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Mix It Up: Tabata Treadmill Workout

I finally did it! I completed a Tabata workout routine AND I used the treadmill to its full potential for the first time ever!

Many thanks to the Grooveshark Electronica station for getting me through it.

I used the Tabata Treadmill Workout that I found over on Carrots ‘N’ Cake, and it kicked my butt!

I modified the speed on the treadmill, because, honestly, I’d never actually sprinted on the treadmill before. Treadmills have always scared me. They always felt really hard on my knees, and I always get schooled by whoever is running next to me. BUT! I conquered that fear today, and am proud of myself. The Boyfriend kept looking over at me as I dripped sweat, hopping on and off, and sprinting like a demon. I know I looked crazy, but I felt the burn! And it was glorious!

Here is a quick summary of the workout. Please, please, please know your limits and do not attempt this workout if you are not comfortable with the treadmill/sprinting. I tested it out a few times before I finally began the actual routine. For your own safety, I suggest you do the same.

  1. Warm-Up: For 10 minutes, you should be at a brisk jog/basically running. I started at 6.0mph, and worked my way up to 6.5mph. On the Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog, she suggests 6.0-6.5 for this period.
  2. Now you are going to start the tough part. For 20 seconds, you are going to be at a full on sprint. The suggested speed is 9.5mph, but I wasn’t quite comfortable with this. For the sprints, I stayed between an 8.0 and 8.5. I’m sure I can go faster next time, but wanted to be safe and be able to complete the workout successfully.
  3. For 10 seconds, you can rest. The best way to do this, without causing too much disruption to your workout, is to hold on to the bars on the treadmill, and hop your feet off on the sides. BE CAREFUL! 
  4. Now, complete steps 2 and 3 for 8 total rounds. That’s right: 8 rounds of 20 second sprints and 10 second rest periods. 
  5. At the end of the 8th round, you will speed walk/lightly jog for just one minute. You can press the cool down button and adjust upwards to reach 3.5mph. Brace yourself.
  6. Again, repeat steps 2 and 3 for an additional 8 rounds.
  7. Finally, repeat step 5 as your cool down.
  8. Congratulations! You survived!
A few pointers:
  • Use a good interval timer. Because I seem to be the only person on Earth without a Gym Boss timer, I used the Gym Boss 2 app for Android. It actually has a tabata setting which works perfectly for steps 2-3. There is a minute timer for steps 5 and 7. You can use the timer on the treadmill for the warm-up, and also for steps 5 and 7. I preferred to use the Gym Boss app for the entirety of the routine, simply because I liked hearing the whistle. Made me feel like there was a real sense of urgency. 😉
  • Make sure your laces are double-tied! In the middle of the warm-up run, my left shoelace came untied. Grrr… I double-tied them, and they were fine for the rest of the workout.
  • If you’re wearing a headband, make sure that it is going to cling to you like a spider monkey. There is so much jumping and sprinting and bouncing — you don’t want your hair to go flying all over the place, or end up tripping on the headband mid-workout!
  • Be careful! It’s so easy to injure yourself on the treadmill. If you’re not comfortable with what this workout requires, DON’T DO IT!
  • Make sure you have some good jams going. You don’t want to have to skip tracks, get slowed down, or say “huh?” while you’re mid-sprint.

Speaking of good jams, let me go back to the Grooveshark station. It really kept me going at a good pace, without even realizing how beastly I was sweating. That LCD Soundsystem song, Time to Get Away, was a pretty good warmup song. Here are some of the tracks that played during my workout:

Once I got going on the intervals, it’s almost like the station read my mind! It picked up the pace and started playing songs with thumping beats. I haven’t heard most of the songs on the station, but I was GETTIN’ IT when I was in full on sprint mode.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the workout, if you decide to do it! It’s definitely not easy, but you will feel so good about finishing it when it’s all over. Again, mad props to Carrots ‘N’ Cake. This is a killer workout!

Have you tried Tabata workouts before? What is the hardest part for you?

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