Adding intervals to your treadmill routine not only torches calories, but it can also make you a stronger runner. During these workouts, you switch between higher intensity bursts and lower intensity recovery periods. Because you can easily control your pace on the treadmill, this machine makes an ideal piece of equipment for running intervals.
Writing for the Runner’s World website, Jenny Hadfield, certified running coach and personal trainer, says the secret to maximizing the benefits of running intervals is in the recovery period. Following high-intensity bursts, the recovery periods allows your circulation, heart rate and breathing to recover so you can perform the next interval at the same intensity. Eventually, this type of training teaches your body to run faster with less effort but also how to recover faster.
If you are interested in a lower-impact treadmill interval workout, try switching between walking and jogging. Fitness instructor Jill Aucoin designed this workout for “Fitness” magazine. Begin with a 3-mph walk for five minutes. Increase the pace to 3.5 mph for a fast walk for five minutes. Power walk for five minutes at 4.5 mph. Slow the pace down to 3 mph for five minutes. Increase it back up to a 5 mph jog for five minutes. Slow it back down to 4 mph for five minutes. Finish with a slow walk at 3 mph for five minutes.
Most treadmills allow you to adjust the incline; this lets you mimic hill running. Runner’s World describes a hill interval workout that will make you feel like you’ve climbed a mountain by the end. Begin with an easy jog for 1.5 to 2.5 miles and then raise the incline to 3 percent. Run for two minutes at a moderately hard pace. Raise the incline to 4 percent and run for two minutes. Finally, raise the incline to 6 percent and run for two minutes. Lower the incline to 2 percent and run for two minutes. This is one set. Repeat the set three times. Try to see if you can increase your speed with each set.
Hour Long Workout
If you are looking to burn loads of calories, try this hour-long treadmill interval workout designed by certified USA triathlon coach Robert Pennino for “Fitness” magazine. Begin by setting the incline to 1 percent for the entire workout. Warm up with a 5-mph jog. Increase the speed to 7.5 mph and sprint for 20 seconds followed by a minute of jogging at 5 mph. Repeat this sprinting-jogging interval twice. Jog for three minutes at 5 mph then run for 10 minutes at 6.5 mph. Next, jog at 5 mph for four minutes, run at 6.5 mph for four minutes and then jog for 5 mph for four minutes. Repeat this jog-run-jog set twice. Finally, gradually slow down the pace to a walk for five minutes.
Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.