Treadmill workout

I live in a very hot country (United Arab Emirates)and I would like some tips on working out on the treadmill to mimic road running.
I returned from the UK yesterday where I spent 2 weeks blissfully running outdoors. I loved it and the results were fantastic!
I like to do 30 minutes first thing in the morning and am currently running at about 8 mph.


  • Welcome aboard, Beth. Are you in UAE for work purposes?

    Nosey bit over...on to treadmills! Treadmill running never feels quite the same as road running, but you can get at least as good a workout with less risk to your muscles and ligaments on a treadmill.

    Set the treadmill at a 1% incline to compensate for the lack of wind resistance etc. indoors. That's just to make it equivalent to running on the flat - you may want to raise it a little higher for an extra challenge.

    If you have a programming facility on your treadmill, make full use of it to factor in hills and vary your speed.

    Use it for intervals - short bursts of fast running followed by a walk or slow jog to recover, repeated several times during a workout. They help you go faster overall.

    The treadmill is the one place you can safely listen to music while you run. For longer runs, put on your favourite album and vary your speed according to the beat of the track.

    If forced on to the treadmill because the weather is too British for an outdoor run, I like to do a sort of fartlek-on-the-spot, using the manual setting and changing the speed and incline according to how I feel as I go along.

    But you're probably a more experienced treadmill runner than those of us who live in temperate climes and can run outdoors. What tips can you pass on based on what works for you?

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Hi. Yes, I live here and work here. Have done for almost 5 years. The summer is a killer and there's no way I could walk, jog or run outdoors. Getting from the car to my apartment is difficult enough!

    I am very new to running, and all exercise really. I only strated working out in February.
    I used to go to the gym and run but also weight train equally. After my trip to the UK (I went for 2 weeks from 8/8/02 and got back yesterday) all I want to do now is run! I loved the results to my body, my fitness and my spirit!

    I will probably continue doing a day of weights, though I'm not sure what to do yet as I don't want to inhibit my running in any way.

    I used to do intervals on the treadmill 5 mins fast walking/5 minutes running for 40 minutes, and on the road in the UK I did 30 minutes with heart rate monitored intervals at 80% MHR.

    On the treadmill it is easier (I run on a 2% incline to try and mimic road running) and I want to build up some endurance so I run for 30 minutes at about 8mph now. I will probably go back to intervals at some point.

    A good tip that I learnt is to not work so hard that you can't say a simple sentence without losing your breath. I was often heard on the streets of the UK saying 'the cat sat on the mat' to check myself! he he

    Thanks for the reply. Seems like a good supportive forum.
  • Shalom Beth

    The wise Vrap is spot on. Here's two further ideas:

    Get a big fan and set it in front of the treadmill to keep you cool / make it seem more realistic.

    If you want to build endurance and have limited time available, go for two workouts per day once a week - you can more or less count them as one longer workout, and it can help to build endurance quite well.

    Do you think you could get me a job in the UAE as a treadmill mechanic or something?

  • Gavin

    In Dubai we have gyms in our apartment blocks (sounds posh, but don't get too excited - we pay enough rent) and they aren't exactly top notch joints, but they're adequate enough. So, taking a fan up with me every morning would probably constitute a workout on its own!

    Are you a treadmill mechanic now, then? Actually, the pay is really bad for that kind of job and they wouldn't hire a European to do it anyway.
    If you want to work over here though I can give you the names of some good recruitment agencies.

    Take it easy.

    Beth x
  • Beth

    How about you pay me to take that fan up and down every day? It would be like having your own fan club.

    I do need to get away. My wife has run off with my best friend - and I really miss him.

    I once bought a round of drinks in a hotel in Dubai - I finish making the payments for them in 2010 - perhaps I will stick to the wilds of St Albans for now then.

    Time for your run I think.

  • Gavin

    Thanks for the laugh! My stomach muscles have got a good workout this morning, that's for sure!

    Yes, Dubai is expensive! You have to know where to go to get better drink deals.

