Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hilly Treadmill Interval Workout

Yesterday was my last big run before my race this Saturday. I wanted to do something that incorporated hills, but it was way too hot and humid to attempt anything outside. I decided to make a hilly version of a treadmill interval workout. I looked at a bunch of published treadmill workouts to try to get a good idea of what incline to use. I saw a big variety of inclines - some workouts went up to 6%, some went up to 15% incline. I thought that 15% incline sounded pretty steep, and boy was I right. I talked to Joey, and he said he didn't think some treadmills even went over 10%.

With this information in mind, I wrote out a workout that would take ~45 minutes to complete, and focused more on varying the incline than the pace. Once I started, I made some adjustments. I originally didn't include any walking throughout, but by the time I got to minute 28, I really needed a break. If you are still feeling good, then run at 5.7 for those 3 minutes instead of walking at 4.0. Of course, all of these paces are just what is comfortable for me. If you would prefer something that is faster or slower, just adjust what I have, keeping the same general trend.

Later last night, I asked Joey if he could help me with some math. I wanted to get a general idea of what an equivalent hill would be outside, for what I had done on the treadmill. He worked it out that for 1 minute at 6.0mph, with a 5% incline, would be a 26 ft increase in elevation. (The equation is actually pretty similar - you multiply your % incline (as a decimal) by the distance you did, and then by 5280 to get the answer in feet.) That is pretty similar to the hills I find in Charlottesville, they just usually last longer than the 1 minute.

I'm glad that I did this treadmill workout. I think that it could be really good in the future, to try to simulate a hilly course. With some effort, I could probably even try to replicate a specific course, although without any fine detail. I also am not exactly sure how I would do downhill - it always feels like I'm going downhill at first, when I decrease the incline, but it obviously levels out.

In this workout, I completed ~4.25 miles total, and ran a total of ~3.6 miles in 37 minutes. The average pace of the running was 5.9mph. 

I kept the heart rate monitor on after I finished the workout, while I stretched, on my way back to my house, and when I put two loads of laundry in the wash. I was still moving, and my heart rate was still up, so I wanted to include it.

Heart Rate Monitor:
Duration: 01:11:50
Calories Burned: 734
Average Heart Rate: 155 (80.3% of max)
Max Heart Rate: 185 (95.9% of max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:27:37