Amp up your treadmill routine with BITE running

August 14, 2014

In today’s world, people are constantly looking for new and inventive ways to spice up their workouts, whether it’s making them more intense, trying traditional exercise in a new way or combining trends to create a new version.

Even with a seemling constant stream on new fad fitness formats gaining popularity, running on your home treadmill is still one of the best cardio workouts you can do.

“The simple act of running requires so much energy to push up and off the ground every single step … “ David Siik, running coach and creator of Precision Running, told Women’s Health magazine. “There’s really no way around it.”

Siik was inspired by recent trends in the fitness world and spent years examining current research on running. This led him to develop his own style, which is called the balanced interval training experience (BITE) method. Siik said that BITE provides a middle ground between high-intensity interval training and steady distance running, offering runners a sustainable approach to the sport.

“It’s this magical place right in the middle in between the two where you’ll do some of the speed work and some of the distance work but not the extremes of either of them,” he told the source, adding that the ability to do the BITE method on a regular basis, which really helps transform your body.

The BITE method of running features two key components that let you do more without increasing your risk of injury on home gym equipment:

1. Use the correct speeds for intervals. You don’t want to do a total sprint at an incline of higher than 5 percent because it puts unnecessary stress on your lower back and is unsafe. Instead, your incline levels and running speeds should work in correlation with each other.

2. You need to progressively and systematically build up speed through each workout session.

“Too many people get on the treadmill and just start hitting hard intervals right away,” Siik said. “Your body has to warm up and get ready for those intervals.” That way, you won’t spend half the workout running with poor form because you pushed yourself too hard in the beginning.

Ready to try the BITE method?
If the BITE method sounds like the challenge you’ve been looking for, here’s how to get started. You need to determine your starting speed, which should leave you slightly breathless, making it hard to speak more than a couple of words. Beginners will most likely start around 4 to 5 miles per hour whereas intermediate runners may start at 5 to 6 miles per hour and advanced runners at at 6 to 8 miles per hour. From there, alternate between running intervals and recovery periods, and add 0.2 miles per hour with each subsequent interval. You’ll also want to adjust the incline accordingly. In regard to timing, Siik noted that it’s up to you to stay accountable.

“When you’re alone, the habit is, ‘I can take a few extra seconds on the recovery,’ but effectively you’re changing the work and the workout – so be really honest with yourself,” he said.

Keep in mind that, like with all exercise, proper form is crucial to success with the BITE method. During your sprint intervals, be sure to keep your arms long and your shoulders relaxed to avoid cramping and excess muscle tension. Also remember not to strike your heels too hard on your landing. Fortunately, running on a True Fitness treadmill helps with that, as the belts offer lower impact to reduce stress on your joints. Even though your focus will be on completing your session, it’s important to check in with yourself every once in awhile to ensure that you are employing good form during each stretch of the run.