    St Albans, eh? I come form Biggleswade, which is not too far form you. That's where I was last week!

    Keep in touch.

  • Beth

    I have used a treadmill for many years and find it an excellent way to train. I also live away from the UK but where I live I use the treadmill in winter because its pitch black and freezing cold outside! However, I worked on a project a couple of years ago in Saudi Arabia which allowed me time to play some very bizarre golf in the desert - so I know what you mean by the heat, I think it was somewher ein the high 40's.

    I find it very difficult running long session on the treadmill so try and get a good workout in a short period of time. The best way to do this is tempo intervals. This is where you run fast for a long period or periods. Two sessions I like are.

    Session 1

    10 minute warm up
    7.5 minutes fast
    2.5 minutes rest
    7.5 minutes fast
    10 minute coll down jog

    Session 2

    10 minute warm up
    20 minutes steady / hard
    10 minutes cool down

    Putting the treadmill on a 1% gradient will simulate outdoor running (as v-rap said) and getting a TV or CD player will help prevent boredom! Make sure you take plenty of drink before and after your session as you will dehydrate far more quickly.
  • Thanks!
  • With the dark, cold evenings now upon us and not having anyone to run with I thought it time to hire a treadmill. It's arrived! Can anyone give me a simple programme to follow bearing in mind I'm a beginner running about 3 miles a day?
  • I'd suggest intervals first - where you vary either a) the pace or b) the incline or c) both.

    Exactly how you set them will depend on your speed. I used to use two minutes slightly faster than my normal pace, then two minutes slightly slower. e.g. if current pace = 10kph, do two minutes at 12kph, two minutes at 8 or 9kph to recover. Or you could do the faster bit at 11kph.

    The idea is to raise your heartrate a bit, maybe 10 bpm, but not a huge amount, and then to try and develop your ability for it to recover during the slower intervals. AS you get fitter you can cut the length of the recoveries, or put up the pace on each bit, or whatever.

    Obviously depends on how fit you are - usual precautions about not overdoing it etc
  • Sarah,
    I am no expert at all, but through personal experience, I totally agree with Iains suggestion about intervals. This one is one of my favourites and has helped me no end.
    All the distances/speeds are examples. Adapt them to your own fitness/ability/needs etc.I use it to get my heart rate into a high zone, and therefore I don`t do it too often, but you can tone it up/down as you like.

    10mins warm up - any pace, start with a walk if you want but build it up to a easy/moderate running pace (example 10 kph)

    Now the meat of the run-
    after every 250 metres you run, increase the speed by 1pkh
    do this four times.(i.e.11/12/13/14kph)
    Then drop the pace and give yourself 500metres to get back upto your original moderate pace.
    Then repeat the cycle.
    Repeat the cycle as many times as you like

    Then 10min cool down.

    So basically they are 1km intervals (4x 250m)with increments of speed every 250m with 500m recovery.10 mins either side for w/u or w/d. I do 250m increments because they are easy to work out and I`m a complete muppet when it comes to maths. I get bored easily on the treadmill but with the constant changing speed I can do herds of intervals before I get bored.
    Give it a try,please let me know what you think.
    Jack D
  • Nice session Jack - I'm going to give that a try this weekend.

    Guess if the 1kph build up is too much then you could up it 0.5kph each time, or alternatively do the intervals in minutes rather than 250m. 12kph = 5 minutes per kilometres, or 75 second per 250 minutes.

    Agree about the w/u and w/d - add that to my suggested session - or at least make sure you start with a slow interval! I usually start at the beginning quite a bit slower - e.g. 9.5 or 10kph for the warm up, and then 13 or 14 for the high, alternating with about 12 for the recovery. I finish off with a minute or two of walking.

    Obviously adjust to suit your current pace. When I first did these, I was amazed at how quickly I improved. I found that what was once the hard bit become my pace for recovery (i.e. the slow bit) within a month or two!

    Good luck!
  • Jack.

