NEWS Winter Treadmill Workouts for Every Spring Fitness Goal

Winter Treadmill Workouts for Every Spring Fitness Goal

Whatever your spring fitness goals, a treadmill can help you get there.

Image Source:
Ruslan Dashinsky/E+/Getty Images

This time of year can be a bit of a gray area when it comes to fitness (and that’s okay!). But if you’re looking for a way to keep moving through the cold, dark, busy, and distracting winter months, the treadmill — boring as it may seem — might be calling your name.

“It’s not always about keeping one specific goal in mind, it’s about falling back in love with your training,” Peloton strength and treadmill coach Rebecca Kennedy says of treadmill workouts in the middle of winter. “For me, winter is really a good time to build strength and maintain fitness.”

If you hate the treadmill, it might be helpful to consider its benefits for any of your spring goals. Here, we detail how to best utilize this tried-and-true machine to achieve your impending fitness goals.

While you wait for the ground to thaw out to gain altitude, the treadmill is a great place to start building strength for future spring hiking feats.

“Walking in [an incline]you won’t have the turf and different ground or environment that you’re going to be walking on the trail, but at least when you’re on the trail, you’ll get the strength you need to implement it,” Kennedy said. Walking on a 15 percent grade Works important calf muscles including glutes, calves, glutes and hamstrings.

‌‌‌Best Treadmill Features:‌ Increase the slope.

‌‌‌Start exercising:Tune in to one of Kennedy’s Peloton Hiking Camp classes, a HIIT-style class that mixes power walking on varying inclines instead of running, with key strength-training moves to get you ready for the hike.

Spring goal: run a marathon

Early winter is often considered the off-season for marathon runners, and it’s a good time to turn to the treadmill for pre-workout conditioning. “When you’re planning to race in the spring, you have a plan, but right now, you’re having fun and enjoying training,” Kennedy said. “Focus more on keeping your base level intact.”

When training starts in January or February, treadmills are a great option for keeping your workout steady despite the changing winter weather.

‌‌‌Best Treadmill Features:‌ Intervals and hills. “Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, this will keep you fit and strong when you’re ready to get back into running,” Kennedy said.

‌‌‌Start exercising:‌ Alana Myers, CPT, certified personal trainer and director of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Resource Center, recommends building endurance with this interval workout:

  • Warm up at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.
  • Then crank it up for 10 minutes.
  • Jog Jog for 2 minutes to recover.
  • Repeat the sequence of running and jogging a total of 3 times.
  • Finish with a 5 minute cooldown.

Spring Goal: Mountain Biking

While mountain bikers are now more likely to dawdle on an exercise bike and dream of summer bike trails, they might be surprised to learn that a treadmill has something to offer. Of course, cardiovascular training is beneficial for the endurance needed for long trail runs, but perhaps even more beneficial is the core strength that running provides.

“Your core is a huge component,” says Myers. “Not just talking about the abs, but also your back and lumbar extensors.” Having a strong core is good for balance and stability on the bike.

‌‌‌Best Treadmill Features:‌ Try sprinting to build core strength and improve endurance. According to December 2013 published in ‌scandinavian journal of sports medicine and science‌.

‌‌‌Start exercising:Try this, adapted from ACE-certified trainer Elizabeth Andrews’ hill sprint workout:

  • Set the slope to 1.5%. Work your way up to the sprint and hold that pace for 20 seconds.
  • Get off and recover.
  • Increase the incline to 10 percent, then sprint for another 20 seconds. Get off and recover.
  • Increase the incline to 15% and sprint for 20 seconds.
  • As your health improves, see if you can complete the sequence two or three times.

Spring Goal: Join a local sports league

Dreaming of being the MVP of barbecue volleyball, pickleball, kickball or softball leagues? Logging a few miles on the treadmill is a great way to prepare for team sports. Starting the season with a basic level of fitness will help protect you from early-season injuries. In general, sports tend to be more fun when you’re not struggling to keep up with your teammates.

‌‌‌Best Treadmill Features:‌Intervals—adjusting the speed or incline to a more challenging level after a predetermined amount of time (like 1 or 2 minutes) before returning to a base level for recovery—help build stamina and give you the flexibility to adjust Exercise to your current fitness level.

‌‌‌Start exercising:‌ Any of the other workouts listed here are great for general conditioning (especially the hill sprints listed above), but this treadmill workout is specifically designed for backcountry sports where you don’t always To go straight ahead.

  • Start slowly (1 to 2 mph) and place your body sideways on the treadmill.
  • Shuffle with the movement of the belt; your front foot takes a step forward and your rear foot shuffles to meet it. Don’t cross your feet in front of each other.
  • Once you get comfortable with the movement, you can increase the speed.
  • Practice for 15 minutes on each side.

If your spring goal is just to establish an established exercise routine that you can stick to and enjoy, no matter the outcome, you can start right now on the treadmill.

Walking is great for getting started. Or, if you already exercise regularly, but it doesn’t include any endurance training, walking or jogging can fill the gap. The National Institute on Aging recommends that everyone incorporate each type of training (balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance) into their fitness program.

Kennedy’s advice for beginners: Ignore the distance and just focus on the time spent on the treadmill. Start with shorter durations and work your way up. Maybe start with 10 minutes and aim to end up at 30 minutes.

“Make yourself a beginner,” she says. “Then once you start, just get excited about the signals your body is giving you when you’re a little out of breath and your muscles are a little sore. Those are the signals your body is giving you to know you’re doing the right thing. Things come from stronger.”

To keep your time at the mill fun, Miles recommends playing at an incline and speed to keep your body and brain active. Or, if you’re more comfortable with a fixed schedule, treadmill presets might help, she says.

She also recommends setting the slope to at least 1%. “Because the belt pulls your legs back, you always want to have some lean to activate a little more muscle.”

‌‌‌Best Treadmill Features:‌ Play with the presets and spend time getting to know the machine.

‌‌‌Start exercising:‌ Use the run/walk method to get into the swing of things:

  • Warm up by walking for 5 minutes.
  • Start with a 1-minute run or jog, followed by a 2-minute walk.
  • Try to do this for a total of 20 minutes.
  • As you get fitter, reduce your walking time and increase your running time.

Kennedy left us with one more important piece of advice: Move your chosen sports and workouts outside during the colder winter months. “Go out every now and then and see how your training on the tread is keeping you in shape outdoors and acclimating to the impact of the pavement.”

Related posts

NEWS Greensburg Y Home Fitness Series Includes In-person, Virtual Classes


NEWS Garmin Venu 2 Plus smartwatch review: Improve your fitness with style


NEWS Blink Give your partner a workout bouquet this Valentine’s Day!