“Special Ks” Treadmill Run Workout for Marathon Training

This post is sponsored by Matrix Fitness, however, all opinions, exercise instruction and enthusiasm are my own.

Treadmill training got me through this race!In a perfect world, I would prefer to challenge my running abilities in the great outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the scenery and practicing my fancy footwork on any obstacles thrown my way. However, all too often, 21st century life gets in the way of marathon training and outdoor adventuring like bounding up real rocky trails or jumping puddles in an intersection. But, sometimes the weather is just too bad, daylight has vanished or you’re traveling and worried about safety or getting lost on a run. That’s when a treadmill becomes a most welcomed tactic in your training battle plan.

Yeah, sure, die hard runners will train in the elements, whatever they may be – rain, sleet, ice and snow. While you should try to do this occasionally to acclimate for potential race day conditions, there is no reason to put yourself in harm’s way, Get struck by lightning or plowed down by a car that didn’t see you in a downpour and you’ll not be enjoying bananas, high-fives and a shiny new finisher’s medal at the end of your marathon. There’s no need to be a modern-day martyr and suffer needlessly to prove your toughness. Sometimes a little bit of comfort and convenience go a long way in nailing your marathon race goals.

So, for safety, convenience and comfort, I will frequently knock out my marathon training, especially the speedwork) on a treadmill. This also helps me when I don’t have a faster running buddy to help push the pace – the treadmill keeps me on task and working hard.   By the way, I’m a huge fan of the treadmills from MatrixFitness.com, more on that in a bit. Today, I’m sharing my “Special Ks” Treadmill Run Workout that will help you learn to battle fatigue in the later miles of a marathon. Building up this speed and endurance will make you unstoppable and unbreakable and undeniably more race ready than yesterday.

Remember to PIN THIS and make it part of your next marathon training cycle!

This Treadmill "Special Ks" Workout will get you marathon ready - perfect way to stay motivated and on task during bad weather, travel or stuck at home.

After finishing this nearly 7.5 “fast-faster-fastest” workout with very little rest in between 1k intervals, you’ll probably stop looking at the treadmill as the weenie way to get in your workout. A good treadmill can give you so many workout options that will challenge your stamina, raw strength and relentless grit. You just need to have access to a good treadmill (why not buy one for home use?!) and know the machine’s capabilities. As I mentioned, I like the treadmills from MatrixFitness.com and I have my eye on one with all the bells and whistles that makes a runner-geek like me feel woozy with excitement. My goal is to have my very own in-house by mid-December as a little early holiday present for myself. With as much as I spend on race entries, travel and other must-haves for my fitness lifestyle, I feel like this is justifiable purchase. Plus, I’m worth it – haha!

Matrix Treadmills are awesome for home use.

These Matrix treadmills aren’t at all like those puny, pathetic ones that can’t keep up with my relentless workout style. With heavy-duty frames, extra-thick decks and super durable cushions, and they hold up beautifully for miles and miles of “getting after it.” The high-def consoles make it easy to monitor the status of my sweat fest and many models offer cutting-edge functionality including entertainment options, preprogrammed workouts, data transfer popular exercise/fitness apps, Bluetooth connectivity and some even with Passport compatibility, a “visual booster” that puts HD destination athlete point-of-view landscape footage on your home big screen television.

I use a Matrix Elliptical for my running recovery days.

For recovery days, my body responds to “riding” a gentle, ergonomic elliptical machine – active recovery is so important people! Just think how amazing it would be to have an Elliptical sitting in the corner of your bedroom or basement ready and waiting for 20 minutes of active recovery the day after an intense workout.

Check out MatrixFitness.com to find out what model of treadmill or elliptical suits your needs – they have quite a few options to suit your price point, space availability and workout needs. It’s an investment in staying fit and strong for life!

What percentage training do you do on a treadmill? What is your main reason for running on a treadmill?  Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Ways to Stay Active This Holiday Season (Rope Climb, Anyone?)

How to Stay Active this Holiday SeasonAs the days get shorter, the weather gets chillier and holiday obligations ramp up, it becomes more and more challenging to stick to a fitness routine. There’s nothing wrong with easing up a bit every now and then (goodness knows I always need a break from my marathon training), but don’t let these seasonal obstacles significantly sabotage your commitment to getting or staying fit.  I have three great tips for working out that will have you moving and grooving all winter and maybe even wipe out the need for New Year’s resolutions!

Try Something New: Trying a new fitness class, intramural sport or even just conquering a new physical skill is wonderful on so many levels. First, it’s exciting to try something new and if you’re looking forward to an activity you’re more likely to make it happen. Second, it gives a break to muscle groups and body parts you use repetitively in your normal sport and gives you a chance to strengthen yourself elsewhere. And, lastly, it gives you a sense of mastery and accomplishment that will carry over into every aspect of your life – you know, “wow, I did that!” Rope Climbing Tips with Jennifer - TheFitFork.om

A couple years ago, I learned how to climb a rope –  I was always to chicken to attempt the feat in middle school gym class. What I found out is that it isn’t really that hard at all to climb a rope – I assumed it was all about arm strength and grit, but really it’s more about your legs and just “standing up.”  I’ve included a tutorial on the easiest way to climb a rope below, I would definitely suggest wearing the right gear to avoid getting a rope burn– either ankle-length tights or knee-high compression socks.

Take a Fit Vacation: Take your family on a vacation and challenge the family to be as active as possible – walk to all the tourist sights if weather permits, sign up for a local race, or take advantage of the local outdoor offerings – if you’re at the beach, surf! If you’re in the mountains, ski! About 5 years ago, I was able to accomplish my “try something new” tip on vacation – I self-taught myself how to snowboard and kept up with my teenage son!  Now, it wasn’t a graceful sight and at night my body felt like I had been in a boxing ring all day—but I conquered it (and I think said son was secretly impressed)!    If you have a ski trip planned, check out my Ski Ready WOD to get in tip-top shape.Active Family Vacation -- Skiing

WOD at Home or Hotel: Being stuck at home in inclement weather or being away at a hotel or relative’s home does  put a damper on getting to the gym – but that doesn’t mean you have to give up a workout. There are endless possibilities when it comes to workouts you can do at home with little or no equipment – google or search Pinterest for “home WOD” or “travel workout” and you’ll find hundreds of options.   Many of these workouts can be done in 30 minutes or less, meaning you can definitely squeeze in a workout before all the day’s distractions begin.  Here’s one of my favorite heart-pumping workouts that I do when I can’t get out for a run – all you need is a jump rope:Jump Rope WOD - Travel or Hotel Workout

One thing to note, regardless of which fitness tip you’re following, is that wearing the right fitness clothing is essential – especially layering, sweat-wicking clothing in colder weather.   I’m a big fan of the Target® C9 line of fitness wear, not only is it affordable and super cute, performs awesomely, and just makes you feel empowered by wearing it – as in “YES, I will be ACTIVE today!” When I see everyone from grandmothers to elite athletes sporting gear from Target® C9, I know it is universally appealing. I challenge you to think of someone who DOESN’T have at least one piece of Target® C9 – betcha can’t!

When I’m skiing or running outdoors in cold weather tights are always part of my outfit  — as they are for climbing up the rope, remember?   The sports bras and breathable t-shirts are awesome – really, everything in the  Target® C9 line rocks.

How do you like to stay fit as the season changes? 

 This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9 all opinions are my own.