Do it to get faster
When doing intervals at the track, almost everyone slows down the last few repeats, because they're fatigued. Morris says, "On the treadmill, you can only slow down when the belt does."
The Workout: Try 3 x 3 minutes at about 10 seconds faster per mile than 5-K pace. (It takes the treadmill a few seconds to reach your interval speed, so start timing the three minutes after you've reached that pace.) Give yourself two minutes of easy jogging in between. Add another set every two weeks.
Inside Scoop: This workout is a killer. But the results will show at your next race.
Natural Selection: Are you best for short or long distance? Here's how to find out — and how to realize your full running potential.
SITCOM TEMPO RUN
Do it to lock in your pace
Tempo runs are hard to get right. Inexperienced runners tend to go too fast or too slow. Once you've entered your target pace, the treadmill makes sure you stay at the right speed.
The Workout: Start with a 10-minute warmup, and move up to your tempo pace when a Seinfeld rerun begins. Jog during the commercials, and resume the faster pace when the show comes back on. Cool down for five minutes.
Inside Scoop: The tube can be a welcome distraction from the tedium of a long, fast effort. As you improve,
try maintaining your tempo pace through the commercials.
Do it to design your own terrain
You can control the grade of the hill, and you don't have the stress on your quads of running down it. Instead, you can flatten the belt for a few minutes of recovery, then go right back at it.
The Workout: Try one-minute runs up a 4% incline with two minutes of slow, flat jogging in between. Build up to 10 repeats at a 6% incline.
Uphill battle: Running hills has its advantages. Here's how to run without the burn.
Inside Scoop: This workout gives your cardiovascular system a challenge but is easier on your legs because your overall speed isn't fast. "I've found over the years that I can stay injury-free while running slower up a steep hill," says Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet. "It's the same intensity as on a track, but on a track your legs have to move much faster."