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Treadmill Workouts

When it’s glazed over outside, the treadmill is a fantastic training tool. The trick is to tailor your gym workouts to mimic outdoor conditions. ‘Without obstacles like hills and wind, your heart rate will be lower on a treadmill,’ says AJ Perera, Fitness First personal trainer. ‘The treadmill also helps propel you forward by pushing your legs, instead of you pulling them forward, so running without an incline is similar to running on a slight downward slope.’ Set the treadmill to an incline of one per cent to simulate outdoor running intensity and have a better chance of adopting your natural stride pattern. Running without an incline is similar to running on a slight downward slope, making it difficult to maintain an efficient running form.

Stress your system

Doing the same run every week can have an undesired effect. Your body is pretty smart and quickly adapts to a running routine – becoming more efficient and using less energy. This means your speed and endurance gains level off and your running improvements dwindle. ‘To improve as a runner, you need to overload your system by asking it to do more,’ says Bud Baldaro, Asics distance-running coach. ‘This could be two miles as opposed to one, or 15 instead of 12. The key is to increase your distance regularly.’ Mix speed and distance by adding one- to four-minute sprints into longer runs.

A sample workout

Try doing this treadmill workout to mimic running outside. You can repeat the session as many times as you want, helping your body get used to different speeds and different incline levels. The key is to keep your body guessing, so that when you run outside your body is already conditioned to deal with unexpected changes in terrain.

Incline     Speed (KPH)     Time

1     8     2 min
3     7     2 min
6     6     2 min

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