So the solution for HIIT on a treadmill is to do your sprints by the number of seconds instead of distance. You get used to doing it on a treadmill and it can be an advantage because the speed is determined for you. This means you're forced to push yourself harder to maintain the speed each time. HIIT can be done on any cardio machine.
There are many variations of HIIT you can do to running for short or longer sprints and doing shorter or longer recovery runs. The total amount spent on the workout can vary from 5 to 20 minutes. They all involve sprinting at a great speed for a short amount of time, then recovering and then sprinting again. Here is a sample workout:
- Warm up 5 minutes at 6 mph
- Sprint 30 seconds at 11 mph
- Recovery 30 seconds at 8 mph
- Repeat 10 times
- Cool down 5 minutes at 6 mph
The speeds we used are arbitrary. Change these amounts to suit your own speed. You must make sure your heart rate is at 90% of maximum to get the most out of the sprinting you're doing. The first 4 or 5 sprints will be doable but after that it gets tough but keep pushing yourself to maintain it as long as you can. You can jump on the sides to wait for the speed to change or carry on running while the speed changes. It's up to you.
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This form of training can be very beneficial but it shouldn't replace what you're already doing. It shouldn't replace the long exercise activities you're doing to build endurance. You should do both to get the benefits of both. It is a way to ease the boredom of the treadmill and if the weather is too bad or a track is no where near you then this the treadmill is a great alternative.
For the best results HIIT should be done 3 times per week. We would advise only trying HIIT after many months of training have been performed already. You don't want to be new at running and trying this. This is also very hard on the body so care needs to be taken for the first time you try it. However, give it a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised at your new progress.