My Favorite Neuromuscular Treadmill Workout

I’ve been doing this workout for a long time now. I do it through my offseason to keep my legs moving fast, and I also do it as a recovery workout since it’s of such short duration. It incorporates running drills on the treadmill, and then uses the treadmill relentless speed to get your legs moving and get you used to moving them fast with less effort:

0:00-4:00

Walk to EZ jog (~4 MPH)

4:01-6:00

:20 (:10 right leg kickbacks, :10 left leg kickbacks), then :20 EZ jog, repeat 3X

6:01-8:00

:20 both leg kickbacks, :20 EZ jog, repeat 3X

8:01-10:00

:20 (:10 high knee one leg skipping right leg, then :10 left leg), :20 EZ jog, repeat 3X

10:01-20:00

Option 1: :30 high speed, :30 EZ jog recovery, every repeat increase by .5 or 1 MPH until you reach your max that you can still recover with :30, and then repeat at max until you hit 18:00

Option 2: :30 high speed, :30 EZ jog recovery until you hit a speed that you need more recovery to maintain, then do :30 high speed, 1:00 EZ jog recovery until you hit 18:00.

You can also take either option out longer for more repeats, but probably not more than 30:00.

18:01-20:00

Cool down

This is a great workout to stimulate your neuromuscular system in your legs and get them used to moving at faster speeds. You also practice relaxing so that you move your legs fast but don’t burn out your aerobic or your anaerobic capacity.
When you first start out, do Option 1. You’ll find that maintaining high speeds is really tough and that your heart rate is leaping to your lactate threshold fast. This is OK and natural. You may find that you have set it too fast to get to 20:00. Keep dialing the max speed until you find that you are able to do repeats out until 20:00. Once you have done this workout at these speeds a few times, then try increasing the max speed.
I found that it has taken me 2-3 years to get to a point where I have maxed out the treadmill. The first time through I could only get to 11-12 MPH by having a 1:00 rest interval. But another year passed and now I could get to 11-12 MPH with only :30 rest interval.
Other details:
1. You may find that your legs feel restricted and that you’re having problems moving them fast. If it’s a physical problem, you may need extra rest before doing this workout, or it could be a more systemic problem where you have restrictions in your muscles. This was my issue, and I solved it by having a competent ART specialist work my psoas, hip, and glutes to remove the restrictions that have been there for decades and my speed naturally increased once the restriction was gone.
2. In order to gain high speeds, you may find that you want to start doing :15 or :20 intervals at super high speeds – speeds that you can’t maintain a :30 interval with. So perhaps an Option 3 would look like:
:30 high speed, :30 RI, keeping increasing the speed until you reach a speed where you can’t do the speed for :30 but you can only do :15-:20 with a :45-1:00 RI.
Alternate this workout with workouts that maintain a max speed for :30 only for the entire workout.
Remember: you can’t run fast without actually running that fast (if that makes sense).
Once you get into the groove of doing this workout regularly, I guarantee you will find that your normal running times will increase dramatically as your legs and your aerobic system get used to moving your legs fast with minimal effort.

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