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Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

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Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:17 pm

I think that you all know I'm not the biggest fan of the treadmill, but that I've also been using it a lot this year for speedwork. Why? Mostly because I would have to go to the track alone which often causes my mind to wander and me not to do the workout and because I can set the desired mph. Tomorrow, I have a tempo run to do which is not my normal tempo run. I usually do a Hal type tempo or I do a Progression run where I might start at a 9 min mile and then bring it down to around 8:30 if I can get there. I do these on the roads and I find that I usually can't get down to much faster than a 7:25-7:30 pace due to lots of factors including hills, uneven sidewalks, lack of focus, etc.

Tomorrow's run is laid out as 1 mile @ 9:15, 3 @ 7:15, 1 @ 9:15 and 3@ 7:15. In order to survive and hit the paces, I know I'll need to do this on the mill. After all, 7:15 is close to my 5K pace! Do you think I'm sacrificing anything by doing this workout on the mill? Thoughts????

Schuey once told me that my legs still had to move that fast kind of like the argument that Ryan Hall ran 2:04 with a tailwind, but am I discounting the workout?
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Julie on Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:14 pm

I just read an article in Running Times on speed work and treadmills and I think the moral of the article was no you're not sacrificing much if anything by using the treadmill for speedwork (and Kara had really positive things to say about it) even though it can't be as difficult as the same workout outside because of lack of wind.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Chris M on Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:22 pm

I think hills and unusual weather (like big-time wind) can make running outside harder but if those are not present it is actually harder to do the workout on the mill. I certainly don't think you are sacrificing anything by taking it to the mill and the key is to hit the paces and the treadmill will force that to happen which is good. That is going to be a very hard workout with 2x3 at faster than 10K pace. Too hard, maybe. I usually think of 10k pace as the fastest I would sustain in a tempo. If you end up needing to bail on the pace mid-workout, make it 3x2 instead with only 0.5 between the tempo portions.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks all. After I let the paces sink in, I called my coach, and he was like - "gee maybe I was too ambitious" and we dialed back the tempo segments to 7:45 pace. I did it all on the treadmill since it is raining here and I actually turned up the last hard mile to 7:30 pace. I'm not dead, and I feel pretty good.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Dave-O on Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:44 pm

Workouts on the mill in the winter is a necessity, in my opinion. If it comes down to: (a) sacrificing the quality due to adverse conditions, or (b) mill, (b) is a better option.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:47 pm

@Dave-O wrote:Workouts on the mill in the winter is a necessity, in my opinion. If it comes down to: (a) sacrificing the quality due to adverse conditions, or (b) mill, (b) is a better option.

Thanks, Dave-O - just what Schuey would tell me as well. And yes, despite living in Atlanta, GA we still have adverse winter conditions many times (rain and thunder/lightening mostly like yesterday). I just hope I don't wear my treadmill out before it gets to Cleveland again..
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Julie on Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:53 pm

I agree, I can't tell you how many nearly worthless runs outdoors I've had because of bad weather because it's really hard to go fast enough when you're afraid of slipping on the ice and it's generally pretty foolish to run in a t-storm, too.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Dave-O on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:29 pm

My general rule of thumb is that if you're logging 50% or more of your mileage outside, there's no worry about lack of preparation for the "hardness" of running outside. I try to do my long runs outside in the winter, unless the conditions are really bad. Tempos and speedwork? Mill it up, baby.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Penelope on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:54 am

Not that I can say I've been training consistently, but when I do speedwork, I almost always do it on the treadmill. I find it's a lot easier for me to set a pace that the machine must maintain and I stay on it and run that pace, than it is to get myself up to the same speed (or similar if you account for wind / such) outside. For me, I'm pretty bad at judging pace, especially faster ones, so unless I'm glued to the garmin, it's very hard for me to hit a given pace without grossly overshooting or undershooting it. I also have a harder time maintaining the pace and will easily get distracted and slow down outside.

