Now that this year’s USATF-NE Mountain Running Circuit is in full swing and we’re less than a month out from the Mt Washington Road Race, it seemed appropriate to revisit a couple of pictures that caught our attention last year. Pics surfaced via social media of one Brandon Newbould getting in some serious climbing training on a home treadmill.
This picture is from my first attempt at some good climbing training last summer. My treadmill is from the ’80s, there is an incline function but it’s erratic and there’s no gauge available to let you know how steep you’re climbing. So I got out the ol’ car ramps and jacked it up that way. Unfortunately that turned out to be around 18% or something, and my workout ideas all had to be adjusted mid-session because I red-lined after about one minute at that grade. I do know a guy in Alaska that set up his treadmill with an after-market motor and cranked it up to 35%, but that’s not for me. On second thought that might be a good idea, with the Upper Walking Boss in mind. My approach is now much more sophisticated since I can use some fancy treadmills at Phillips Exeter. My biggest complaint there is that it automatically shuts down after sixty minutes every time.
Intense, repeated climbs absolutely reap some benefits with neuromuscular training and climbing economy, but they pale in comparison to the sustained climb. The treadmill is good because you can really settle into the climb without interruption or downhills. Even a slow-paced run for an hour at 10-12% grade would be huge compared to the hill-fartlek workouts.
Brandon won Pack Monadnock convincingly in his only mountain circuit race thus far in 2014. He looks to be ready to roll come June 21st.