Treadmill workouts for marathon trainers

September 10, 2014

Are you training for a marathon? If so, home treadmills are a great tool to help you get in shape for the big event. In order to meet your running goals, you must adhere to specific treadmill workouts to help you hold a fast pace for a long period of time. Here are a few treadmill exercises to try out at home:

1. Hill training
When running a marathon, you’re going to have to run over both flat and hilly surfaces. Training for hill running on your treadmill can prepare you for this. Warm up with a 10-minute jog at a one percent incline. Next, run at your marathon pace while completing four sets of 60-second runs at a 5 percent incline. Then bring the incline down to zero and jog for 90 seconds. Pick up back to your marathon pace and increase the treadmill gradient to 6 percent, running for 45 seconds. Then, finish off with 90 seconds of jogging at zero percent incline. Make sure to finish off your workout with 10 minutes of easy jogging. Each week that you complete this workout, you can add one set and even increase the time spent on each incline by 20 to 30 seconds.

2. 10-4 pattern
Start jogging at an easy pace for 10 minutes to get yourself warmed up. Then run at 10 minutes at your 10K race pace at a 1 percent incline. Then bring it back to a jog for four minutes to help yourself recover. After those four minutes, ramp back up to your 10K pace for another 10 minutes. Take the next four minutes to recover by jogging, and then finish off the workout with 10 minutes of a cool-down run, bringing your heart rate back to resting pace.

3. Quick feet drills
Count how many times your right foot hits the treadmill in one minute. With each passing minute, work on getting a few more footsteps in, and watch your pace quicken. It’s good to have a fast cadence for a better marathon time, but a quicker cadence is best for injury prevention as well. The slower your cadence, the more forceful and heavy the impact of your foot to the ground is.

Quick tip: Whatever workout you choose to do, make sure that you set your treadmill incline to at least 1 percent. This takes into account the energy that you usually expend overcoming air resistance when running outside.