Last Push – Epic NEW Conditioning Workout

treadmill outsideBefore we get started here, I want to let you know this post will be about the treadmill.  I know, I know, I HATE the treadmill and have pontificated vehemently against it in the past.  If you hate it too, and just can’t force yourself to read on about how much I embraced running today, I totally get it.  I really really do.  But allow me to explain first.  Along with the sprawl, which has evolved out of the original Carb Cycling Experiment, has come an even crazier drive to progress.  This yearning has been fanned of course by the impending wrap up date for my experiment on 1/25/13, this coming Friday.  When you see the clock moving, there is a powerful sense of urgency to wring every last drop of productivity out of each remaining minute.

So here I was on a machine I’ve widely snubbed and complained about for several months now.  I felt sort of guilty for standing on it, like a wayward ex-girlfriend trying to weasel back into the relationship.  I’m trusting Jamie’s program to help me eek out that last push in this experiment, and was willing to try something new in order to do that, even if it meant revisiting old training trysts (believe it or not, I actually used to LOVE this contraption).

The Arena

Part of her program is sprints on the treadmill.  In the past, I’ve talked about running intervals at home, on my lovely cul-de-sac.  I enjoy doing this because being outside is simply different, and who doesn’t want to take in fresh, crisp, mountain-y air once in a while?  The only problem with sprinting outdoors for me is accountability.  Those sweet little chirping birds and dutiful dog-walkers have no intention of whipping my butt into overdrive when I’m capable, and I KNOW I won’t be doing it.  I’ve also noticed the slack-factor creeping in a bit on my Finishers as well, so having a machine to do the work is motivating.   Not to mention the lack of desire on my part to tumble into a crumpled pile at the base of the whirling conveyor belt.

holdingontotreadmillNow back to the main topic, the actual workout.  It’s simple really.  1 minute sprinting and 1 minute resting, back and forth until 20 minutes are completed.  I began at a modest pace since I hadn’t run in so long, but quickly surprised myself and upped the MPH after each rest period.  How do you go from resting to full-out running and vice versa on a treadmill?  You set the machine into manual mode and find a comfortable challenging pace.  To rest, you keep the belt rolling at your sprinting speed then hold onto the handles and jump a little to get yourself off and straddle the belt.  Let go, but keep a solid stance with a foot firmly planted on either side platform while you rest.  When it’s time to get back on, hold on again and CAREFULLY place your dominant foot onto the belt, then quickly step on with your other foot, still holding on until you can regain your pace.  Then let go!  This is the time I would increase the speed if my recovery during the rest was too easy.

I’m not sure if I ran long enough, but think I felt some endorphins kick in this morning.  It was exhilarating to run all-out, knowing I’d have a good break to save me.  Before I knew it, the time was up, and I felt incredible.  The awesome new music on my iPod, which is super inspiring for me, really helped me crank it into high gear at the end.  Yep!  Definitely digging it!  Will I still feel this way for tomorrow’s session (and the 2 days after that)?  I don’t know, but I’m already getting excited just thinking about it!

Any fun new things you’re trying these days?  Go ahead, spill!