Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Treadmill Tempo {Class}

As I mentioned earlier, through my works Biggest Loser Competition, I have access to some classes at the prestigious Equinox gym in Boston.  One of the classes that first caught my eye was: Treadmill Race Training. About This Class :  Run faster and farther through specifically devised workouts that are creative and challenging. For running athletes of all levels training for marathon to triathlon or simply running for fitness. Learn to improve running economy, form, muscular strength, power and endurance. 

 I got to the gym early and signed up myself and my friend Stephanie.  The class took place where all the cardio equipment was - it was not in a separate class room like I would have imagined.  When 6:45 rolled around Stef and I went over to the treadmills that were previously occupied with regular gym-goers and we were told that the class was full, even though we had signed up.  I was definitely pissed off about this situation but the teacher was nice and explained the workout and Stephanie and I went off to find two other treadmills next to each other to complete the workout.  We went upstairs and luckily someone was getting off the treadmill and I jumped on.  The girl next to me was walking and looked like she was winding down so I asked how much longer she had.  Luckily she only had a few more minutes.  So pretty soon Stephanie and I started the workout. Here it is:
And here is what I did- my goal was to get faster on every set.
10 minute warm up at 6.0mph (10 min pace) .5 incline
2 minutes at base pace 6.5mph (9:14min pace) .5 incline
3 minutes at tempo pace 6.8mph (8:49 pace) .5 incline
1.5 minutes at 5K pace 7.0mph (8:34 pace) .5 incline
2 minutes at base (I went back down to 6.0mph and drank water during this time)
3 minutes at tempo pace 6.9mph (8:42 pace) .5 incline
1.5 minutes at 5K pace at 7.1mph (8:27 pace) .5 incline
2 minutes at base (I went back down to 6.0mph and drank water during this time)
3 minutes at tempo 7.0 pace (8:34 pace) .5 incline
1.5 minutes at 5K pace 7.2-7.4 pace .5 incline
2 minutes at base (I went back down to 6.0mph and drank water during this time)
3 minutes at tempo 7.0 pace (8:34 pace) .5 incline
1.5 minutes at 5K at 7.5 mph (8min pace)
2 minutes at base (I went back down to 6.0mph and drank water during this time)
5 minutes at tempo (ranging from 7.0-7.7)
5 minutes cooldown until I reached 5 miles in 48 minutes

So what did I think about this workout?  It was really hard for a few reasons.
1. I didn't like their treadmills, they had an image on the treadmill of a track but one lap was one mile instead of a .25 mile like real tracks
2. There weren't individual tvs on the machines.  I found this really weird for a gym that charges so much per month.  And when I did plug my headphones in to watch the tv up above, it was all static-y on all the stations.
3. There was like zero circulation where the machines were.  I was dripping in sweat the entire time.  I'm used to treadmills with fans on them or at least a fan in the area!

But the workout itself was a great challenge. I don't too many tempos and I really should.  Next time I will really try hard to not go all the way down to my easy pace during the base so its more varied.  I love my speed workouts because it alternates really difficult paces with rest.  But if I'm going to try to hold an 8:30 pace or less pace for an extended period of time, I really need to get more comfortable with tempos.  1:49:59 is 8:23 pace by the way!!! I have a lot of work to do in the next month and a half!

On Thursday I hope to do the Speed Workout I got from my local running club-
1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200 with 200 Rest 
I love workouts like this so I'm excited to do this speed (at my own gym!)

I'm not ruling out Equinox yet, but my first impression was not great.  I hope the next class I take is better!

In other news, I've already lifted twice this week!  Both Monday and Tuesday mornings I did some upper body lifting.  After leaving the gym Tuesday, I decided I needed a strength training book so I headed to Borders to use a giftcard.  I found a book called 101 Workouts for Women and I am TOTALY going to bring it around the gym and do the excersices.  I don't care if I look like a loser!  When I lift generally, I just do some machines and some dumbbells without having a real purpose.  I want to actually work out the right muscles at the right time.
My husband goes to the gym and I ask "What did you do." And he says "Shoulders."  I never really understood how you can spend a full hour at the gym only doing one body part, but hopefully this book (and its exercises) will change that!