    Have been running on treadmill for a while but like you tend to get quite bored. Having seen your suggestion to Sarah, I am now going to give this a go as it sounds quite fun and will relieve the boredom.Not quite sure I am ready to run outdoors yet, but next year i would like to run one of the Race for Life 5k's.
  • I like to do something similar to JD.
    Starting off at an easy pace,increase the speed by 0.1 mph each minute until you reach about 5k pace.Hold this for 10 minutes,then come back down the same way.

    This takes me around 40 minutes.I enjoy this workout because the pick up in pace is quite gentle and it also has a built in warm up/cool down.
  • Thats the beauty of this set - its so adaptable. As Iain suggests perhaps you could work off time not distance. I sometimes do the increases in min/mile pace (ie- start at 10 m/m as your "base" speed then increase 9.5m/m, 9m/m, 8.5m/m etc.) I simply prefer metric because I`m a complete spoon when it comes to working out where I am in the Imperial system, what with those complicated decimal thingies. (Especially when fatigue sets in and I`m running like a chain smoking Forrest Gump, desperatly trying not to get dumped off the back of the treadmill)I`ve also (on a good day) done 1.5km intervals and 2km intervals in the 250m increments(that one killed me, but I was trying to impress the babe in Lycra on the treader next to me).

    Sarah, if you are getting ready for a 5k, use this formulae. If you do 4 intervals you`ll cover 6 km on my original formulae (4x1km +4x500m rec). Then with your 10min either side for w/u,w/d, you`ll easily overdistance. It definately helped me.
    Good luck to all, let me know how you get on with it. I`m off to try Danny`s suggestion now.
    Jack D
    P.S Does this mean I`ve had a good idea? I`m off to tell everyone coz I ain`t had one of those since..................oh I can`t remember ever having one of those.
  • Sorry. Jackie its you going for the 5k. Sorry I`m a spoon when it comes to names as well as decimals!
    Good luck
  • Hi to everyone!
    I am just on my way to the gym for a treadmill run and thought I would have a quick look on this site for some inspiration and treadmill training tips. Have picked up some great ideas - thank you.
    My running is very inconsistent, due to the single/working mum, no-time syndrome, plus sore knees - however, i refuse to give up totally!I do really struggle with the cold evenings (I come from sunny Africa!!) - so I have decided to try 1 indoor session and 1 outdoor with the running club to get through the winter.
    All treadmill training tips always welcome, as this is very new to me!!
  • I indoor and 1 outdoor session a week is what I meant above!!
  • Hi,can you help winter is approching can any one recommend a good treadmill.
  • We've just got precor at the gym, I like them a lot.

    To add another workout that I use - I'm less fit than most of you, so this is a good workout for anyone else who trains intermittently/hasn't got all that fit. Also good if you're only doing 10 or 20 mins on the treadmill (i get bored...!)

    Start with a minute or two of walking,then two to three minutes of very comfortable slow running. Then up the pace by 0.5km (or I do 0.2km if I'm not feeling great) for 30 secs. Repeat. Repeat. Keep doing this until you are feeling pushed - but remember that you're coming down the same way, so don't kill yourself. Descend the same way - 30secs per descent (0.5 or 0.2). The key here is coming back down slowly and actually keeping going - psychologically this is the hard bit. That's why you don't keep increasing the pace till you're in danger of coming off the back of the treadmill - you have to keep in control and be able to come all the way back slowly.

    I used to do rowing and that's where I get this training idea from. It's not the going fast that's hard (ahem), it's sprinting in a race and then still keeping going after. Not a relevant psychology for running, but it's a great training technique. It helps to think about technique and style as you are coming down - focus on running strong rather than waiting for the next descent! If you get it about right, the easy pace on the way up will be fairly hard on the way back. And you can always repeat the whole thing, or do it with longer intervals (1 min or 2 min).
  • Hi,

    Good to see the thread which is good from my and others point also and can help many people cheer!!

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