Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday when each week I share a strength or running workout. This week you are getting the best of both worlds since this is a treadmill interval pyramid workout immediately followed by a core circuit.
TREADMILL INTERVAL PYRAMID WORKOUT
This workout is based on RPE or rate of perceived exertion which is an effective way to self-monitor intensity without a heart rate monitor. On a scale of 1-10, 1 would be no effort and 10 would be so intense that you will be unable to talk at all or hold the pace for more than a few seconds.
To begin this treadmill workout, warm up for five minutes with a brisk walk or a slow jog. This should feel very easy. You will perform each interval for 1/2 of a mile before increasing the intensity to the next level. Once you reach the top of the pyramid of intensity, you will lower the intensity by 1/2 mile at each interval. The thing I like most of RPE and pyramid workouts is that there is always room for improvement. As you progress in your fitness you will find you will be able to run faster at the same RPE level. For example when you first start running a RPE 8 may be 6.0 mph on the treadmill, but as your grow stronger in your fitness 7.0 mph may become your new RPE 8. You work at your own fitness level and there is always room for growth and improvement.
2-3 RPE - WARM UP - Should feel very easy and comfortable. Stay here for five minutes to warm up.
5 RPE - 1/2 MILE Feels easy and comfortable. Can carry on a full conversation. Stay here for 1/2 mile.
6 RPE - 1/2 MILE Up the intensity, still feels comfortable and can carry on a conversation. Stay here for 1/2 mile.
7 RPE - 1/2 MILE Breathing is labored. Can speak a sentence or two before needing to catch breath. Stay here for a 1/2 mile.
8 RPE - 1/2 MILE Breathing is labored. Can speak a sentence or a few words before needing to catch breath. Stay here for 1/2 mile
7 RPE - 1/2 MILE Moving back down the pyramid decrease the intensity each 1/2 mile
6 RPE - 1/2 MILE Feels easier. Stay here for 1/2 mile
5 RPE - 1/2 MILE As your heart rate come down your breathing should return to normal.
2-3 RPE COOL DOWN Stay here until your breathing is fully recovered
This treadmill workout is three and a half miles long (not including the warm up and cool down) immediately followed by the core circuit.
THE CORE CIRCUIT
Core workouts are so important for runners. A strong core acts as a stabilizer and can help prevent injuries. When most people think of the core they imagine six-pack abs, but the core consists of all the muscles from below the chest to above the thighs. As a runner it is especially important to perform core workouts, including hips/glutes and abs. This 15 minute circuit at the end of your run will help build core strength and stability.
HIGH PLANK | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
LOW PLANK | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
SUPERMAN LOW PLANK (KNEES TO ELBOWS) | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
BIRD DOG (RIGHT ARM/LEFT LEG EXTENDED) | 45 SECONDS WORK / IMMEDIATELY MOVE TO OTHER SIDE
BIRD DOG (LEFT ARM/RIGHT LEG EXTENDED) | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
SIDE PLANK (RIGHT) | 45 SECONDS WORK / IMMEDIATELY MOVE TO OTHER SIDE
SIDE PLANK (LEFT) | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
GLUTE BRIDGE | 45 SECONDS WORK / 15 SECONDS REST
High intensity workouts should always be followed by low intensity days or rest days. Since your body adapts (recovers/grows stronger) during rest it is essential that you allow rest and recovery days between hard workouts. Never do high intensity workouts back to back.
Give it a try and let me know how you feel! Do you include any core work into your running schedule? Do you have any questions about this workout or RPE? Let me know in the comments.
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I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help.
While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. I am not a medical professional. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.