Cardio Workout of the Week:Up the Incline
|July 4, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Workouts|
This week’s cardio workout of the week involves using the incline function on the treadmill. This is a running workout designed to strengthen your leg muscles and improve your endurance running uphill. A nice bonus of the intensity of the workout is that it is only 30 minutes! It can easily be modified for walking by just selecting your appropriate walking speed.
First, warm-up gradually for five minutes. Then settle in on the pace that you will hold for the next 15 minutes. The key is to choose a pace that feels relatively easy at a 2% incline because eventually you will have to hold that same pace at a 6% incline for 5 minutes. Run at your chosen pace at 2% for 5 minutes and then increase the incline to 4% and hold the same pace for 5 minutes. Finally, increase the incline to 6% and hold your initial pace for 5 minutes. You should be working really hard by now and counting down the minutes until you can decrease the incline! Once you hit 20 minutes you get to start decreasing the incline by 1% each minute. BUT for each decrease in incline you increase the speed by .1 – .2 mph (or more if you really want to push your limits!). The neat thing about decreasing the incline after running on a steeper incline for so long is that returning to a 0% incline will feel like running downhill! Once you return to 0% incline you can cool-down for 5 minutes.
This is a great workout to do every couple of weeks to gauge your fitness progress. If you are making good progress with your training you should be able to hold a faster initial pace over the course of the workout.
To make the workout easier: if you are unable to run at an incline for 15+ minutes straight, you can make each incline section 3-4 minutes long and return to a 0% incline for 1-2 minutes before going back to an incline.
Ways to make it harder: If you really want to challenge yourself you can either add in 5 minutes at an 8% incline before starting to decrease the incline (be prepared for heavy breathing and burning legs!) OR you can repeat the hill sequence all over again (minutes 5:00 – 25:00) before cooling down and turn it into a 50 minute workout.