The Perfect Winter Workout

When the weather looks like this there is no way I am running outside unless absolutely necessary. So that means I head to the gym to avoid the cold and/or rain.

I enjoy gym workouts, but running on the treadmill for very long is just not my thing. Since I am training for a race, though, it is a necessary evil. Enter my favorite winter workouts – intervals.

Intervals are the best because they pack a big punch without a lot of time. It is all about intensity and keeping your body guessing. They are great for improving fitness, burning calories and to make treadmill workouts fly by.  Friday morning I completed the following 4 mile interval workout:

  • 1 mile warm up (.30 miles walking at 4.0, .7 jogging at 6.0)
  • 1.5 miles of 400 meter speed work (.25 miles at 7.5, .1 mile at 4.0)
  • 1 mile alternating 90 seconds at 8.0 and 60 seconds at 4.0
  • .5 miles at 4.0 to cool down

When all was said and done, I was  red-faced sweaty mess and it felt so good to work hard. I am really going to focus on increasing the intensity of my gym workouts to make the most of them.

I credit treadmill intervals and speed work with my 2009 half marathon PR. I trained throughout the winter for the January race and I did most of my training at the gym. I lived in San Diego so the cold wasn’t an issue, but it was so dark in the morning and evening that I couldn’t run outside before or after work. I was so nervous before the race that I wasn’t properly trained, but I felt so good during the race because my body was accustomed to running at a faster pace. I hope that will help my cruise through my 5.7 mile leg of the marathon relay, too.

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