For the last few months there have been many advertisements for the Nike Human Race 10k. They hosted 10ks all over the world today, so I decided to join them. It was windy here today and the workout got put off until the afternoon when I moved it indoors and onto the treadmill. For those of you that don't know my stance on treadmill running check out an old post here.
My enthusiasm for treadmill running is not very high, but it grew a little bit after reading Daniels Running Formula. We all know that running up hill at a certain pace is harder than running that same pace on a track. After years of research as an exercise physiologist, Jack Daniels PhD., developed a chart that showed a certain speed on a certain grade would produce a specific mile-pace effort, sometimes a greater pace effort than one could attain on level ground.
One of his athletes, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, who was third in the Olympic trials marathon, says that Jack has her run 10x one minute intervals at 9min/mile pace with a minute rest, but at a 20% grade! Although not very fast, when combined with the 20% grade that speed equates to a 4:30min/mile effort (a speed that she could never do 10x1 min intervals on the track.
Most commercial treadmills do not get up to 20% grades (mine goes to 10 and I'm not even sure that means 10% grade, I even checked the manual), but you can still play with this chart. Jack Daniels PhD. even gives you some sample threshold workouts that I posted below.
The great thing about these workouts is that the speed doesn't need to be that fast to put out a great effort, and the effort is quantified. Sometimes trying to max out just the speed on a treadmill can be a little dangerous.
Today I did my 10k for the Human Race but I broke it up playing with different inclines and speeds, almost like a threshold run. If "incline" on my treadmill equals "% grade" than the effort pace for each mile is shown below.
Mile 1 was 7.0 mph at 2% = approx. 8:15 pace
Mile 2 was 7.0 mph at 4% = 7:24 pace
Mile 3 was 7.0 mph at 6% = approx 6:35 pace
Mile 4 was 8.0 mph at 4% = approx 6:35 pace
Mile 5 was 8.0 mph at 2% = 7:24 pace
Mile 6 was 8.0 mph at 1% = 7:30 pace
Total time running was 51:00 which averages out to be 8:12 pace but I can tell you the workout did not feel like 8:12 pace. I basically ran for 16 minutes at 6:35 pace effort, very close to my threshold pace.
If you must do some treadmill running, this is the way to go.
I cannot post my monthly mileage totals yet as I only keep track on my calendar at work, but I can say for sure that it was under 100 miles.