Remember how I said I wanted to do this workout?
Well, it took me a while to get around to it, but I finally did Workout #1!
Well, half of Workout #1.
I went to the gym with the intention to run two miles on the treadmill, complete the hill-sprints, and then run two more miles.
Less than half a mile in – not even kidding – my knee started locking up and my hip started whining.
I was jogging at what I consider 40 percent with the intention to sprint uphill at my 80 percent. So I wasn’t even moving that fast.
I did not want to quit. I wanted to keep going because the rest of me felt great! I decided to do half the workout: one mile, five hill-sprints, and then one more mile for a total of 2.63 miles and 35 minutes.
My knee is so mad at me.
However, good note, my cardio outlasted my knee! I’m not hopeless yet! I really only felt winded and out-of-breath while I was sprinting and through the last half mile.
My heart rate was pretty steady at 178 while sprinting, 163 while running and 137 while jogging. I slowed it down to a cool 78 before stretching.
I. Am. Awesome.
(Of course, I was using the treadmill heart rate monitor, and we all know how great those things work.)
Why did I do such a stellar workout on a treadmill when it would have been easier to map out a trail in my neighborhood?
It is rainy and wet and cold and December. I thought it better to stay warm and dry and clean inside.
Do not get me wrong! I love winter. I love snow. I love the cold. I love, love, love this season! I love it even more when I am inside, and it is outside.
So I plan to be in the YMCA for the remainder of the winter because – like this weather or not – I am a giant baby. I thought I should get a better treadmill workout because I can get burnt out real quick on that machine.
Lucky for me, Women’s Health Magazine has some neat-oh! treadmill workouts for me to try :)
Plan by Numbers
First, calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Why 220? Not sure. Just do it. Hit 70 percent of your max heart rate. When you get tired, rest for a few minutes at a jogging pace. Then, hit 85 percent, and see how long you can last.
Watch a 30-minute TV program. Increase your speed so that you’re running at 80 percent of your max heart rate during the commercials. When the show comes back on, slow does for an easy jog. If you’re hardcore, jog during the commercials ;)
At the YMCA, you are watching 24-hour cable news unless you get a machine with its own TV. I watch the news, but then I get off track by having opinions and things to say. Oh, 24-hour news…
Take a Hike
Walk or run on an incline to mimic hiking. Walk at 3.5 mph on a flat surface. Increase the incline every minute until it reaches 5 percent. Stay for 3 minutes. Next, lower and raise the incline every 2 minutes until you’ve been exercising for 25 minutes. Lower the belt gradually and decrease your speed for a 5-minute cool down.
Weight it Out
Short on time? Grab a pair of 2- to 5-pound dumbbells. Do bicep curls and military shoulder presses as you walk. Do 10 reps each.
Find a WHOLE LOT MORE treadmill workouts here.
Even though running in the cold is entirely un-fun, breathing fresh air benefits your body, according to Women’s Health Magazine. Normal outdoor fitness activities decrease tension, frustration and depression. The benefits increase in the cold because cold weather is invigorating.
That makes sense to me! I take cold showers in the morning when I cannot wake up with just a cup of coffee. I have coffee, too, but the shower helps. I also take cold showers after workouts in the heat of the summer. Heat is probably less fun than cold.
I suppose, as a runner, I wish it could be spring year-round.
The article also said that the body works harder in the cold so you produce more endorphins for that runner’s high!
A final benefit of cold-weather running: You burn more calories!
Check out the cold weather workout guide here.
Invigorating or not – see above – I am going to the gym.
Right now I am going to DECORATE MY CHRISTMAS TREE.
What do you do at the gym? I have always wanted to get on the elliptical, but they’re all always taken!
Not that I need anymore, but got any treadmill workouts?