Time to start thinking about winter treadmill workouts

Here in the Midwest it’s been an unseasonably warm start to November. OK, it’s actually been awesome. I can’t remember ever reporting on November football games where the temperature was around 70 degrees that day.
Unfortunately, in Ohio we know all too well the mercury can drop in a hurry and once it does we’ll thaw out around March. With that being said, it’s time to start making plans for your winter workouts. It can be hard at first to have to push most of your activities indoors, especially going inside for pretty much all your cardio workouts.
Some people can get bored running on a treadmill, but here are three great workouts to change up your routine and get in excellent shape at the same time. And remember that while the scenery doesn’t change like running outside, a treadmill does offer its own special benefits.
The consistency of a treadmill is one of its biggest assets. The steady roll of the belt, the controllable temperature of your workout room, added safety and an indoor environment beat icy roads.
With treadmills today, there are lots of different workout settings you can adjust and program to change things up often. Make sure to stretch well before starting a workout, I usually ride an exercise bike and jog lightly for 3-5 minutes, then stretch well before running full-go on the treadmill.

Flat Intervals
Set a pace where you jog at an average pace for 5 minutes, then run near your top speed for 1 minute.
Reduce the belt speed quickly and run at your normal pace for 2 minutes to recover. Repeat the fast and slow intervals 6-9 more times and then cool down with a jog for 5-8 minutes. As you get better at this, incline the treadmill by a few degrees to make it more challenging.

Hilly Intervals
Hill running can be very challenging if you’re not used to it. Start with a 2 or 3 percent incline to begin with. Find an incline setting that makes it tough enough to find a pace where your heart rate is raised for 1 minute.
Then drop the incline to 0 percent and jog 1-2 minutes to catch your breath. Repeat the cycle for 6-9 times. Finish with a cool-down jog. Once you get stronger, run at a high speed longer and also try setting a higher incline.

The Advanced Roadster
Get or keep yourself in shape to run 5Ks (3.1 miles).
Run easily for 10 minutes, then set the belt at about 20 seconds per mile faster than your 5K pace. Run three 3-minute bursts at this speed, alternating with 3 minutes of very slow jogging. Complete three of these sets, then rest for 5 minutes by jogging easy. Then do another set of three hard runs and recoveries. When done, run easily for 5 minutes to cool down.

Remember, it’s usually better to use some degree of interval training (varying pace) instead of plodding along at the same slow pace for 30 minutes.
These and other workouts you might come up with will help change things up in the winter. A good treadmill program will have you running well when the temperatures rise again in the spring.