To determine your VDOT score, which Daniels explains is an estimate of a runner's VO2max at velocity, you'll need the results of your races (1,500 meters, mile, 3,000 meters, 2-mile, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, 15,000 meters, half-marathon or marathon) from the past year or so; if you have a variety, so much the better. Find your time for the particular race on a Daniels VDOT Values Table, then look at the number under the VDOT column. A list of best performances over more than one race distance will provide a more-accurate calculation; if you race more long events, focus on the findings based on those results and not so much on the shorter races. I'm one to err on the side of a lower VDOT score, personally, as your body can adapt to a training intensity that is a little too low better than it can an intensity which is too high. Once you have a VDOT score, a second table shows the training intensities based on that particular score for distances from 200 meters up to the easy/long run for the week, depending on the intensity level. For example, the athlete I talked about when I wrote about heart rate monitors has a VDOT score of 44 based on her recent 5K racing. She's training for a marathon in November - given the right conditions, a VDOT of 44 equals a 3:32 marathon performance prediction, but that's another story. Based on that performance I recommended she run her easy runs & her weekly long run at a sliver over nine minutes per mile. Her runs to prepare her for the pace she'll need to run in the marathon would be a little over eight minutes per mile, & the pace I recommended for tempo runs on the track is a little slower than a 7:30 mile. Once the runner knows their specific paces, they can use one or more of a few good 60-minute workouts for the treadmill-bound runner. I recommend one long run, one tempo & one repeat workout per week, with easy runs filling the remainder of the time available. If the athlete finds the workouts a little difficult based on perceived exertion or heart rate, we adjust the pace/s downward or extend the recovery period a little:
Progressive Tempo - 30 minutes at Easy/Long pace, increase speed by .1 mph every four minutes until Marathon Pace is reached. (Runners training for half-marathon or shorter races can continue on to Threshold pace.)
Long Repeats (improve lactate threshold) - 2 miles at Easy/Long pace, increase to Threshold pace for up to five minutes, followed by Easy/Long pace (recovery) for up to two minutes.
Short Repeats (improve economy and speed) - 2 miles at Easy/Long pace, increase to Rep pace for 30 seconds to one minute, broken up by Easy/Long pace (recovery) for up to two minutes.
How do you know when you're ready to move the intensities higher? Daniels says race performances are the test of when you're ready to move up...under no circumstances does he recommend trying to beat the training intensities for specific efforts.
While many persons will say a treadmill (simulation) workout is not as good as getting out on the road or the track, I consider it an "eighty-percent solution" for those days when the weather conditions are less than optimal or the runner has a limited amount of time available to train.