Signing up for a springtime race is a great way to stay motivated during the winter, but with the cold weather just starting to wane, training on a treadmill might be your only (or safest) option. Luckily, we’ve got options for you. We spoke to Aaptiv trainer Benjamin Green about the best way to begin prepping for spring race season. Plus. we’ve got Aaptiv treadmill workouts that can be packaged into a successful training plan. Let’s break down what that could look like:
Spring race training with Aaptiv
Base training happens before your formal race training begins. Winter and early spring are the best times to recover, strengthen, and build up your base. This time is crucial—it gives you several months to condition your muscles and create a foundation for formal training. During these pre-race months, “around 60-70 percent of your runs should be building base,” says Aaptiv trainer Benjamin Green.
What exactly does building base accomplish? “You’ll build a bigger engine,” says Green. Logging those less intense (and sometimes slower) miles is great for aerobic and mental conditioning. Likewise, with those low-intensity miles, your ligaments and tendons will have an opportunity to strengthen or heal, preparing them for your racing season.
Green stressed that the speed of your base miles will depend greatly on your fitness level. Some of you will feel comfortable running eight-minute miles, while others might start out walking.
Here’s a sampling of a variety of base workouts found on the Aaptiv app that you can use to build up your base:
Forward Progress – Jaime McFaden
With a focus on walking and endurance-building, this is the perfect first step for beginners.
Cowboy, Take Me Away – Kelly Chase
A great foundation workout, this class combines walking and light jogging to build up your endurance.
Get Comfy – Jessica Muenster
Work through walking and jogging intervals while listening to your favorite electro-pop.
Find Your Tempo – Meghan Takacs
This zero incline workout is all about mental training. Let the electronic beats drive you.
Active Recovery Discovery – Benjamin Green
Find your best active recovery pace. Set to hip hop and rock hits.
I’m a Diva – Rochelle Moncourtois
Focus on endurance and build some speed while listening to music divas.
Another important aspect of pre-formal race training is incorporating high intensity interval training workouts into your weekly routine. These periods of intense effort should be consistent and controlled—the last thing we want are runners dangerously flailing, full speed on a treadmill.
How do HIIT sessions help? “Over time, you’ll become faster,” says Green. You’ll come out a stronger runner, more adept at dealing with the pain or discomfort you’ll experience during a race.
HIIT workouts can take several forms: threshold workouts, mile repeats, or incorporating strength exercises of the treadmill (which Green highly recommends). Use some of these HIIT workouts—again, found in the treadmill section of the Aaptiv app—for around 30 percent of your pre-training:
Rock Out Beginners – Rochelle Moncourtois
Combining intervals and speed work, the walking portions are great for active recovery.
Metabolic Sprints – Edouard Hall
Sprint intervals that will challenge your strength and endurance.
WooHoo – Meghan Takacs
A pop-music-fueled run that’s broken up with body weight exercises. It’ll go by fast.
Don’t Stop the Legs – Marianna Birbin
All about speed, this is an intense, fast workout with a great playlist.
Run Train Run – Meghan Takacs
A higher speed run that integrates strength exercises.
Active Recovery Training – Meghan Takacs
This is the ultimate race training run. It’s hard, and it’s worth it.
Rest and recovery
Even (and maybe especially) during race prep, your body needs a chance to rest. “Doing yoga on your rest day is not a rest day,” says Green. “Be still, and try to have a stress-free day; you have to allow your body to heal. You’re not going to get faster or stronger if you don’t recover.”
Now that your body is prepped and you’ve built up your base and strength, tackle one of our Aaptiv formal training routines from 5K training to half-marathon, we’ve got you covered.