The Magical Treadmill
Let's get one thing straight.
I hate cardio.
At least cardio in the traditional sense.
Running is not my forte. Regardless, I see it as a survival skill that must be maintained.
Therefore, I run.
Even though I can't stand it.
For the past six months, I've started incorporating the occasional mile run into my training.
I've also performed a "Murph" workout each month, alternating between bodyweight and a 20-lb weight vest. These workouts include a mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and another mile run... as fast as possible, no breaks.
As part of this, I use a treadmill to keep things simple & easily trackable.
And because of that, the treadmill has become one of my favorite tools for benchmarking my own cardio.
It's by no means necessary, but it does make things consistent & repeatable.
You can simply hop on the treadmill, set it at the speed you need to beat your last time, and refuse to break pace.
It becomes a challenge of the mind, not the body.
Simply don't break pace. Keep moving. Keep breathing. And beat your last time.
Using this method, I've shaved two minutes off my mile time, from 9:56 down to 7:52.
I've also reduced the bodyweight/weighted Murph times by 27 minutes and 17 minutes, respectively.
ALL WHILE NOT WANTING TO DO IT.
Every time, within 2.5 minutes of running, I want to quit...
I don't enjoy it and everything starts to burn. I want to quit and I tell my mind to shut up.
Just focus on the rhythm and don't stop.
You can do this too...
And it doesn't have to be running.
Just get on a treadmill and start walking.
If you can, put it on a high incline and just keep walking.
If you can make it to 60 minutes, fantastic. If not, don't worry.
Take note of how far you made it and how long it took, then improve it next time.
This is one of the things I recommend to anyone who's first getting back into training after a long time off.
It would seem like a no brainer, but walking is one of the first things you need to be capable of when it comes to training. If walking for 20 minutes gets you severely out of breath, then trying to lift weights with intensity for an hour is probably not going to go over so well.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and we all have a baseline of performance that we need to maintain in this life.
Walking is one of them. And if we're talking "survival," then yes, you need to be able to run too.
Maybe not a marathon, but a mile.
Now go find your favorite treadmill, and make it your bitch.
Spartan Training & Coaching
P.S. If traditional cardio isn't your thing either, I highly recommend giving boxing or another martial art a try. I've been boxing for around 3 years now and one of my favorite forms of cardio is to shadowbox, hit the pads, or do some bag work. Focusing on a martial art distracts your mind from the fact that you're doing cardio AND you're developing a lifesaving skill in the process. Not to mention burning an insane amount of calories over the course of a training session!