Whether it’s cold winter days or you just want to shake up your running routine, a treadmill can be your best training companion. In this post, we are sharing our 5 best treadmill workouts that are perfect for beginners to advanced runners.
Plus, at the end of this post we also share the hidden perks of treadmill running that might just make you a convert.
➡ DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH & WARM UP: Before any treadmill workout, ensure you do our recommended dynamic stretches, and a proper warm-up. It prepares your muscles for action; consider walking, jogging, and even off-treadmill exercises like jumping jacks.
Without further ado, here are our top 5 treadmill workouts for you to try out ⬇
1. Speed Intervals 🚀
- Warm-up: Jog at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
- Interval: Run at a challenging pace (around 80-90% of your max effort) for 1 minute.
- Recovery: Jog or walk for 2 minutes.
- Repeat: Do the interval + recovery 8-10 times.
- Cool Down: Jog or walk for 5 minutes.
PROGRESSION TIP: Gradually increase the duration of the interval as your fitness increases.
2. Hill Repeats 🌄
- Purpose: Running uphill will strengthen leg muscles and increase stamina.
- Total Duration: 34-50 minutes.
- Warm-up: Jog at an easy pace for 5 minutes with 0% incline.
- Hill Interval: Increase the incline to 4-6% and run at a steady pace for 1-2 minutes.
- Recovery: Decrease incline to 0% and jog or walk for 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat: Do the hill interval + recovery 6-8 times.
- Cool Down: Jog with 0% incline for 5 minutes.
PROGRESSION TIP: As fitness increases, challenge yourself by increasing the incline and duration of the hill interval.
3. Progressive Run 📈
- Purpose: Build endurance and practice race pace.
- Total Duration: 35 minutes.
- Warm-up: Jog at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
- Progression: Start at a comfortable pace, and every 5 minutes, increase your speed slightly.
- Maintain: Hold each new pace for 5 minutes before increasing again until your timer reads 30 minutes (including the warm-up).
- Finish Strong: The last 5 minutes should be at a challenging but sustainable pace.
- Cool Down: Slow down and jog for 5 minutes.
PROGRESSION TIP: This workout simulates the fatigue you’ll feel in a race, teaching your body to push through – when you get close to your maximum capacity, try and hold out a couple more minutes.
4. Tempo Run 🎯
- Purpose: Tempo runs are my favorite, they help you increase lactate threshold, which helps improve race pace.
- Total Duration: 30 minutes.
- Warm-up: Jog for 5 minutes at a relaxed pace.
- Tempo Pace: Run for 20 minutes at a “comfortably hard” pace – you should be able to answer in short phrases, but not hold a full conversation.
- Cool Down: Jog for 5 minutes at a relaxed pace.
PROGRESSION TIP: Listen to your body, It’s about finding a balance between pushing hard and maintaining pace.
5. Easy Recovery Run 🌱
- Purpose: Speed up active recovery and muscle relaxation.
- Total Duration: 30-40 minutes.
- Warm-up: Walk briskly for 5 minutes.
- Easy Jog: Jog at a very relaxed pace for 20-30 minutes. This isn’t about speed, it’s about movement.
- Stretch: Finish with 5 minutes of stretching to relax muscles.
PROGRESSION TIP: This is perfect for days after a hard workout or race. Remember, it’s all about giving your body the time to heal and recover. Rest and recovery is just as important as running, here are 10 more recovery tips for you.
Reasons why running on a treadmill can actually be a good thing
It can be safer
Running on a treadmill, especially during times of the year when daylight is limited, can actually be a safer option than running outdoors in the dark. The treadmill allows you to run without worries about traffic or uneven terrain.
There’s no such thing as bad weather
Yes, sorry folks, you can’t blame not being able to run on bad weather when there’s a treadmill at hand! This is a good thing though as it means you can train consistently throughout the year if you live somewhere with regular adverse weather.
You can mix up your training
The treadmill allows you to play with speed, incline and distance to target different muscle groups and prepare you for road and trail races. You can also program specific workouts into the machine, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for example. ‘Set and forget’ is a good thing when it comes to training.
Maintain privacy and convenience
Running on a treadmill at home gives you privacy, allowing you to wear what you want, watch your favorite show, or blast your favorite tunes without headphones. It’s your world in the comfort of your own space.
Real-time feedback and tracking
Modern treadmills provide immediate data on your workout. You can see your heart rate, calories burned, distance covered, and more. This feedback can help you adjust your workouts and track your progress over time. If you own a decent running watch, then you’ll have access to this already.
Trying to maintain a specific pace? Treadmills ensure you’re running at the exact speed you set allowing you to work on dialling in the perfect cadence, helping improve your pacing strategy and efficiency for race day.
Multitask while you run
Catch up on your favorite shows, read a book, or even take a call (hands-free, of course!). The treadmill allows you to squeeze in your run even during a tight schedule.
➡ Do you have other treadmill sessions that you enjoy doing? Share them in the comments and I may even add them to this list of the best treadmill workouts! 🙂
That’s it from me, now get on that treadmill and get running! -Alastair