# 5 Tips for a Better Treadmill Workout

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The biggest difference between running outside and indoors is that on a treadmill the ground is moving while you stay in place. This is evident when we compare the two: an 8:00/mile effort on your regular run might net you a heart rate of 150bpms and a perceived exertion level of 7. But that same pace on a treadmill has your HR at 140bpms and feels more like a 5.5 than a 7. Don't be bummed about the difference. Use it to your advantage by improving your form.

There are two ways to run faster: longer strides or more of the same length strides. Increased cadence is the easier part of the "running faster" equation, and a treadmill is the perfect place to get this done. You have a timer right in front of you and little else to occupy your attention. You can actually hear your foot strike and will be able to find the sweet spot for your foot placement (hint: it's pretty quiet). And you can begin working on a cadence of about 180 foot strikes per minute (about 90 for just one foot).

Establish a Baseline Number : Simply count one foot every time it hits the floor for about 15 seconds. Multiply by 4 and you have your current number. Remember the target is about 90, so do the math to see how big your gap is. For example, if my single foot cadence is 82, I have 8 steps to make up. A baseline goal is about 2 steps per week, assuming you are running four times weekly.

• Week 1: Implement 5 x 1 minute focus intervals in at least three workouts. During each focus interval you are counting your strides to make sure they are at your baseline + 2 level. When not in a focus interval, run at your easy, self-selected pace.
• Week 2: Implement 5 x 2 minute focus intervals as ODDS at baseline +2, EVENS at baseline +4.
• Week 3: Implement 5 x 3 minute focus intervals. Within each 3 minute segment, move your cadence up from Baseline +2 to Baseline +4 and then to Baseline +6
• Week 4: Implement 5 x 3 minutes again, only this time bump the cadence intervals up to Baseline +4 to Baseline +6 and finally Baseline +8.

One of the biggest challenges to moving indoors is trying to reconcile the fitness you know you have on the open road with what you are doing for your workouts on the treadmill. There are fancy formulas and lots of tips out there to help you do the fuzzy math, but there's a better way. If you see a good amount of treadmill running in your future, do a proper test to remove all doubt.

The Marathon Nation Treadmill Test: After a quality warm up (as listed above), run a 3-mile time trial effort. Start with the effort you know you could run a 5K outdoors. Evaluate how you feel every 1/2 mile starting at the 1 mile mark, adjusting the pace faster/slower as needed. At the end you'll have your new "high-end" pace and heart rate and can now begin to dial in the remainder of your regular workouts accordingly. Note the treadmill should be at about 1.5%.