Four Ways You Can Make The Treadmill More Interesting….
I used to hate cardio but when it comes to boxing it is a neccessary evil. More specifically I was never a fan of running, but I have grown to like jogging outdoors, not least because of the positive effects it has on my boxing, but also come rain or shine, you can’t beat the fresh air when running outside.
There are times though, when you will have to use a treadmill and for me personally, as well as countless people I have spoken to, the treadmill is one of the most boring and tedious pieces of equipment you can use. It is however, superior to other cardio machines such as the bike, cross trainer or rowing machine – in my opinion.
In this article I am going to attempt to outline a few different methods you can use when running on the treadmill to make it a little more interesting and get the best possible results out of it, it will also help take your mind off the wall infront of you, or whoever happens to be working out infront of you….
1. The Average Pace Run
This one is pretty simple. Running a few miles on the treadmill might seem straight forward, but when you are running and not actually moving anywhere as if you would had you been outdoors, the scenery stays the same and it all gets very boring very quickly. This has the other negative effect of ruining our work out because we often end up quitting out of boredom and not completing the run because of how mind numbing it becomes staring at the gym walls.
The average pace run works by breaking your run down into small increments and shifting between speeds. Lets say you want to run 2 miles at 7.0mph(I’m assuming your treadmill is set to use miles per hour and kilometres per hour) – You would start off at 7mph and then when you feel the boredom kicking in, increase the speed to 7.5mph and run this distance for 0.10 miles. Once you have reached that 0.10 distance, drop the weight down to 6.5mph for the next 0.10 miles, then back up to 7mph for the next 0.10 miles and so on, working through the range of 6.5 to 7.5mph every 0.10 miles until you are done.
The treadmill is one of those machines where it really is better to break things down into smaller chunks to help you get through the work out if this is something you struggle with. You don’t have to use halves ie 6.5 to 7.0, you can just use 6mph, 7mph, 8mph etc
2. The Sprint
One thing treadmills are actually good for though are sprints, and the controls allow you to change between speeds without much effort. The sprints involve picking your distance, ie 2 miles and then sprinting for as long as you can, for example you might sprint at 11mph for 60 seconds before you are tired, you would then reduce the speed to a fast walk(around 3mph) and continue until you have got your breath back. Once you can sprint again you will go for however long you can and repeat the process until you have covered the 2 miles. So you are alternating between fast sprints and fast walking for however long it takes to complete the 2 miles. A great drill for those preparing for a boxing bout.
The new Deskfit Treadmill provides a great way to save space when training at home
3. The Jog and Sprint
Another great method is to split your run into halves, half will be jogging and the other half will be sprinting(and fast walking when not sprinting)
So if your distance is going to be 2 miles, you would jog the first mile, and then sprint the second mile. Inbetween your sprints, as above you can do the fast walking and then revert back to sprints until the distance has been completed. I find this helping the mindset too, by sprinting the second half it really gets your heart pumping and makes up for any doubt that you didn’t jog far enough in the first half.
4. High Intensity Interval Training
I am sure we have all heard of this one. A basic routine would be walking for 45 seconds and then sprinting for 15 seconds. Keep alternating between the two until you have reached your target distance or you cannot go any longer. Generally you want to be aiming for a total work out time of 15-20mins. Once you can do this, you will increase your walking time to 40 seconds and your sprinting time to 20 seconds. I would say the maximum to strive for would be 30 seconds walking and 30 seconds sprinting, keeping it to a work out time of around 20mins. You can also replace the fast walking with slow jogging once your fitness levels have improved.
These methods are great for making the treadmill a little more interesting which means you get better results out of your work outs. They also happen to be great for burning that fat so if you are ever struggling with motivation, try these as a change up!