These Treadmill Workouts Can Help You Get Fit This Winter, Even if You’re Not a Runner (Live Strong)

Posted: Dec 17, 2022 in In the News

This article orginally appeared on Live Strong on December 17, 2022.


This time of year can be a bit of a physical gray area when it comes to fitness (and that's OK!). But if you're looking for a way to keep moving in the cold, dark, hectic, unfocused days of winter, the treadmill — as boring as it may seem — might be calling your name.

"It's not always about having a specific goal in mind, but it's about falling back in love with your training," Rebecca Kennedy, Peloton strength and treadmill instructor, says about jumping into treadmill training in the depths of winter. "The winter, to me, is really a good time for building your strength and keeping your conditioning up."

If you're someone who detests the treadmill, it may be helpful to think about the benefits it will have on any of your spring goals. Here, we break down how to best utilize this tried-and-true machine for your fitness goals on the horizon.

Spring Goal: Hiking
While you're waiting for the ground to thaw to get up to elevation, the treadmill is a great place to start building power for spring hiking feats ahead.

"Walking on [an incline], you're not going to have the divots and the different ground or environment that you're going to be walking on trails, but at least you're getting the strength you need to implement it when you're out on the trails," Kennedy says. Walking on a 15 percent grade conditions essential lower leg muscles including your glutes, calves, hips and hamstrings.

?Best Treadmill Function:? Bump up the incline.

?Go-To Workout:? Tune into one of Kennedy's Peloton Hiking Bootcamp classes, HIIT-style classes that mix in power walking on various levels of incline instead of running, with key strength training moves that will get you hike-ready.

Spring Goal: Run a Marathon
For marathoners, early winter is often considered the off season, which is a great time to turn to the treadmill for pre-training conditioning. "When you're planning for a race in the spring, you'll have a plan, but right now, you get to have fun and kind of enjoy the training," Kennedy says. "Focus more on keeping your base level intact."

When training kicks into gear come January or February, the treadmill remains a great option for keeping your training consistent, despite the ever-changing winter weather.

?Best Treadmill Function:? Intervals and hills. "Whether you're a beginner or a more seasoned runner, that's going to keep up your strength and your power when you're ready to get back on the road," Kennedy says.

?Go-To Workout:? Alana Myers, CPT, certified personal trainer and American Council on Exercise (ACE) resource center supervisor, suggests this interval workout for building endurance:

Warm up for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace.
Then bump it up to a run for 10 minutes.
Slow down to a jog for 2 minutes of recovery.
Repeat that sequence of running and jogging three times total.
Finish up with a 5-minute cooldown

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