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Favorite Dreadmill Drills, Part 1


Keep Calm and Get Faster Quote CD

After reading my ode to the treadmill, some of you have asked for treadmill workouts to try.  I’m thrilled to oblige.  Please note that the speeds and inclines listed here are what work for me and my current training.*  Adjust as needed to suit you!

Always do a thorough warm-up; I typically run at least one mile, 1% incline,  easy speed.  Some days it takes longer to get my muscles ready to work.  Cool down after completing the drill; I walk or climb stairs.

Speed Interval Drill

With incline at least 1%, repeat the following sequence 3-5 times:

  • Sprint for 1 minute at the fastest speed you can maintain
  • Rest for 1 minute (carefully step to the side of the treadmill)
  • Sprint for 45 seconds at the fastest speed you can maintain
  • Rest for 45 seconds (carefully step to the side of the treadmill)
  • Sprint for 30 seconds at the fastest speed you can maintain
  • Rest for 30 seconds (carefully step to the side of the treadmill)
  • Sprint for 15 seconds at the fastest speed you can maintain
  • Rest for 1 minute (carefully step to the side of the treadmill)

Quarter Mile Interval Drill

  • Incline at least 1% throughout
  • First 3/4 of every mile at an easy to moderate speed
  • Last 1/4 of every mile as fast as you can go (very challenging speed)
  • Repeat for at least 3 miles and up to 12.  The longer your workout, the slower your speeds should be so that you can maintain the drill.

Hill Climb Drill

  • 1st mile: incline 1.5%, speed 7.3
  • 2nd mile: incline 2%, speed 7.4
  • 3rd mile: incline 2.5%, speed 7.5
  • 4th mile: incline 3%, speed 7.3
  • 5th mile: incline 2.5%, speed 7.5
  • 6th mile: incline 2%, speed 7.4
  • 7th mile: incline 1%, speed as fast as you can maintain

Quick Progressive Incline Drill

  • 1st mile: incline 2%, speed 7.8
  • 2nd mile: incline 2.5%, speed 7.6
  • 3rd mile: incline 3%, speed 7.4

Quick Progressive Speed Drill

  • Incline at 2%
  • 1st mile: 7.3
  • 2nd mile: 7.6
  • 3rd mile: 7.9

Reverse Speed Drill

  • Incline at 2%
  • 1st mile: 8.1
  • 2nd mile: 8.0
  • 3rd mile: 7.9
  • 4th mile: 7.8
  • 5th mile: 8.1

High Intensity Walk-Run Drill

Time Speed
 0–5 3.0
5–10 5.0
10–11 5.5
11–13 4.5
13–14 6.0
14–16 4.0
16–17 7.0
17–19 4.0
19–20 8.0
20–22 4.0
22–23 8.0
23–25 4.0
25–30 5.5
30:00–30:30 8.0–9.0
30:30–31:00 Rest (carefully step to the side of treadmill)
31–35* Repeat the sprint intervals from 30–31 four times
35–40 3.0


*Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer, running coach or nutritionist. The workouts and recipes posted here are informational only.  Consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise or nutritional program.

Double Chocolate Cookies


Time for a treat, folks.  Running is hard and we deserve something tasty.  Loaded with almond butter and cocoa powder, these Double Chocolate Cookies from PaleOMG are the perfect “good for you yummy” that the end of a tough week requires.



  • 1 cup thick almond butter (I used TJ’s Raw Crunchy Almond Butter)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs or chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together almond butter and coconut sugar using a large spoon. Then add egg and mix again until well combined.
  3. Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder at a time.  You might ditch the spoon and use your hands because the dough gets very sticky.  Add all the cocoa powder and completely combine.
  4. Add baking soda, vanilla, salt and cacao nibs and combined until everything is well mixed.  The dough should be very thick at this point.
  5. Use a spoon or your hands to scoop out around 2 tablespoons of dough and make into a round ball.  Place on silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Use a fork to press the cookies down just slightly. If you press them down too much, they’ll come apart when they bake so be careful.
  7. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes until removing from baking sheet to place on cooling rack. If you try to remove these from the baking sheet early, they will come apart.

Spiced Beet Dip with Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese

Eat a beet and be fast on your feet!  


Did you know that beets “acutely improve running performance?”  Yep.   The  studies have small sample sizes, but several show athletes perform better after eating beats or drinking beet juice.   Beets are super rich in nitrates, which help muscles use oxygen more efficiently.  More efficient use of oxygen means more power at less cost.  Beets also are high in iron and folate.  

