I've only done this DVD once so far. In some ways, it's like Runervals because Coach Ken walks around and doesn't run on a treadmill. The music is instrumental and the beat is faster during the intervals. But I think the music is better in Runervals (hard to believe or else I'm getting mixed up with Spinerval music). In any event, the music in TC is uninspiring. Also in both Treadmill Challengers and Runervals, the intervals are very well designed and you know what's coming up.
On the other hand, it's not like Runervals because Runervals is harder if you do each workout as they are designed. In Runervals (at least in CF and TT), there is a bigger increase from your Base Pace to your "fastest" pace. A Base Pace is a comfortable pace for a runner. Your maximum speed is 5 mph higher than your bp. You will also run at an incline during your intervals. In Treadmill Challengers, the increase in speed is gradual within each interval. There are three 5 minute intervals and one 10 minute interval. The 10 minute interval is the hardest and you will only go 2.1 mph above your Training Pace (same concept as Base Pace). To reach this maximum pace, you gradually increase your treadmill speed from .1 to .3 mph every minute. So you don't reach 2.1 mph above your TP until the 9th minute of your 10 minute interval. You also don't do any hillwork (no incline changes). Because of these differences, my Base Pace (or TP for Treadmill Challengers) will be higher in Treadmill Challengers than it is for Runervals.
I think Treadmill Challengers is best suited for long distance joggers who want to increase their speed gradually. It won't be my favorite treadmill workout but I will keep it because there's not that many treadmill workouts to begin with. And I like the different workout formats each treadmill wo provides.
The production is good but not fancy. On the screen, you will see a countdown clock and a pace bar. The pacebar indicates the speed you should be running. This pacebar goes from 0 to 2.1 mph and is divided by .1 increments. Your Training Pace is the starting point at 0.
You can skip the rest of the review if you're not interested in the workout structure:
5 minute Warm-Up - Start at brisk walk, then slow jog until you reach your Training Pace
Body of Workout - 30 minute Interval Training consists of:
5 min warm-up interval - Start at .1 mph above TP. Keep increasing speed by either .1 or .2 every minute until you are running .7 mph above your TP for the last minute.
1 min at T.P.
5 min interval - Start at .2 above T.P. Keep increasing by .2 or .3 every minute until you are running 1.2 mph above TP for the last minute.
1 min at T.P.
10 min interval - toughest interval - Start at .1 mph above TP. Increase by .1, .2, or .3 every minute until you are running 2.1 mph above TP for the last minute.
2 min at T.P.
5 min interval - start at .5 above TP. Keep increasing by .1 or .2 every minute until you are running 1.3 mph above TP for the last minute.
End with a 5 minute cool-down - Start at TP, slow jog, then end with a brisk walk.
Coach Ken has a very laid back attitude. He often talks about good running form during the workout. He uses the background exercisers to demonstrate good form. His voice is mostly calm but he will motivate you close to the end of the 10 minute interval where you need the most motivation.
January 8, 2004