My running off-season plans included working on strength and speed. I got the strength part down by signing on with my personal trainer again but speed was a different story. As luck would have it I was offered the opportunity to review The Ultimate Treadmill Workout Run Right, Hurt Less and Burn More with Treadmill Interval Training (affiliate link) from Adams Media. I couldn’t say no to that now could I? *while I received the book for review all workout implementation and opinions are my own.
The book is authored by David Siik who is… “the Program and Content Director of Precision Running for Equinox©, which has quickly become the industry leader in content driven treadmill classes. He has been featured in publications such as Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, GQ, Esquire, Details, SELF, Shape, and the Huffington Post. Most recently, David has been featured in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, on Good Morning America, and has been featured for the fifth time on the cover of Runner’s World magazine.”
Unlike a lot of runners I love the treadmill. I use it pretty exclusively for speed work when a track isn’t available so the opportunity to kick my treadmill workouts up a notch was definitely intriguing. The book is broken up into 2 parts. Part One is all about “Mastering the Treadmill” and introduces us to his BITE method: Balanced Interval Training Experience – meant to maximize caloric burn and eliminate pain.
BITE challenges your body in a prescribed way using intervals, speed, incline and recovery and finding the optimal middle ground between sprinting and distance training. Additional topics in this section of the book focus on treadmill basics, inclines, form and injuries. I found this very informative and useful for anyone new to treadmill work or even if you have familiarity.
Part Two is focused on the “Treadmill Workouts”. He starts with a 3-week introductory workout to get you accustomed to BITE and prepare you for the Six-Week Running Revolution. I’ve already completed the introductory workouts and have begun this series. To sum up in one word: WOW. Yes, that’s a good wow.
Each of the prescribed runs is broken down into Segments (see above) and lists an interval, speed to run, a column to note your specific speed, the incline (if any) and the recovery period. Your “Starting Speed” is a 1 minute Personal Best (PB) that you will use throughout the program . There is a chart included in the book with ranges and recommendations for your PB. You “Plug and Play” this figure into these segment charts to get your workout. Your PB can always be adjusted but you should start and end each workout using the same PB number.
Based on the chart provided I chose my PB as 7.0 (about 8:34 pace). After the very first workout I thought I underestimated my pace but as I moved on – yeah, not so much. They definitely got tougher because of the mix of sprints and inclines. A quick review of the 3 week introductory workouts:
Week 1: There were 3 runs each with 2 Segments. The total workout time was 20 minutes starting with 60 second intervals all designed to get you started and comfortable. This week of running served to build inclines. My favorite run of this week was called the “Evil Twin” where you ran 60 second intervals at 0% incline followed by the same intervals at an incline. This repeated with different speeds in both segments. Ooof!
Week 2: The runs increased to 30 minutes. The workouts focused on how to challenge recoveries using both speed and time. Intense but fun!
Week 3: These runs kicked things up just a bit! My workouts ended up between 35-40 minutes and the segments increased from 2 to 3. This week introduced the 90 second interval and eventually a 2 minute interval. A Fartlek workout was added here and it was phenomenal!
Overall I simply loved this book. Each workout session flew by and I never felt bored. My only issue stemmed from the transitions. The treadmills at my complex do not have keypads so changing the incline and speed every 30 or 60 seconds required me to hit the up and down arrows which got annoying and often left me off by seconds here and there. Definitely an adjustment depending on your treadmill but the workouts themselves were amazing.
While I’ve started the Six Week Running Revolution we’ll see how much I can get through before half marathon training starts. But, I’m already feeling so much stronger and am excited about continuing the workouts. If you’re interested the Ultimate Treadmill Workout is available on Amazon and retails for $9.99-15 in Paperback or Kindle. (affiliate link). Yup, it’s the ultimate treadmill workout alright.
Treadmill yay or nay? Do you do speed workouts? Where do you find them?