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Three Winter Treadmill Workouts for Runners

Even when the cold weather is upon us and winter sets in, you don’t want to lose the momentum you had during the summer when it comes to your training. As a runner, you’re probably looking for ways to bring your running regime indoors. For year-round training, a Precor treadmill is the perfect complement to your home gym.

A home treadmill is:

  • Ideal for tempo and speed runs to help you train for an endurance race or become a faster runner overall, respectively.
  • Perfect for runners in cooler parts of the country when the temperature drops and conditions outside, like black ice and dark skies, pose dangers.
  • Great for focused workouts that help you stay engaged and motivated—and see results.

To help you get the most out of your training time, our fitness experts share their three favorite wintertime treadmill workout plans.

Before you get started, consider the levels of ​rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale, and alter your workout based on your experience. 

  • 0  Nothing at all
  • 1 – 2 Very Light
  • 3 – 4 Light
  • 4 – 5 Moderate
  • 6 – 7 Heavy
  • 7 – 8 Very heavy
  • 9 – 10 Very, very heavy

    Treadmill Workout #1: Progression Run

    Often added to a runner’s training program, progression or threshold runs are one of the most important and effective workouts you can do to build up and maintain your speed over any distance. During a progression run, your effort shouldn’t be as hard as if you were running a race, but a few notches down. Think in terms of an 8 out of a 10 scale, where 10 is race-level or marathon effort.

    If you’re new to this style of running, you’ll want to pace the intensity. Intersperse threshold running between steady running. For example, complete 15 minutes of steady running, 5 minutes of threshold pace, 15 minutes of steady running, and so on. Keep increasing the threshold portion each time you work out. Think of it like you would sets and repetitions during weight training.

    If you’re a long-time runner or are used to running races, you can break out your workout in three even blocks—steady, progression, and race pace—maybe 15 minutes each, as an example. You’ll continue to make gains, even when you are making great demands on your heart and body at a steady rate.

    Treadmill Workout #2: Pyramid HIIT

    Imagine a pyramid where there’s a gradual incline to the top and corresponding decline to the bottom. As you run up or down, you will alternate the amount of effort—as if you’re running a circuit. Maintaining one steady pace during your workout–without bursts of high-intensity effort along the way–won’t keep you motivated for long, so give a pyramid HIIT workout a try and watch your results soar.

    *If you don’t have a race pace, then run at a level 8 out of 10 scale of effort. If you’re a beginner, you can build up to an 8 effort by starting at a level 2 (warm up/easy pace) and increase your effort level every week or every other week.

    Interval

    How to Run

    Warm up

    5-minute easy pace / slow jog

    Run

    1 minute at your typical race pace*

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 1 minute

    Run

    2 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    3 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    4 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    5 minute at your typical race pace (top of the pyramid)

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    4 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    3 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    2 minute at your typical race pace

    Recover

    Recover (easy pace) for 2 minutes

    Run

    1 minute at your typical race pace

    Cool down

    5-minute easy pace / slow jog

    Treadmill Workout #3: Tempo Run

    How do you know you’re doing a tempo run? When it is difficult to carry on a conversation. But that’s okay, you’re pushing your body to improve on speed, distance, general cardio results. When you can’t speak more than about three sentences, your heart is working at about 85% to 95% capacity—and that’s a good thing, for short bursts. You should keep tempo runs to once or twice a week. Gradually increase your distance or your speed each time or every other time.

    • Warm up: 5-10 minutes and increase your speed as you go.
    • Run: The tempo portion of your run should be about 20-40 minutes, and no longer than an hour.
    • Cool down: Bring your pace and heart rate to a normal level.

    Having a treadmill in the home will keep you going, push your limits, and give you the confidence to keep striving for those big goals all winter long. Give these treadmill workout plans a try and make the most out of the winter months.

    If you’re looking to purchase a treadmill for winter training, invest in quality you can trust. Feel the Precor treadmill difference. Our treadmills are made in the U.S.A.* and, no matter which one you choose from the wide range in the product line, each one is durable and reliable with top-rated customer service.

    Are you ready to own gym-quality cardio equipment so you can have your best cardio workouts at home? Chat with our team online or visit your local Precor authorized dealer. Our fitness experts are happy to answer all your questions about top-rated Precor treadmills to ensure you find the one that best fits your needs.

    *400, 600, 700, and 800 Line Precor treadmills are made in the U.S.