20-minute workout, treadmill, workout, running, speed, endurance

20-Minute Workout: Treadmill Ladder

This challenging session from Tier 3 trainer Alex Figueroa works off your personal best.

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If your social feeds are buzzing about today’s Boston Marathon, you might be in the mood for a fast-and-furious treadmill workout. Alex Figueroa, a Boston-based Tier 3 trainer and Precision Running instructor, has just the remedy: a 20-minute session that uses David Siik’s BITE method (Balanced Interval Training Experience). 

“In Equinox Precision Running, we use this to create a run that intelligently builds on each runner’s personal best,” Figueroa says. “Every runner has a 1-minute PR (the fastest speed held, safely, for a full minute), which can be the ‘standard’ that’s built upon over time. As runners progress and improve their fitness, that speed becomes a coach, if you will, that drives them to run harder and faster.” 

Determining your 1-minute PR may involve some experimentation, as most runners are conditioned to think in terms of pace per mile. Making corrections during your initial workout is not uncommon, he says, but Figueroa’s recommendation: “During the run, there should definitely be a point where you’re challenged or uncomfortable, but pain or a feeling of loss of control on the treadmill should always be avoided.” After a few workouts, he says, you’ll nail down that baseline. 

To give you a taste of the BITE method, Figueroa suggests the workout below, “a challenging and fast ladder” that combines speed with recovery.

Warm-Up (5-6 minutes): Figueroa suggests some simple strength training moves or cardio drills. 

Strength Training Warm-Up: 

20 X march in place, counting every time the right foot strikes the floor 

20 X bodyweight squats

20 X march in place, 

20 X reverse lunges, alternating right and left legs

20 X march in place

20 X lateral lunges, alternating right and left legs 

Running Warm-Up:

2 minutes at easy pace (a pace you can hold easily for at least 30 minutes)

30 seconds high knees 

30 seconds at easy pace

30 seconds butt kicks 

30 seconds at easy pace

30 seconds lateral shuffle, leading with the right foot, side stepping, leading with right leg

30 seconds lateral shuffle, switch to the opposite side

Main Set (11 minutes): 

1 minute at warm-up run pace (a pace you can hold easily for at least 30 minutes)

1 minute at -2.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 5.0mph, 6.0mph, or 8.0mph)

1 minute at -3.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 4.0mph, 5.0mph, or 7.0mph)

1 minute at -1.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 6.0mph, 7.0mph, or 9.0mph)

1 minute at -3.5 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 3.5mph, 4.5mph, or 6.5mph)

1 minute at 1-minute PR (ex: 7.0mph, 8.0mph, or 10.0mph)

1 minute at -4.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 3.0mph, 4.0mph, or 6.0mph)

1 minute at 1-minute PR (ex: 7.0mph, 8.0mph, or 10.0mph)

1 minute at -3.5 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 3.5mph, 4.5mph, or 6.5mph)

1 minute at -1.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 6.0mph, 7.0mph, or 9.0mph)

1 minute at 3.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 4.0mph, 5.0mph, or 7.0mph)

1 minute at -2.0 mph of 1-minute PR (ex: 5.0mph, 6.0mph, or 8.0mph)

Cool Down (3 minutes): 

3 minutes at easy pace (even if at walking pace, maintain a running gait) 

Essential Post-Run Stretch:

(1) Calf stretch (30 seconds each leg): Step foot back with straight leg and press the heel into the floor

(2) Standing hamstring stretch (30 seconds each leg): Bend left knee softly and extend right leg straight in front with heel resting on floor. Hinge forward from the hips, maintaining a flat spine. 

(3) Standing quad stretch (30 seconds each leg): Find balance on left leg, using a wall or solid support if necessary, bending right knee back, and pull heel to glutes, holding onto right ankle or shin.

(4) Standing anterior shoulder stretch (30 seconds): Standing tall on both legs, soften knees, interlock fingers low behind the torso (resting on glutes), maintain tall spine and long arms, and reach hands as far back and upwards as flexibility permits, careful not to move into pain.