When you have an interval workout on your training plan and nowhere to do it but the treadmill, I bet you’re not worried about boredom. After a tedious warm-up during which we wonder how we’ll ever manage to accomplish it, it’s not uncommon to find the miles fly by. But an easy run, especially a longish one? Boring. City.
Sure, you could set it and try to forget it for those six, seven, eight miles. But, after many weeks of treadmill running, that gets old, really old. What’s a bored treadmill runner to do?
Instead of running all those miles at the same pace or upping the pace at the same points you do for every easy run, try one of these easy run “workouts” to mix it up and make the time go by.
The Two-Three Hustle
As we’ve mentioned many times now, we all have a range of paces that qualify as easy for us. On a day you can do little more than shuffle through a post-hard run recovery, try this:
Start a few miles per hour slower than usual and run for 2:00. Then, up that pace by .5 miles per hour and hold it stead for 3:00. Then, bump the pace down by .4 miles per hour for 2:00 and then back up for 3:00 again and repeat. When you reach the end of 15:00, bump the pace down .6 and start over for the next 15:00 and so on and so forth.
Here’s an example of a 60 minute easy run:
|First 15:00||Second 15:00||Third 15:00||Fourth 15:00|
|2:00 @ 6.5, 3:00 @ 7.0||2:00 @ 6.6, 3:00 @ 7.1||2:00 @ 6.7, 3:00 @ 7.2||2:00 @ 6.8, 3:00 @ 7.3|
|2:00 @ 6.6, 3:00 @ 7.1||2:00 @ 6.7, 3:00 @ 7.2||2:00 @ 6.8, 3:00 @ 7.3||2:00 @ 6.9, 3:00 @ 7.4|
|2:00 @ 6.7, 3:00 @ 7.2||2:00 @ 6.8, 3:00 @ 7.3||2:00 @ 6.9, 3:00 @ 7.4||2:00 @ 7.0, 3:00 @ 7.5|
Another way to stay interested without changing the speed is to do regular incline adjustments. One simple one I like to do is to do 5:00 at a solidly easy pace at 0% grade and then, without changing the pace, 1:00 at 1%, 1:00 at 2%, 1:00 at 3%, 1:00 at 4% and 1:00 at 5%, and then back down to 0% for 5:00 and repeating until my run is done. The hills are only hardish for a short time and if you keep the pace solidly easy, it’s a good strength building run that won’t wreck you.
The Pace Shuffle
You know how to really make a treadmill run fly? Randomize it! There are lots of ways to do this, but by far the simplest way is to make a deck of cards that tell you what to do and shuffle! Our favorite way is to write the following on each card:
- Time interval between 1:00 and 5:00
- Pace in miles per hour within your easy range
- Incline of 0% – 6%
We find old business cards or notecards are perfect for this. To ensure you keep the run easy, make sure that at least half the cards are at your normal treadmill grade, and half at a very easy pace. When making a card with 4-6% incline, make sure to make the pace slow and make these cards the short time interval ones. The more cards you make, the more random and entertaining the run will be!
Do you have a tried and true easy run boredom buster?