Friday, June 22, 2012

Progression Run

I started 2012 off with one of my best executed races, the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. It's no longer my PR, but still the best execution in my heart.  I had near perfect control and consistency on my pace the entire 13.1, which attributed to a negative split.  Anytime I run a negative split, it's usually a PR. It's just smart racing when you're going long.  (A negative split is when you run the second half of a race faster than the first half.)  While I have sped up my race times since February, I haven't been as solid in the negative split department.

Adjust start setting based
on your own comfort level.
I run intervals and tempos regularly, but yesterday, I was reunited with an old favorite called the progression run.  Progression runs focus on steady acceleration throughout your run.  You pick your starting pace and increase speed in tiny increments as you cover miles. It teaches your body to run fast(er) on tired legs. This is perhaps the easiest introduction to speedwork for beginners.

My hubby was out of town this past week, so with 24/7 kid-duty, I was forced to use the treadmill once again. I find treadmill running extremely boring and the miles take forever. Somewhere along the line, I turned my 'mill runs into a bit of game, thus creating my own style of a progression run.  It's hard not to constantly look at the treadmill dash, so I use that as part of this run.

Here's how I run a progression run on the treadmill... Start at your comfort pace. For me, that's 6.0mph or a 10 minute mile.  Each half mile, click the speed up one notch. These tiny slices of speed are not overtly difficult for your body to adjust. Whereas on the open road, it's hard to increase your speed in such small increments. In the final mile, I like to challenge myself and raise the bar more often - every 1/4 mile. This is where you really find out how much speed you still have left in tired legs! I always include a cooldown to help my legs recover.

The constant change in pace keeps this run fresh and exciting - even on the dreadmill. Before I know it, my workout is done and I scored a solid sweat!

Read more on progression runs from Greg McMillian HERE. He goes more in depth on the variations, as well as the benefits to your training.

Have you tried a progression run before?
How do you cure treadmill boredom?

16 comments:

  1. I've been having more and more trouble getting motivated on the treadmill (its too hot to run outside right now) So I can't wait to give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have gotten up to run outside at 3:30am last summer in the heat to beat instead of running on the treadmill. I like the idea that you have here to make it a little more interesting and I very well may try it, but the idea of 6.5 miles on a treadmill still makes me really sad. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  3. I work odd hours so I usually end up running on the treadmill at least once a week. I ALWAYS hate it! A progressive treadmill run is just the thing to keep me locked in to my run and make it a little more fun. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm going to try this when I feel ready for speedwork. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Progressive runs are some of my favs! I do the same thing on the treadmill to try to pass the time. It helps alot!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do love the treadmill for progression runs! So much easier to control the speed and really ramp it up! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hadn't heard of progression runs and I'm interested in speed work. Sounds good - I'll try it out. Thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like to do the same kind of progression runs on the machine. I usually increase every mile but this looks interesting too. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey Jess- I'm not up to the 6.5 miles yet on the treadmill, so if I wanted to do it for 3 miles if it were you, would you increase every 1/4 mile or stick with 1/2 mile?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never heard of progression runs either but they sound like a great way to make treadmill work more exciting. I also find them incredibly boring and try to use them for interval work - this would be a nice alternative!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks so much for the motivation! I rocked this progression run on the treadmill this a.m. and I didn't dread the miles for once.

    ReplyDelete
  12. look at you!! I'm impressed!

    I've never tried it and don't own a treadmill and although I'd probably hate treadmill running too, I desperately want one when my hubby's at work and there's no other option while my boys are home!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'll have to try this on the treadmill!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I use the treadmill and like to do something that keeps it moving....like play with incline and speed. I think it may be a mental thing, but I can do 10 minute miles outside, but only 15 minute miles on the treadmill!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What treadmill were you using? I've been using the gyms treadmill for progression runs but it's not worth paying a gym membership for rainy day treadmill sessions. What Treadmill says the Livestrong or Smooth Fitness would be ideal for me and my family. Have you tried any of these two brands?

    Can I also have your permission to print out your treadmill workout sheet?

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your feedback and comments!