After yesterday’s workout with my trainer, I am feeling pretty sore today, especially in my thighs and definitely in my butt… (thank you olympic squats, that’s a part of my ass I’ve never really worked before.) And after a long day at work, I promised myself that tonight’s workout would be light. It’s one of those times where I just needed to show up at the gym and be happy if anything happened.
On a typical work + gym day for me, I’m out the door at 6am, at work all day, at the gym for a bit, and back home for supper by 10pm. Anything longer than 30-40min at the gym, and it turns into a crazy long day. So given my soreness and my timing constraints, today was the perfect day for a little 5k treadmill workout.
Obviously, I much prefer to run outside, but given the fact that I basically live in the North Pole, I am forced to treadmill it for a few months every year. Lately, I’ve been reading about different ways to work out on the treadmill. If you want some resources on that, check this out. And this, and this. For my purposes right now, it looks like playing with pace and incline are two great ways to keep things interesting and push myself while on the treadmill, without over complicating things.
While my trainer has been showing me different ways to play with incline, tonight I just really felt the need to let my legs turn over. The thing I love about speed intervals is that feeling of just letting your feet fly… you know, right before your lungs start to burn, you get that feeling that you might vomit, and everything just goes to shit. So tonight, I didn’t want to just jog an easy 5k. I wanted to add some speed intervals to make it fun!
My workout today consisted of 1 warmup mile at my recovery pace, followed by about 1.25 miles (maybe a bit more) of intervals. I finished a total of 3 miles at an easy pace, with a slightly increased incline just to make it tough.
The way I approached my intervals was to start at a pace 0.5kph faster than my recovery pace, and do 1min interval at this pace, followed by 1min of recovery. (Unfortunately, the treadmills at my gym are in kilometers per hour, and I much prefer using miles when I’m running… so I’m sorry for the confusion. It actually confuses me, too…) Then for each consecutive 1min fast interval, I increased my pace. I was sort of just playing around to see how different speeds felt, because I usually run intervals outside and have no idea what the numbers on the treadmill mean. I didn’t really get that speedwork lung burn feeling until my last mile, when I started increasing the incline, and then I could tell that my heart rate was nice and high and I was feeling the burn.
In the end, I covered 3 miles in 32min, with all the speeding up and slowing down of the intervals. I felt awesome afterwards, and had a lot more fun doing this type of workout than I normally do if I just jog on the treadmill at a constant speed, even if my speed is normally overall faster than that. Now that I’ve got a feel for it, I’ll definitely repeat this workout with faster intervals, and maybe throw in an extra mile or two… there’s a lot of potential to build on here… For a light day, I’d say it was an overall success!