Leave the Treadmill Turned Off for a Better Interval Workout

Normally you do sprint intervals on a moving treadmill by alternating between rest and running at its fastest setting, but try this advanced twist: leave any treadmill off, and use your own two legs to power the belt for an incredible sprint workout.

Source: Leave the Treadmill Turned Off for a Better Interval Workout

As someone who has worked for fitness equipment manufacturers, please don’t do this and if you do this in a commercial gym, you ought to be kicked out.

First of all there three types of treadmill motors: A/C, brushless DC motors, and traditional DC motors. For sure you will cause damage to traditional DC motors doing this. On brushless DC motors, you might not be damaging the motor directly, but any resistance you feel is current that you are generating that is going somewhere. It’s either going into the circuitry and damaging it, or it is overheating some safety resistor. It’s also possible that the head roller or drive pulley is not moving at all and what you feel is actually the drive belt or the running belt slipping on the roller. This will damage a $450+ belt (on commercial machines) that is designed to slide against a phenolic surface, not a metal roller . On AC motors, this is pointless since any resistance you feel is between the belt and the deck and belt. If the belt is working correctly, there should be almost no resistance on an AC treadmill. Stick with bikes and ellipticals for this kind of workout, they use alternators which are designed to generate current and have circuitry to dissipate it appropriately.

TLDR: Doing this could be damaging to electronically powered treadmills. If you choose to do this, please proceed at your own risk.

Bike Intervals Can Make You a Faster Runner

Looking for variety, or just trying to stay off your feet to rehab an injury? According to a new study, a short interval session on a stationary bike can help you build running speed.

Source: Bike Intervals Can Make You a Faster Runner

Much as I dislike any trainer (running or cycling), the article highlights that the training takes 4 minutes to complete (not included warm up or down).  I have the setup to make this happen now, just one more thing to integrate into my weekly schedule.

A big reason for me taking up triathlon was because I wanted variety.  I was getting tired of just cycling and yoga, and the results were stellar.  My cycling didn’t just come back – the improvement was unbelievable.  I’ve heard from other coaches that cross training has provided similar benefit in different situations – injured runners were recommended to swim more to keep the cardio up.

The Easiest Way to Get Started Running: Mind Your Breath, Not Time

I’m going to share a learn-to-run strategy that is so simple, I could even do it. This is how I learned and how I’ve coached newbies for years. It doesn’t involve intervals, speed, calculations, or big words.

It is based solely on your body and how it responds to running. In fact, it’s a plan that is customized to you, because it progresses when your body is ready to do so.

Source: The World’s Simplest Learn to Run Program

It’s basically the couch-to-5K, without the targets/intervals.  I did it years back, and got the results I wanted – dropped weight.  But I can’t remember why I fell out of the habit, only that I did.  When I got back into running for triathlon, I swear I’m much slower now.

Swimming and cycling came more naturally to me, and I’ve been able to figure out how to challenge myself to get better.  Running?  Not so much.  I have no aptitude, and while I can commit to a regiment my approach hasn’t paid off like I’d hoped.  I can see where my training helped, like tackling stairs in cyclocross… but I want it all 😉

Cycling: Improve at Climbing Without Hills

If you’re preparing for a hilly ride but live in the flatlands, then follow these tips and release your inner mountain goat…

Source: Improve at climbing without hills

This bears repeating: Curious to find out the grade?  GoogleMaps provides elevation information if you view a route as a cyclist, but I’m told this functionality isn’t supported everywhere …and it doesn’t tell you the grade.  MapMyRide however has provided this information for a long time, and will provide grade with an elevation histogram.  I think Garmin Connect provided similar details…

Some trainers allow you to tweak resistance – Tacx is one such brand.  So you can get more of a workout than just moving between the gears.

How to Add Speedwork to Your Running to Get Stronger and Faster

Do you want to run faster? Great! Let’s run faster today. Then we’ll take a little break. Then we’ll run faster again a bunch more times. There’s a whole family of these interval workouts that runners call “speedwork,” and including them once a week or so can help you achieve faster race times later on.

Source: How to Add Speedwork to Your Running to Get Stronger and Faster

I could see enterprising cyclists using the information to their benefit.

For me: swimming came naturally, and I got some tweaks. Cycling, where I have others to look at, follow, and/or attempt to emulate – I’ve made progress without a training plan.  Running – progress has been glacial, if at all.  None of which I train with, or reflect upon, my Garmin.  I’ve been running a more flat route for 10 KM, and I think there’s some payoff because I can stretch my legs.  Between the broken rib and longer days, I’m looking to change my running habits.

What to Do Between Your Intervals for the Best Workout

Speedy interval sessions require rest between repetitions–and especially when you’re pushing your limits, the natural instinct may be to stop and put your hands on your knees while you catch your breath. But experience teaches us a counterintuitive lesson: Gentle jogging during those precious snippets of recovery sometimes makes it easier to run fast on the next rep. That’s because jogging keeps more blood flowing through your legs, clearing away the metabolic waste products that build up during hard running and contribute to muscle fatigue.

Source: How to Recover Between Intervals

The information applies to most physical activities.  The article is on a running-centric website, but mentions the study of cyclists.  This should be applicable to swimming… I look forward to updating my training, once my rib heals.