Beets are delicious alone or in salads, but why not try something new?  This spiced beet dip is super tasty and easy to throw together.

Spiced Beet Dip with Hazelnuts & Goat Cheese

Adapted from Food & Wine


  • 6 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar or other spice blend
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender.  Let cool slightly.  (alternately, take yourself to Trader Joe’s and buy their delicious pre-roasted beets!)
  2. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar and puree.  Season with salt.
  3. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top.

The Dreadmill



Ah, the dreaded treadmill.  It is monotonous and humdrum.  You literally go nowhere.  I much prefer a remote technical trail or winding flat long road.  But at the end of the day, the treadmill is where I do most of my runs.  The treadmill has brought me to where I am.  Yes, folks, I need the treadmill.  Okay, I’ll admit it: I love the treadmill.


So why do I love this torture machine?  Here are eight excellent reasons, in no particular order:

1.  Climate control. As much as a love outdoor running, I very much dislike the cold.  And the extreme heat isn’t so great, either.  I’m a southern California girl, after all, spoiled by my endless perfect 78 degree days.  The weather at the treadmill is always the same and that suits me just fine.

2.  I live in hill country.  Every road and trail out of my front door has hills.  Like, serious hills.  Both ways.  So unless it is a hill day or I am driving to another location (e.g., the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, a gorgeous flat circle), the treadmill is my easiest option for “flat” road.  I keep my incline at 1% or more to approximate the road, though I know this is controversial.

3.  The mirrors.   Yes, I am that crazy one-woman show on the treadmill and I blame it on the mirrors.  I lip-synch with wild gesticulations and facial expressions.  I check out my legs.  I give myself the evil eye if I want to slow down or stop.  I shoot myself high fives and smiles when I’m feeling good.  It all boils down to the fact that I am vain.  I enjoy staring at myself while I am running.  Beyond the fun they bring,  the mirrors are terrific for ensuring good form.

4.  My workouts typically include very specific drills.  Increase speed every minute.  Do 30-second sprints with two minute recovery.  Increase incline by .5% every quarter mile.  And so on.  These drills can be done on the road or a track, but they are easy peasy to control on the treadmill.

5.  I run odd hours.  My schedule requires me to run early in the morning before the sun is awake or later at night after my little ones are sleeping.  And while the quiet stillness of the outdoors at these hours is magical, it is also a bit spooky.  I’m a big chicken, really.  The treadmill is in the well lit safety of the gym.

6. Cars suck.  How many of you have been struck by, nearly struck by, or run off the road by a dumb driver?  Me too.  Enough said.

7.  Other people.  Running is a pretty solitary sport (at least for me), but there is bound to be someone on a treadmill near you.  Perhaps this other person is running a tad bit faster and inspires you to bump up that speed.  Maybe they give you that nod like, “yeah, you’ve got this.”  Or they look at you with admiration and boost your ego.  Maybe they farted or have B.O., and the minutes just tick by as you think, “oh god, that is so disgusting.”  Or they provide a one-woman show and distract you for a few miles — oh, hey, were you running near me?


8. Proximity to a bathroom.  Let’s get real, folks: sometimes poop happens when you run hard.   And when it happens, I need a bathroom, STAT.

Is it boring?  Yes.  Would I rather be running elsewhere?  Sure.  But I’ll take a treadmill run any day.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill?  Share in the comments.


High in healthy fats and protein, hummus is a terrific runner’s food.  This is my tried and true hummus recipe.  In an ideal world, I would cook dried garbanzo beans, but my time is limited.  If you wish to reduce the olive oil, you can substitute part water (but it might not be as tasty!).

Good fuel in!  Enjoy.


  • 1, 15 oz. can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tsp salt, plus a pinch if needed to taste
  • Pinch of cumin
  • 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) good quality olive oil


1.  Place all the ingredients a food processor and puree until creamy.
2.  Serve with a sprinkle of paprika or sumac.

Ditch the Rules and Run

I am a classic “Type-A,” rule abiding woman.  But running has no rules. With running, you can escape the rules of reality. 

My reality: I am a stay-at-home mama of two little ones, ages 2 and 3. For fun, I am an indoor cycle instructor.  I’m the wife of an amazingly supportive husband and have the best network of friends and family.

My running: I started taking running seriously in May of 2013, when a very dear (and very fit!) friend motivated me to try a half marathon.  In the past year, with a lot of dedication and coaching, I have improved my running beyond what I ever thought was possible.

Please share this freeing and fulfilling journey with me!

*Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer, running coach or nutritionist. The workouts and meals posted here are informational only.  Consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise or nutritional program.