College Basketball Treadmill Workout

It’s been super cold and snowy in New England, so that has meant lots of treadmill running for this girl. I’m not a huge fan of the ‘mill, but I have a few tricks to keep it interesting. Last week, I shared my SportsCenter progression run. Today, I’ll share another of my super cool treadmill workouts – the College Basketball Fartlek.

First, select a college basketball game. It helps if you’re not terribly interested in the outcome of the game, but care enough to watch. If you get too absorbed in the game, it’s tough to remember the changes. This workout is a fartlek, changing pace and incline according to what’s happening in the game.


The rules are simple –

Begin at an easy run pace and a 1% incline.

During the period of each foul resulting in free throws (i.e. replays, free throws, congratulatory high fives) increase the pace to the pace you would run short track repeats – something like 400s or 600s. For most of us, that’s about a 1.0 mile per hour increase.

During each time out, increase the incline on the treadmill by 3% for the duration of the time out.

It’s a simple, but effective, workout. Enjoy!

Found: Nemo

Connecticut found Nemo. And we’re hoping whoever lost him will claim him soon. This weather is insane! After weeks of record-setting cold and single digit temperatures, it had finally reached a suitable run-outside temperature last week. Then we had a monster wind storm. And then, the predictions of Nemo began. Nothing good comes from a storm that is predicted, days out, to be “historic”, “epic”, or “catastrophic”. As if poor New England didn’t suffer enough with Irene and Sandy, we were getting Nemo. It’s always bad news when the weather reporters name a winter storm.

In preparation, I went to the gym and did a brick workout. I washed running clothes and bought some spinach for salad. Priorities. Nemo came through with the expected record snowfall. We got about 30 inches at my house. It was so much snow that the town had to send some sort of terrifying road grader/plow and front end loader to clear the snow.

Snow plow

Yikes! It was a lot of snow. Undeterred, I went out snowshoeing. I had 13-15 miles on my schedule for the weekend and I figured a nice snowshoe hike would have to do. I made it about 10 feet before I realized – three feet of snow is a crazy amount of snow. Snowshoeing in a foot of snow is lovely. Two feet of snow is doable. Three feet is practically impossible. Clearing trail by myself, I could only make it four or five steps before I had to rest. Although I was up on top of a foot and a half of snow, I was having to move another foot and a half with my feet. It was like walking in quicksand.


I’m on top of about 4 feet of snow here. That’s my normal height lamp post, all but buried in the snow.

24 hours after the snow stopped, I was finally able to leave the house and set up a snowshoe date with some local friends. Most roads were only barely passable, so we kept it close to home. Working as a team of three, we took turns breaking trail. It was tough going! Our hard work was rewarded with great views, amazing animal tracks, and a nice workout. The snow is deep and mushy, so it will be here for a while. Looks like me and my SportsCenter treadmill workout will be spending extra time together this week.

My next big race, the Gapsarilla Distance Classic, is less than two weeks away. I’m hideously undertrained, thanks to this terrible winter weather, but I’m counting down the days. Nothing will feel better than to leave all this snow and freezing rain behind and run in gorgeous Tampa!

SportsCenter Treadmill Workout

It’s a snow day in New England in every sense of the word. Many businesses are closed, the roads are pretty much impassable, and the stores are sold out of everything, including bagged salad (?).

No salad :(


Before things got too bad, I headed to the gym to run, spin, and lift weights. I timed my run so that SportsCenter would be on ESPN so that I could do one of my favorite treadmill workouts. I am not a huge fan of treadmill running, so I’ve come up with a number of themed workouts to pass the time. This is a favorite and a nice little progression workout.


Dr. Rachel’s SportsCenter Treadmill Workout

Begin at a very casual running pace. The pace should ideally be long run pace or slower, what I call “all day” pace – the pace at which you feel like you could run all day – and a 1% incline.

When the ticker on the left changes to a new story, increase the pace by .2 miles per hour for the duration of the story. Repeat the increase for each ticker change.

During the commercial breaks, return to the casual, run all day pace.

Any time a “Top Ten” comes on, increase the incline by 1% for the duration of the Top Ten.

If a “This is SportsCenter” commercial plays during SportsCenter, rest on the treadmill edges for the duration of the commercial.

Simple, effective, and a fun way to pass the time on the treadmill. Enjoy!

Wash and Dry

It’s an exciting day in the Dr. Rachel household. I get a new washer and dryer today. Yay! I’m waiting for the delivery truck right now.

My old washing machine died suddenly this weekend. It was very sad. I have had my washer for 10 years. It was the first major household purchase I made and it’s been a trusty machine for many years. About 7 months ago, I noticed that my washing machine was acting funny. It wasn’t draining properly and was starting to make clothes dirtier at the end of the wash cycle than they were when I put them in. I took out the agitator, I cleaned the barrel, I inspected the hoses, I googled every possible solution for a washer that predates google, but nothing helped. Undeterred, I kept using my poor washer long after the gentle cycle stopped working, and the “normal” cycle stopped spinning very well. Unfortunately, the inevitable occurred this weekend. While in the midst of washing my mountains of laundry, my washer’s last functioning wash cycle just stopped working. Why is this a running story, you might ask. Because my washing machine died right before I washed my workout clothes. I hadn’t washed running clothes in over a week. That’s three yoga classes, three trips to the gym, and five outdoor runs worth of clothes waiting to be washed. Oh, and several Lululemon technical fabric casual outfits, too.

Given my mountain of laundry, my overwhelming desire to avoid the laundromat, and my admission that both my washer and dryer were, in fact, 10 years old and not working properly, I headed to my local big box store to pick out a new pair. I selected a new set easily, bought them, and scheduled delivery.

New washing machine

The only problem – they won’t come in time for me to wash running tights for tonight’s run. So, tonight I’ll be wearing cropped tights with tall socks. It will be fabulous. The moral of the story: Wash your running clothes first.

The Need for Speed

Lately I’ve been feeling the need. The need for speed. Hehe.

It’s been nearly two years since my knee surgery and I’m feeling slow. I was once fast. Ah, the glory days. In those not-so-distant memories, I sprinted along, comfortable in 5k races, but never venturing longer than 10k. After reinventing myself as a long distance runner, having knee surgery, and battling through recent illness and injury, I feel ready to pick up the pace. I feel comfortable with my base mileage. I feel confident in my rest/run/yoga/cross train schedule and with my support team of massage therapists, athletic trainers, and chiropractic care. I feel strong. It’s time to work on speed again.

I’m no stranger to training or to hard work, but speed is a different sort of pain for me. I like going fast, but I don’t like the way going fast feels. I’m quite happy to trot along, admiring the scenery and chatting with friends. I don’t mind the physical pain, but speed workouts make me miss the easy days of long, slow miles. But, to run faster you have to run fast. And run fast I will. It’s time to get to work.