer playlist
Maybe we’re a little biased because we own the only musically-driven, functionally grounded treadmill studio in the country, but music matters. It can pace and push. It can motivate and inspire. It can, in short, balance the hustle with the HAPPY. It can make something that can be already be incredibly challenging more fun. And unless you’re training for the Olympics (and maybe even then, because why not), running should be fun! We are more likely to persist in any pursuit that we find enjoyable. So take some time before you hop on the tread to custom make a playlist for yourself. We recommend thinking about how you want your run to be structured and putting songs in a specific order to support that structure. We’re not anti-shuffle per se. We’re just playlist junkies and know the power of each and every song and where they happen to come on in the order of the playlist (and thus where they come on in the midst of your workout to give you that extra push). “Go The Distance” by Michael Bolton anyone? We think yes.
Set yourself up for speed
In keeping with the importance of intentionally structuring your playlist, remember that you can be your own coach and set yourself up for success. We recommend, as we would in any of our studio classes or outdoor training runs, starting with a dynamic warm-up which can include some light movements off the treadmill first and then include a bit of slower jogging/running on the tread to find your stride and hone your form. So much of running is mental, so warming your body up first and finishing strong is part of playing the mental game. It allows you to progressively tap into greater intensity and speed as the workout moves along – something that not only teaches your body to get faster and more efficient but can also leave you feeling incredibly confident when you finish. Might we suggest a playlist that starts a bit slower and then increases in intensity to help guide you along in this journey so you can crush that treadmill workout!
You don’t need to slog along at the same pace the entire time on the treadmill. While some of us enjoy finding that groove and that rhythm and staying right there, for others it helps to segment out your tread workout. Set up certain blocks of working time, say for instance 10 minutes, followed by short recoveries. The recovery time can help you reset and refocus so that you can maximize another 10-minute block of work. And come on now, throw some hills in there while you’re at it. They don’t even need to be super steep to help keep you engaged in the same way. Before you know it, you will have hit 30 solid minutes on the tread: two 10 minute blocks of work followed by two 5 minute recoveries – BOOM bank that workout somewhere y’all!
Learn more about tread HAPPY on Instagram at @treadhappy and on the web!