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  • Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

    I've been gearing up to join the Guards since October of 2010, and here I am 6 months later, 80 lbs lighter, 25% BMI, and I'm looking at heading down to MEPS this week or the next. One thing I have not been able to do however, is run outside. For the majority of that time, my valid reason was, holy cow its cold. Vermont is not known for its warm weather, and running at -30 is not pleasurable. Recently though, the snow has gone, the roads and a local sports track are clear, and I want to run outside.

    I'm looking for any tips, tricks, recommendations for making it as smooth as possible. My usual haul on the treadmill was 1/2 hour for about 3 miles, 5 days a week. My last runs outside have been about 1/2 mile of what feels like a draining run, and burning lungs. Is moving from the treadmill seriously that big of a change, or am I lacking something?

  • #2
    Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

    A good recommendation that I had to make to one of my soldiers who was having issues with his APFT run (he was only doing treadmill work) was this - since my unit unit and this soldier were in Nebraska (also not known for warm winters) I asked a couple of questions about what he did for train-up on the run (when I found out only treadmills were used). I found out that he had been using the 0 (zero) degree setting, most trainers I know have always recommended 5 degrees of incline to mimic normal road running.

    So, this was my recommendation - alternate between 5 and 10 degrees of incline, then incorporate program settings (if available) where the incline adjusts to mimic hills as well as flat running (not less than 5 degrees). I also recommended (in light of the APFT) to alternate runs between 3 and 5 miles on the treadmill (no less than three miles) with an attempt to keep the running at a 7 to 8 minute mile pace (with a goal of steadily maintaining at or under 7 minute miles at or around 6 weeks of implementing this advice).

    Additionally I advised him to incorporate a variety of squats and lunges at least every other day: squats, 3 sets of equal reps with the goal of 3 sets of 50 each (after a few months he was supposed to begin wearing wieght (like a backpack) with 10, then 20, and so on, pounds of wieght added every couple of weeks). Adding forward and rear lunges in to the plan (again in 3 sets of equal reps for each excercise) also helps to develop the leg muscles as well whether it be for running or rucking - old SFAS training used this for pre-SFAS with a rucksack for all reps/sets.

    Actual outdoor, all climate training has no substitute - however it is better to use a treadmill or an eliptical as opposed to doing nothing - you just need to push harder and be on the machine longer with decent inclines or resistance.
    Last edited by LRSU_Dog; March 21st, 2011, 09:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

      Squats are great. They strengthen your quads which improves your running speed and they strengthen your hip flexors which improves your situps. I'm pretty convinced that squats are the best single exercise that you could possibly do, cardio or strength, if you were only permitted to do one.

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      • #4
        Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

        Dead lifting is the single best freeweight workout especially if you have the ability to max out at 400+.

        "The bear" is even tougher. It's a combination of the dead lift, clean jerk, military press, and squat. If you can do 5 to 7 reps, with considerable weight, then you're doing pretty good. When I first started I could only do 2 reps. Now I can do 6 solid reps with 215lbs.
        Last edited by VICEROY06; March 22nd, 2011, 05:21 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

          Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
          Dead lifting is the single best freeweight workout especially if you have the ability to max out at 400+.

          "The bear" is even tougher. It's a combination of the dead lift, clean jerk, military press, and squat. If you can do 5 to 7 reps, with considerable weight, then you're doing pretty good. When I first started I could only do 2 reps. Now I can do 6 solid reps with 215lbs.
          Dead lifts are crucial as well, no doubt about that. There is no better exercise for increasing your raw ability to lift really heavy stuff. Considering how much heavy stuff the military has and how often it needs to be lifted, it's a real shame that dead lifts aren't more popular for PT.

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          • #6
            Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

            I've been running quite a bit on the tredmill lately. I never thought about raising the incline until I read this post. I tried it today and it kicked my BUT! I kept changing the speed from 6 to 8 mph and between 5 and 12 incline. I had to slow down and walk some. It was an awesome workout and I was dead at the end.

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            • #7
              Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

              Originally posted by 0844 View Post
              Dead lifts are crucial as well, no doubt about that. There is no better exercise for increasing your raw ability to lift really heavy stuff. Considering how much heavy stuff the military has and how often it needs to be lifted, it's a real shame that dead lifts aren't more popular for PT.
              Not that I'm trying to minimize the benefits of squats but deadlifting is also good for building solid core strength. You will be surprised how quickly a person can breeze through anything the Army can dish out when you have solid core strength. Sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups will be a breeze. Ruck marches will be a breeze compared to a person that has no deadlifting training in their fitness repertoire.

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              • #8
                Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

                Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
                Not that I'm trying to minimize the benefits of squats but deadlifting is also good for building solid core strength. You will be surprised how quickly a person can breeze through anything the Army can dish out when you have solid core strength. Sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups will be a breeze. Ruck marches will be a breeze compared to a person that has no deadlifting training in their fitness repertoire.
                You ain't kidding! I'm discovering that now and am kicking myself for not discovering it 8 years ago.

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                • #9
                  Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

                  The treadmill is what it is. Its great for a pinch when you cant get outside due to situations. But its a human hampster wheel, nothing more nothing less. You have trained muscle memory to take smaller strides and to keep pace with a belt. Now when you move outside, take longer strides. You are now moving your body weight and not just picking your feet up and down like the treadmill. It doesnt come instantly, and will take some getting use too. Mix in both of them, until you get adjusted or schedule availability. Great job, on what you have done so far thats awesome, now take that and build upon it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

                    Two weeks ago I asked a Master Fitness Trainer (Guardsman) in our state about the treadmill. He is actually more pro treadmill then anything. I said I cannot say the same as I notice such a great difference, treadmill is very easy for me and I can go forever but I have a hard time with 1/4 mile outside. He asked about the incline first. Yeah I wasnt using one. His recommendation was put it at a '2'. Zero mimicks running slightly downhill outside. He likes the treadmill because you can set it for hills and harder workouts then perhaps making different running routes to get the same benefit outside. Two was the smallest number though, of course dont hold yourself to it if you can do more!

                    I've been tracking my food and PT now for a few weeks and was very excited about some spring like weather we had a few weeks ago. We just had snow for 12 straight hours and its still snowing. I called up a fitness center I had used a few years ago and got the joiners fee waived. Used to go over to my parents house and use their treadmill but I dreaded it each time, i'll re sign back up with SNAP later today. I'm so sick of Wisconsin weather! for 36 years I wouldnt allow myself to talk bad about where I live, I had the choice to move. But now i'm looking into it more serious and doing things about it so I can say that finally!! haha Love so much about WI but the dislike is expanding with my age.
                    Last edited by WIBecky74; March 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM. Reason: great politicians though lmmfao (sarcastic look)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Making the Transition: Treadmill to The Road

                      http://www.hillrunner.com/training/tmillchart.php

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