Treadmill (n.): A torture device perfected in the 20th century, designed to destroy one’s mind though sensory deprivation and monotony. -Mark Remy Runnersworld.com executive editor, in The Runners’ Rule Book
Mark Remy is right, the treadmill is a torture device! We should try to do most of our runs outside. Get out on trails, run down by a river, even around your block! (at least you will be getting vitamin d!)….But the treadmill can be a great tool when it comes to speedwork. (…and a great way to save your feet from blisters if you live in the PNW!)
Why do I need to do speedwork you might ask?
A couple reasons:
1. It will make you faster. When you do intervals you deplete your muscles of energy (pushing near your lactate threshold), then recover allowing your body to begin to rebuild your energy stores with aerobic metabolism. As you do this more and more, your body becomes more efficient at removing the waste caused by harder working muscles and begins to build more mitochondria (those bacteria that live inside your muscles that eat CO2!). This allows you to maintain higher speeds. This is important for those of you who have PR times you would like to hit.
2. For those of you who don’t care about your time, intervals will make your body more efficient at making energy, therefore making your “normal” pace feel much easier. This will make marathon or 1/2 marathon day more enjoyable.
3. For reasons outside of racing, intervals have also been shown to burn fat better. Intervals leave you with a larger need to produce energy post workout. This will lead the body to tap into your fat stores to make that energy both during recovery and post workout.–Don’t think you can eat a more because of this. This only works if you stick to your normal diet!
4. Finally intervals have been shown to boost your HDL (the good cholesterol). This cholesterol combined with an elevated heart rate sends rushing blood through the arteries cleansing them by removing plague build-up caused by LDL. This bad cholesterol is sent to the liver where the liver can break it down. This will help prevent heart attacks so you can outlive all your friends!–AND EAT ALL THAT STEAK!! 😉
SO DO YOUR INTERVAL WORKOUT TODAY RUNNERS!
What’s your favorite speedwork workout?