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4 Interval Treadmill Workouts

Treadmill Running
Nestor Rizhniak/Shutterstock.com

By Simon Gould

Interval routines really exercise the cardiovascular system. The heart gets a great workout because you're going into your anaerobic threshold. The bursts of speed are sprints. Interval training is commonly done round a track where the athlete would sprint for 400 meters followed by an easy jog. However we can still benefit from the treadmill here.

Instead of running for 400 meters, as we're on a treadmill we're going to use time spent sprinting. Make sure the sprint is slightly less than max and that your easy jog is really easy. Your sprint will make you lose your breath and it's meant to. Practise first to know what your maximum speed is, then you can easily go to it when the workout requires. Here I give you 4 interval runs exclusively for the treadmill:

Interval workout #1

This is the pyramid routine as an interval training session. We slowly increase the intensity and then bring it back down. This one is a hard one especially because we'll have you running fast for some time. As long as you know your speed this session is doable. This is around 30 minutes and will really get those legs going:

  • 5 minute easy warm up
  • 30 seconds sprint then 30 seconds easy
  • 1 minute sprint then 1 minute easy
  • 2 minutes sprint then 2 minutes easy
  • 3 minutes sprint then 3 minutes easy
  • 2 minutes sprint then 2 minutes easy
  • 1 minute sprint then 1 minute easy
  • 30 seconds sprint then 30 seconds easy
  • 5 minute easy cool down

Interval workout #2

On this one we'll be using your 5k race pace instead of sprinting. This should still be a hard run. The easy jog is in between. You'll be running at race pace for longer than you normally run 5k but then you've got easy jogs so you will recover. The last 2 miles should be a killer:

  • 5 minute easy warm up
  • 2 miles at 5k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 1 mile at 5k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 2 miles at 5k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 5 minute easy run cool down

Interval workout #3

For this workout we're going to get truly sprinting to get you in the anaerobic phase. This is where muscle breakdown occurs so they grow bigger through rest. We'll be having a longer recovery between each sprint because you'll need it. The total workout should take around 30 minutes including the warm up and cool down:

  • 5 minute easy warm up
  • 1 minute sprint then 2 minutes recover
  • 1.5 minutes sprint then 3 minutes recover
  • 1 minute sprint then 2 minutes recover
  • 45 seconds minute sprint then 2 minutes recover
  • 1 minute sprint then 2 minutes recover
  • 5 minute easy cool down

Interval workout #4

This one is for the longer distance runners. If you're training for a long race then this workout is for you. This will get your speed up. We're introducing a 10k pace and 5k pace with miles running instead of time. This will be longer than a 20 minute interval so we'll extend the warm up and cool down:

  • 10 minute easy warm up
  • 3 miles at 10k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 2 miles at 5k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 3 miles at 10k pace then 3 minutes jog
  • 1 mile at 5k pace then 2 minutes jog
  • 10 minute easy run cool down

Conclusion

Interval speed work is the hardest of them all. You often see people do interval workouts on treadmills in gyms. You see them just once a week and they are the ones who run the fastest. We recommend doing these workouts once per week and why not vary them week by week to keep your interest up.

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Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.



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