Intervals on a treadmill

Did my run - energetic (for me). 35 mins and 6.2 k in total (rather slow I think). I put the treadmill on an incline of 1.5 and then did 8 reps of 400m at 12.5kph with breaks of 2 mins at 10.5 but after 6 reps that went down to 1 min of walking at 6.7 kph and 1 min SLOW running (I can do it after all!!) at 8/9kph. Does that sound like a session? Why can I happily trot around 10 miles on 90mins but that last 35mins on the treadmill was difficult in places? I managed to do all the reps but the last couple took all my reserves of determination.

Any thoughts?


  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    DD, your recovery pace for the 1st 6 reps was probably too fast. The next time you do it try doing the 2 minute recoveries at at the 8kph pace or simply walk.

  • DD - you are not alone.

    I find reps really difficult on the treadmill - I would much rather brave the elements.

    I think its because you can see how far you've got left to go and slow you're running the recoveries. On the treadmill I often feel like I'm running really fast when in reality I'm not.

    On the roads I think its much easier to just run how you feel and not be constanly obsessed with distance and time. This obsession I think can ruin a good session.

    Oh - 8 x 400m is definately a session. Why not find a loop close to where you live and do your reps there. I run out easy for couple of miles, do the reps and then run back in. Ok the loops might not be the exact distances but I'm sure they're pretty close. This type of session can work for all sorts of distances.

    Hope that helps
  • Thanks Guys

    Glad it counts as a session cos it certainly felt like one! If I slowed the pace of my recoveries I'm sure I would be able to do the quick bits at a higher speed - would that be a good thing to aim at? I'm trying to get faster over longer runs (6,10,13.1 miles).

    I read the other thread on intervals that's going on at the moment which was helpful I didn't realise it was permissable to slow right down between intervals. I don't use a heart monitor (maybe Christmas?) I just keep at the slower pace until I feel like I could go another one, also keeping an eye on the time.

    Thanks for your help

    Drew, you are such a running star I feel humbled you deigned to answer my questions, I am not worthy... :OD
  • i can only manage 200m at 11kph, then a 200m walk, or i cant do 6
    pathetic, I know but one day i will improve]
    I dread speedwork though
  • DD,

    I think it doesn't matter how slow you do your recoveries - it's the pace of the fast bits that matter. If you're managing to do 8 * 400 at the same pace then that's a great session.

    My weekly speed session is 5 * 800 (at 7.5 min/mile pace) with 4 minute recoveries at the moment. Using a HRM I make sure that my HR falls below 120 in the recoveries (it's up to 180 in the intervals). To do this I have to walk part of the recoveries. I've based this workout on advice from the Cometitive Runner's Handbook by Bob Glover. Let's hope it works (target is sub-50 10k).

  • I think a lot of people get put off interval training because they run themselves into the ground simply by not recovering enough.

    If you're totally shattered by the end of the session (or worse still, before the end), then you haven't been recovering enough.

    You'll still get enormous benefit out of interval training even if you take as long as you like over the recoveries, jog, walk, lie down, go to sleep (well, almost), whatever it takes to finish the session running all your reps at an even but hard pace.

    You don't even need to time your recoveries and there's nothing wrong with taking extra time if you need it. Pause, rehydrate (a sports drink is a good idea to have to hand), loosen up and go again - when you are ready.

    Incidentally, intervals where you recover completely are properly called "repeats" - confusing, huh? But they are still hugely worth doing.

    Of course, there is another use for intervals where you try to keep the recoveries short (and probably moderate the pace of the reps), which is to build speed endurance.

    But it's got to make a lot more sense when you're not used to interval training to make the most of the recoveries so you can do plenty of controlled, hard running when you get going again.

    In short, don't beat yourself up guys. It doesn't make sense.
  • DD

    you don't mention it but it is important to be properly warmed up (a good 10 mins at a steady pace) before launching into the intervals. On you long runs you probably start sensibly and don't accumulate much lactic acid (technical term for muscles aching like hell).

    if you don't warm up then the intervals will feel harder sooner.

    PS liked your responses to this question on the URWFWC Forum. Now go read the %HR thread and have a ball, or alternatively read HRM & Pace (aka War & Peace) by Ron (Tolstoy) Grover

    ohh, and do come back here there are lots of learners like you as a well as experts
  • It's happening here as well. The Runners Rocky Horror Show.
  • I've recently started doing intervals on a treadmill, after a 15 minute bike warm-up.

    The treadmill I use is time based, so a 20 min session is alternate minutes 'fast' & 'recovery'. I do the 'fast' on a 1.5-2.0% incline at 13-14km/h with the 'recovery' sessions on nil incline at 9km/h.

    Seems to work for me, so I would agree that your recovery sessions are probably too fast.
Sign In or Register to comment.