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It’s easy to feel trapped in the gym during the winter months. So it’s key to make your cardio workouts more entertaining. 

Start by setting your goal, before hopping on the treadmill, time or distance. Without a goal, it’s too easy to stop when the discomfort and boredom kick in. Instead, make sure you have a goal in mind. But also remember it’s okay to stop before your goal every now and then. Allow yourself a cheat of ending early once a week. Over time, see if you can go weeks without cheats.

With your goal in mind, spend the first mile warming up. I like to go 10% below my base pace for the first quarter mile warm up, then increase it to my base pace for the rest of the first mile. At about a mile, now it’s time to start giving your mind mental tricks. 

-          Increase your pace another 5% for the next quarter mile
-          Bump it up again 5% for a quarter mile
-          Step it up a third time for a quarter mile
-          Allow yourself to recover on the last quarter mile and drop it down to your warm up speed
-          Now repeat!

I like to do this 3 times and then cool down at my base pace before walking the last quarter mile. Breaking the workout up into 2-3 minute chunks makes the 5 miles go by a lot faster. And dropping to the warm up speed in between reps provides nice recovery periods to look forward to. My goal was 5 miles, but set your’s and adjust the repetition as needed. You can do this same workout with time instead of distance, using 2 minute intervals.

So here’s what my workout looks like:

Mile 1
Warm up: 6.4 mph, 0.25 miles
Base pace: 7.0 mph , 0.75 miles

Mile 2
Bump 1: 7.3 mph , 0.25 miles
Bump 2: 7.6 mph , 0.25 miles 
Bump 3: 7.9 mph , 0.25 miles
Recover: 6.4 mph , 0.25 miles

Mile 3
Bump 1: 7.3 mph , 0.25 miles
Bump 2: 7.6 mph , 0.25 miles 
Bump 3: 7.9 mph , 0.25 miles
Recover: 6.4 mph , 0.25 miles

Mile 4
Bump 1: 7.3 mph , 0.25 miles
Bump 2: 7.6 mph , 0.25 miles 
Bump 3: 7.9 mph , 0.25 miles
Recover: 6.4 mph , 0.25 miles

Mile 5
Base pace: 7.0 mph, 0.50 miles
Cool down:  6.4 mph, 0.25 miles 
Walk: 3.6 mph, 0.25 miles


 





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