I also bought a Workout Training Log.  I used to write it down on a calendar but I think this will be better.  Plus it will also be a good place to keep track of meals and weight!
Have you ever taken a treadmill class? How do you track your workouts?  And what do you do for Strength Training- follow a plan or wing it?


  1. Sounds like a great workout! I actually started seeing a personal trainer - I used to just wing it during strength training and hardly saw results. Next time we see each other I will share my workouts with you - or shoot me an email if you're interested ;)

  2. What a neat sounding class!! Sorry you didn't actually get to be IN the class, but the workout sounds really cool. I've never done anything like this because I'm sort of a control freak and like to be the one who is in complete control of my workouts all the time (I have a bit of a problem, haha). Anyway, I think something like this would probably be great for me mix it up AND get faster.

    Equinox definitely sounds disappointing. Individual TVs on machines are a lifesaver. I don't even watch them the whole time, but I like having something to focus on if I want it (I esp love the music video stations, because the fast moving people keep my attention). Like you said, I think it's crazy that a gym that charges so much wouldn't have the very best conditions. I'm a member of BSC and although it's a bit expensive (relatively speaking) I've always been really happy with it.

  3. I've never even heard of a treadmill class. Did the instructor come over and talk to you or anything, or was it completely independent after you got the workout?
    I try to schedule strength training twice a week, because otherwise I would skip it. I just do a full body circuit and switch the moves between each day. Let us know how the book is! I think your notebook will be great for tracking everything.

  4. I love the concept behind that class. It sounds great, but it stinks that you weren't able to actually be a part of it. Sounds like you got a great workout anyway! Now I'm sitting here, snowed in, and all I want to do is run!

    I am starting to get better about lifting. I never actually worked specific muscle groups until now. My aunt knows a little more than me, so she's been helping me out. I'm already feeling stronger!

  5. I've been doing the workouts from The New Rules of Lifting For Women. I just started a few weeks ago, so I'm not sure if it's working yet.

    I'm so jealous of gyms with tvs on the machines. My gym is pretty bare bones, I guess.

  6. That's so weird that they wouldn't let you take the class even though you signed up - I'm sure some people there didn't - they should have kicked them out. Bleh
    The workout sounds really tough. I'm OBSESSED with Healthworks' BURN class which is a combo of treadmill and strength exercises (it's probably about 50/50 on and off treadmill time wise... actually maybe less on the treadmill but the intervals are really tough). They have special treadmills reserved for the time and it costs extra but is SO worth it.

  7. I've never done a treadmill class like that, but my gym does have a BRICK class where people spin and then head to the treadmills for running. Sounds fun!

  8. That looks like a serious workout! Thank you for posting it.

  9. oh wow - I didn't even know treadmill classes existed! Interesting concept.. I keep track of my workouts via excel spreadsheet, where I outline my training plans and mileage. I heart it. For strength training I pretty much do the same stuff a few times a week. nothing exciting... Nice workout!!! :)

  10. I had never heard of these?! What a fab concept! You are getting in some legit training between these classes and your running club!

  11. Sounds cool! My friend's gym has an Arc Trainer class. Oh, and I signed up to run the Hyannis half marathon. We should meet up!

  12. I've never taken the treadmill classes at my gym (because they cost extra and are so expensive!) but I can understand your points about the treadmill - I feel like my treadmill workouts vary so much. If I'm comfortable (i.e. not too hot) and I have something good on TV to watch and am in the mood, it can be great. Other times it's painful.
    Too bad we can't exactly run outside with all this SNOW :)

  13. I like the idea behind the class, but the gym sounds pretty crappy.
    That book looks cool. Good luck with it!

  14. What a cool class! When I lived in Atlanta, my gym had a treadmill bootcamp class like this. It was always such a challenge b/c the instructor made us put the incline on like a 5 or 6 which I never do.

    Good job with all the lifting! I need to do that. Send me some motivation :)

  15. I need to try that t-mill work out!! I agree, Treadmills without tvs at SUCH an expensive gym is awful...!