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So, to all my fellow Mid-West and East Coast Runners, there are ways of getting around the wintery season and staying on pace with your workout! Checkout this article from and get back on track with your running regime!
With the weather taking a turn for the worse, more and more folks are turning to the treadmill as a safe (and warm) way to stay in shape and maintain their running fitness. While running on a treadmill can be repetitive or even a bit boring, the treadmill is a fantastic training tool when used properly.
Remember Christine Clark, the woman from Alaska who stunned the running community by winning the U.S. marathon trials for the 2000 summer Olympics? She did the majority of her running on a treadmill and managed a great race.
Your winter training could prepare you for a great race if you take the time to really plan out your approach. Here are a couple of things to remember for those winter treadmill runs:
  • Your heart rate values are different on a treadmill. Without external stimuli like hills, wind, heat, etc., your heart rate will be lower. 
  • Use a minimum of 1% grade. Running at 0% grade is similar to running on a slight downward slope. 
  • Mix it up! Just as you have different weekly routes, so too should you have different treadmill locations and routines. Also feel free to mix up the incline and pacing to stimulate different muscle groups. 
  • Consider cross training. Incorporating a basic weight routine is a great way to make sure your legs maintain their in-season strength through the winter. This doesnt have to be a bodybuilding routine; think squats, leg extensions, leg curls and calves for 15 to 20 repetitions each. 
  • Get outside once a week, weather permitting. There is no substitute for the real thing. Even if you have to wait until midday on a weekend for the temperature to climb, do it. Just one outdoor session a week will help you maintain your "feel" for the road.
Training through the winter isnt easy, even with treadmills. If you mix up your routine, it will help you stay fit and sharp and will have you ready for next season in no time!

Posted on February 7, 2011 .