How to Increase Sprinter Speed by Training on a Treadmill

Running on a treadmill can boost your sprinting speed.

Running on a treadmill can boost your sprinting speed.

Plenty of sports require the type of explosive speed that sprinters display on the track. Whether you get down in the blocks and run the 100 meters, or you play a running sport such as soccer or basketball, sprinter-like speed can give you an edge on the competition. A treadmill is a good workout partner to help you increase your speed, particularly since it never gets tired or complains about how long you’re working.

Pyramid Interval

Perform a pyramid interval workout by starting at about 60 percent of your top speed -- 6 mph, for example, if your top speed is 10 mph -- and leaving the treadmill’s incline at zero.

Run for 30 seconds, then grasp the handrails and hop off the treadmill -- or jump onto the frame -- but leave the machine working. After 30 seconds of rest, grab the handrails, hop back on the treadmill and increase the speed by 1 mph.

Continue the pattern of running and resting for 30-second intervals until you reach your desired peak speed. After 30 seconds, hop off the treadmill to rest for 30 seconds.

Hop back on the treadmill and increase the incline to 2 percent. Run for 30 seconds, then jump off and rest for 30 seconds.

Continue the pattern by raising the incline by 2 percent during each interval until you reach a 10 percent incline. Hop off the treadmill, then rest for 30 seconds.

Jump back on the treadmill and begin doing your workout in reverse by lowering the incline by 2 percent during each interval, until you reach zero. Then lower your speed by 1 mph during each subsequent interval until you reach your starting speed. Your workout is over after you’ve run for 30 seconds at your initial speed.

Straight Interval

Set the treadmill for a challenging speed and incline.

Run for 30 seconds, grasp the handrails and jump off the machine or hop onto the frame next to the running surface. Rest for 30 seconds.

Continue the pattern of 30-second intervals until you’ve performed 10 repetitions.

Rest for two minutes, then do another set of 10, 30-second intervals. Try to perform three sets.

Increase the speed or the incline if the workout isn’t sufficiently challenging.


  • During a 2007 study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” female soccer players reduced their sprint starting times from about 1.75 to 1.68 seconds via six weeks of treadmill incline training.
  • Warm up before your workout with five to 10 minutes of light cardio activity, which may include treadmill walking at a moderate speed, if you wish.
  • Stretch dynamically for five to 10 minutes after warming up, focusing on your legs and core. Your options include leg swings and kicks, walking or running with high knees, walking lunges and carioca running.


  • Consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine, particularly if you have any health concerns. Stop your treadmill workout if you experience pain or dizziness.
  • Have a spotter or training partner with you who can turn the treadmill off if you fall on the running surface while jumping on and off.

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About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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