The other factor for me is that pretty much any time I'm on the treadmill I'm bored while on it, and speedwork makes the time fly by.

I think doing speedwork on the treadmill sometimes is fine. But I can see the pitfalls of doing 100% of speedwork on the mill. When I do it, I figure I'm early enough in the training that I just need to make my body run at whatever pace. I think speedwork outside trains you to learn pace and make yourself focus in order to maintain it since you can't rely on the treadmill to keep you at that pace.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  wrichman on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:53 pm

Usually I love doing speed stuff on the tmill, but today was no good. I attempted 10 w/ 4 tempo on the mill this morning. About 1 mile into the run I knew it just wasn't going to happen. I've been battling a sinus infection which is also causing a bit of asthma flare up. Everything just felt so heavy. I managed to do 3 intervals of progression down to half marathon pace, but even that was a struggle. I'm trying not to be discouraged by this run and chalk it up to my sucky immune system. blech.
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  John Kilpatrick on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:24 pm

I'm exactly the opposite - I hate doing speed work on a mill b/c I lose focus there. Everything seems harder for me there where outside I can pick targets to run towards. I don't see where it makes all that much difference running from one to the other - as long as all of your running isn't on a treadmill I wouldn't think it much of a problem. I agree that it is hard sometimes to nail a tight pace outside where you can forget about it and just go on the mill though.

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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Schuey on Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:40 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Schuey once told me that my legs still had to move that fast kind of like the argument that Ryan Hall ran 2:04 with a tailwind, but am I discounting the workout?

Yep I remember telling you that. I love doing tempo either way outside or on the mill. Other then doing fartlek, the tempo has to be my favorite marathon training run!

The thing that is great about doing the tempo or speed work on the mill is that yep your legs have to keep up unless you give in and slow it down. I find that my quality of tempo runs on the mill end up being better then outside, unless I get the chance to do one with Dave-O and Chris. If I'm outside doing it with others it's easy to stay on pace because no one wants to drop off. When running by myself it is just to easy to drop off pace with really noticing it at first. Now that is the reason I love the mill once you set that speed there is no mercy unless you call mercy and quiet on yourself. I find that the mill helps push me and dig deeper and go the extra time or distance to make me a strong runner and turns a tempo run that would be ok into a kick ass run when it is all said and done. Plus I love the extra mental toughness you can develop running on the death machine! I really have to say that even though I work hard I have a lot to thank to the dreadmill for helping me break barriers in the marathon that I really wasn't sure if they were possible. That is just me and everyone is different and I will go back to my old saying "Training is all about finding out what works for you and once you find it do it 100%" and "what might work for me may not work for someone else and vise verses!"

Speaking of doing a Tempo I just did my first one and yes it was a smoking great one! 25min warm-up 30mins Tempo and then another 25min cool-down. And there was no doubt that the mill help me push myself for this first tempo of this training cycle!

Happy Tempo/speekwork everyone no matter how you do it!
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  Kenny B. on Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:21 pm

Ive done 20 miles on TM, Hill work, tempo, Repeats etc. The only thing I found difficult and won't do is 100m strides.

I don't prefer the TM over outside but for hill work I find it to be better than outside for where I live. Tempo runs sure why not doing FCR at 10k-HM pace more than reasonable on TM. I would not do all my workout in TM but 1 a week in winter if need be sure Im a fan!
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Re: Speedwork and/or Tempo Runs on the Treadmill

Post  mul21 on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:01 pm

@Kenny B. wrote:Ive done 20 miles on TM, Hill work, tempo, Repeats etc. The only thing I found difficult and won't do is 100m strides.

I don't prefer the TM over outside but for hill work I find it to be better than outside for where I live. Tempo runs sure why not doing FCR at 10k-HM pace more than reasonable on TM. I would not do all my workout in TM but 1 a week in winter if need be sure I'm a fan!

Strides are easy. You just leave the mill cranked up to speed while you take your break. You might get funny looks, but probably no moreso than usual!
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