It’s not always possible to hit the outdoor for a running workout. Icy roads, rain, dark hours, or even injury can put a halt to your training program.
Fortunately, treadmills are there for the rescue.
They’re simply consistent. And help you keep your fitness level floating, even thriving, all year round.
Why treadmills are good
The treadmill is good for you for many reasons.
For starters, outside weather conditions—too cold too hot, too rainy, and so on— can send even the toughest runners to the treadmills.
If you’re serious about keeping your running program all year round, then the treadmill is the best alternative.
The machine is also time-efficient. When you’re leading a hectic lifestyle schedule, a 30-minute treadmill workout is all you need to keep your fitness on the go, even improve in the process.
Treadmills can also help you train more precisely. They give you a much more consistent paced workout than running on a track.
For instance, if you’re doing 400-meter intervals on a track in, let’s say, two minutes, you might run the first 200 in 50-second and the other 200 in the remaining 70-second.
On a treadmill, each 200 will be exactly 60-second.
If you are serious about getting the most out of the treadmill, here are four ways to max out on your indoor running.
Sticking to steady-state cardio on the treadmill is not the most efficient training strategy.
Instead, opt for interval training. This is a time-efficient and highly efficient workout experience, helping you burn more calories, increase endurance, and become a faster, stronger runner.
Here’s how to proceed.
After a brisk warm-up—easy jog for five minutes—try increasing your speed to about six mph for 30-seconds, then slow it down to 4 mph for another 30-second as recovery to complete the first round. Shoot for eight rounds and finish off the session with a proper cool down.
Hill it up
To take your intervals to the next level, raise the incline.
The incline will also help you target your lower body—the hamstrings, thighs, and calves—thus adding power and speed.
Here’s how to proceed.
After completing a five minutes warm-up at four mph at a two-percent incline, increase the incline to five percent and speed at about six mph and run for one full minute.
Next, increase the incline by one-percent every minute until you reach your max, and then gradually ease intensity until you’re back to a two-percent incline. Finish off the session with a proper cool down.
Mix it up
Max out on your next treadmill workout by picking up the pace, the incline, and opting for intervals while following an unspecific training pattern.
Opting for a random training recipe forces your body to work different muscles and be more resilient, helping you become a better runner.
Try this unpredictable treadmill workout. Start by a 5-minute warm-up, and then do 20 minutes of random intervals.
Do whatever you want as long as you are pushing the pace and giving it your best. End the session with a five minute cool down.
Plus, you can make this workout more challenging by adding bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, or even burpees between each round, making it for a complete and total body workout.
Make treadmills fun
The monotony of the treadmill is tricky.
But you can learn to work around it. Consistent runners listen to uplifting music while working out to prevent the mind chatter that triggers boredom.
You could also vary your running pace—by mainly changing the speed and the incline—to challenge your body in new ways and to also simulate outside running.
Another option is to schedule your treadmill workouts with a training buddy, so you can socialize and support each other. Or at least to have someone to keep you company.
Three 30-minute treadmill workouts
If you’re not sure how to proceed with your next treadmill workout, here are three 30-minute treadmill workouts to get you started.
To make the most out of your treadmill running program, you need to opt for high-intensity interval training or HIIT. Sticking to the same treadmill running pace has its payoffs, but opting for intensity interval is way much better in terms of performance, calorie burn and training enjoyment.
First step – Warm-up for 5-minute by jogging slowly and taking deep breaths. Skipping on the warm-up leads to premature fatigue, or even worse, injury.
The second Step – Run at your 5K pace (it should feel hard) for one to two minutes, depending on your fitness level.
The third step – Recover by jogging slowly for one full minute.
Fourth Step Repeat “Second Step” and “Third Step” five to eight times, depending on your fitness experience and training goals.
The fifth step – End your workout a 5-minute slow jog to cool down. Stretch gently afterward. A proper cool-down will help you avoid dizziness and might reduce muscle soreness for the following day.
A great option on the treadmill machine is the incline. This option will help you get more out of your treadmill workout by simulating outside hill running, which boosts endurance and builds killer lower-body strength. As the session progresses forward, you’ll find it more difficult to keep up. Therefore, it’s essential to pace yourself and to stay within your fitness skills.
First step – Warm-up
Second step – Increase the incline to 3 or 4 percent and run for 90-second at 80 percent of max-effort—a pace that feels moderately challenging.
Third step – Jog for 60 seconds with no incline. This is your recovery break.
Fourth step – Raise the incline to five or seven percent and run for another 90-second at 15 seconds slower than your 10K pace. Recover for one minute
Fifth step – Repeat the previous step three to four times, depending on your fitness level and goals. Choose a steeper incline for more challenge.
Sixth step – Cool-down
A treadmill tempo run teaches your body how to efficiently adapt to increased intensity. This type of running helps you build up a fairly high volume of intense exercise that enhances both aerobic and lactate-threshold systems.
First step – Warm-up
Second step – runs a mile at 20 to 30 seconds slower than your half-marathon pace—a pace that feels comfortably easy.
The third step – Pick up the pace every mile by five to 20 seconds until you’re running the final mile 20 to 30 seconds faster than your half marathon pace.
Fourth step – Cool-down.