More and more it seems, I will be forced inside to the treadmill this winter. Being injured for so long last year has made me a lot more cautious, and I can't bring myself to run in the dark when it is icy. Its not even so much the possibility of injury as being unable to run again. So I have to play it smart, even if it will be boring.
I knew I would have to get creative then when it came to treadmill workouts or I would go crazy. I have two or three short workouts (2-3 miles) that I like doing and I usually do after a weight routine, so its a good combination.
But to go a little longer, maybe 4-6 miles for a midweek distance, I had to come up with something. Pounding out each increment of a mile was going to take some major mental toughness. Its like watching a clock tick away time.
Yesterday, while trying to figure something out to do today, I remembered a workout I used to do on the road, when I lived out in the country, and I mean, out in the country, with dirt roads, corn fields, cows, cattle, acre after acre of farmland, and many times herds of deer or flocks of wild turkeys running through my backyard, as well as the occasional fox scurrying across the road. It was totally rural when I first started running. And yet, there was this older guy who had started running in his 60s, and was an age group winner for years, who had marked out quarter miles on the roads around the area for probably a good 10 mile radius. Everywhere I ran, there were markings indicating a quarter mile or full mile or whatever.
It was very convenient then to incorporate these into an interval workout. It was almost perfectly laid out for me to run the first mile as a warmup and then for the next 1 1/2 miles I had quarter miles marked off, turn and go back another 1 1/2 miles, and then the final 1 mile home for a total of 5 miles. I could go farther if I passed my street by 1/2 mile, because the markings continued on the other way as well. So convenient! I didn't worry about timing the intervals, just kept track of the total time, so it took all the pressure off of looking at your watch.
So why couldn't I do the same thing on the treadmill? Well today, that's what I did. I did 4 miles and then another 1/2 mile cooldown. I ran out of time to get in the last half mile, but I felt okay to stop and wanted to stretch. I ran 1 mile and then did .25 as a faster interval and then backed down to my base pace, and continued to 4 miles. I feel pretty good. I hope to increase to 6 miles eventually, but I think this will be my treadmill workout when forced to stay inside.