A treadmill is one of the most popular exercise tools for the home quarantined athlete. Especially when movement outside is restricted and requires wearing a mask, having a treadmill gives you the freedom to run as hard and as long as you want.
But then again, it can be very boring. What used to be an invigorating hour on the roads can turn into an excruciating hour of boredom staring at the wall.
There are ways to deal with this problem. And compared to outdoor running, a treadmill is easier on the knees because of the rubberized deck and belt will be akin to running on a track. With some slight modifications to your regular distance- or time-based road session, you can get the maximum benefit of a treadmill.
Break the target distance into manageable intervals: kilometers, miles, or 500s.Set aside the first 10-15 minutes or 2 kilometers as your warmup, then use the remaining kilometers into interval-based segments.
Use Active Rest Intervals.
After each “segment”, get off the treadmill and perform a set of upper body and core exercises to catch your breath. Then get back on.
Use a hard/easy or fartlek approach to your intervals.
This adds a mental and physical challenge to the interval rather than just running on autopilot. For example, do the first interval at a tempo pace, then next at a recovery pace, then the next at 5k race pace. You decide the intensity based on how you are feeling at any given moment.
Place a mirror in front of you so you can check your form as you run.
Are your shoulders scrunching up as you increase the intensity? Are you slouching? Are your hands dropping? A mirror helps you maintain good form all throughout.
Make sure your room is cool and well ventilated.
Overheating is a common problem with treadmill running. Place as many fans around you as much as possible to simulate the normal wind flow you’d experience outside.