Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Intervals, AR-Style

This morning I was supposed to link up with Laurie for some ever-exciting hill repeats on the trails.  But when I woke up to 16-but-feels-like-6 degree weather, I knew I had to reevaluate.

Like most of the country, this winter in Philly has been brutal, and my annoyingly asthmatic lungs haven’t been enjoying it.  On several occasions over the past couple months, I’ve had to slash miles or turn a run into a hike because of the bitter air.  This morning, I wasn’t in the mood to be demoralized.

So instead of heading out to the trails, I took to the gym and challenged myself to come up with the perfect treadmill workout for adventure racing and trail running.

During a 24-hour race last year, Brent and Bruce and I were evenly paced when we were running, but as soon as we transitioned to hiking or walking, Bruce would fly ahead.  When I asked him how he did it, he said, “just push the treadmill to 5.0 and walk fast enough to keep up.”

Sounds simple enough, right?

So today, I decided to integrate hills and Bruce’s speed work.

Here’s what it looked like:

Warm-up at my usual conversational treadmill pace.

1/2 mile at 8.0 elevation, maintaining that same pace.

1/10 mile recovery.

1/2 mile of speed walking at 5.0, no incline.

1/10 mile recovery.

I completed the circuit three times, and contemplated a fourth before checking myself out in the mirror and noting the tomato staring back at me.  My quads were quaking and my lungs were raspy and I think people were looking at me funny.  I decided to warm down and call it a workout.

It was the most varied run I’d ever done on the treadmill, and it certainly felt productive.  My cheeks stayed cherry-red for more than an hour after I left the gym.

I have to say, though, I’ve never done hill work on the treadmill, and I have no idea what it should look like.  It’s a workout I’d like to add to my weekly routine, but I want to make sure that I’m doing it right.

What are your thoughts?  Have you ever done hill repeats at the gym?  What’s your technique?


10 responses to “Intervals, AR-Style

  1. RunToTheFinish February 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    i definitely do hill repeats on the mill cause florida is utterly lacking. they are seriously harder on the treadmill than outside though!

  2. amanda@runninghood February 10, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Tis the day for Hill Repeats! I’ve seen so many people in blog land talk about this! I had a hill TM workout too. I sucked tonight…felt awful…tired and lack of energy. I was supposed to just run 1.5 at normal pace then do 6, 2 min repeats at 3,000m pace (6:30 pace) with 2 min active recovery in between and end with 1.5 miles at normal pace. Didn’t go as planned but I tried. 😉

  3. Jill February 10, 2011 at 12:48 am

    There is a hill I like near my house that is about a half mile long and I love running up and down it, but when I can’t do to adverse (aka: crap) weather, I love treadmill hill repeats. I just do the same as I would the hill near me, about half mile up at about 6-8% at 10K pace x half mile down wtih the same. FUN-FUN!

  4. lauren February 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Neither are great hills, but I’ve been known to run back and forth across the Ben Franklin Bridge and also just running up and down Lemon Hill.

  5. Kari w/ Jogging with Fiction February 10, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Usually when I run there is some kind of incline on the treadmill, but I’ve never put it at 5, I think I’d die or fall off again.

  6. Mallory February 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Wow! That’s hardcore! Nice job!! I don’t do hill stuff on the TM. Mostly because I hate hills and avoid them at all costs 🙂

  7. Black Knight February 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    You made a great job on the “dreadmill”. I have that “thing” at home but I seldom use it (only when outside there is the storm). However it helps expecially for the repeats and the variations of speed (changing pace every 5 minutes).

  8. nobel4lit February 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I guess I shouldn’t complain about weather when you’ve got temps like that! My face turns read like that, too, when I’m indoors!

  9. denise February 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    sounds like a great workout! raising the incline on the treadmill can really kill you!

  10. Pingback: Butterballin’ « Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

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