Tips For Runners-To-Be & 3 Treadmill Workouts

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I used to hate running when I played competitive sports growing up. It felt like a punishment, and I was never the fastest; in fact, I’m pretty sure I was one of the slowest. I just had no reason to enjoy it, but after giving up sports and going to college, running became a therapeutic activity and avenue for me to get away from everything. Doing it by myself made me appreciate alone time and learn to push my own physical limits.

I prefer running outside — it passes the time quicker when I get to observe scenery and explore new areas — but I live in Texas. The summers are HOT. And the winters aren’t awful, but I prefer not running in the dark if I can help it, and it’s usually pretty dark both before and after I’m at work during the week. So I’ve learned to adapt to treadmill runs for the times I can’t run outdoors. To not get bored out of my mind staying in one stationary spot for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, I need to make it into a little game by changing up the speed every few minutes for intervals. It breaks up the time to make a longer run feel faster, and I shared one of my favorite intervals in last week’s post about easy ways to feel healthier during the holidays.

I want to share a few more easy-to-remember treadmill intervals that are between 20 to 40 minutes that anyone can do. But first, I want to walk through some running tips I’ve learned through the years and live by. I’ve had a couple running-related injuries from tweaked form in the past, so these are things that I’ve picked up from coaches, physical therapists, and chiropractors the last several years.

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Running Tips and Tricks:

  • Arms: Keep the shoulders squared and un-slouched at all times and arms bent at a 90-plus degree angle. This arm form will help avoid bad posture, sore shoulders and back, and shoulder cramps.
  • Arm movement: Don’t let the arms cross your body when pumping them. Keep your elbows close to the body and pump them front and backward.
  • Step: Take small, quick steps (a larger stride is harder on the joints) no matter your speed, and step from mid-foot to toe or heel to toe. I used to run on my toes and actually trained and ran an entire half marathon on my toes, and my legs paid for it. This style is better for digging into the ground for sprints, but for distance running, it’ll tear up the shins and knees because of all the pressure on the fronts of the legs.
  • Breath: If breathing is tough for you, or you find yourself getting stomach and chest cramps often, try a breathing routine. Inhale through your nose for three steps, and exhale through your mouth for two steps, something like this: inhale through your nose for left step-right-left, and exhale through your mouth for right step-left and continue throughout the run.
  • Posture: Keep the spine straight and the shoulders above the hips; it’s easy to slouch when I’m tired at a few miles in, but I consciously remind myself to remain upright.
  • Makeup: Never (EVER) run in makeup. Just don’t. I have, and then my skin takes about a week to recover. It isn’t good and it isn’t pretty. Don’t do it.
  • Music: Don’t forget the jams. Even if you’re running outside or you’re using intervals on a treadmill, music can pump up your mood and inspire you to go the extra distance.
  • Stretch: I always forget to stretch, and my body notices the next day. I prefer stretching after a run (when I do remember), but I think whether you stretch before or after, the most important thing is that you give your muscles that space to breath.
  • Incline: When I use the treadmill, I run at a mere 0.5 incline, the smallest incline possible, but it’s better for me than straight flat because it doesn’t jolt my joints so much. I definitely recommend running at some kind of incline when you’re on the treadmill.

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Treadmill Interval Workouts: These are a few of my go-tos, but you can always amend them by adding or decreasing time or speed to each one. I enjoy the pace and timing of these, and they always give me a solid workout. Happy running!

1. The Quick ‘N Dirty:
Duration – 20 minutes
3 minutes at 6.5 MPH
2 minutes at 8 MPH
Repeat 5 times total.

2. Steady And Strong:
Duration – 40 minutes
4 minutes at 6 MPH
2 minutes at 6.5 MPH
2 minutes at 7 MPH
Repeat 5 times total.

3. Half-Hour Hottie:
Duration – 30 minutes
2 minutes at 6 MPH
2 minutes at 6.5 MPH
2 minutes at 7 MPH

Tank: Target (Old: similar here) // Leggings: Lululemon // Sneaks: Nike Free (Old: similar here)

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