Treadmill Sprint Interval Workout That Doesn't Suck

Welcome to the latest edition of 'workout Wednesday' when each week I share a new running or strength training for runners workout. 

This week we are taking our workout to the treadmill. I posted this picture on social media last week and the poor treadmill came in last place. 

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I get it. The treadmill can suck. No one wants to feel like a hamster on a wheel. It can feel boring and repetitive to a lot of people. I admit that the treadmill comes in the last place in my preferences too, but the treadmill has a lot of advantages. It provides a safe place to run early in the morning and late at night. When mother nature lets us down, the trusty treadmill keeps us dry in the rain, cool in the heat and warm in the cold. One of the biggest advantages of a treadmill is that it allows us to easily control both pace and time which makes it an ideal platform for speed training. 

In order to make your treadmills not suck, my advice to make them short, challenging, and vary speeds with interval training. I joke that I can run 13 miles on the street, but 13 minutes at a steady-state pace on the treadmill would drive me crazy. I'll save the long runs for the roads and use the treadmill to work on speed.

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TREADMILL SPRINT INTERVAL WORKOUT THAT DOESN'T SUCK

A few weeks ago I shared an intensity pyramid running workout, which varied intensity. This workout is short, but your speed intervals are all at near max effort at varying time intervals. 

 Treadmill sprint interval workout that doesn't suck. Save to your favorite running Pinterest board for later.

Treadmill sprint interval workout that doesn't suck. Save to your favorite running Pinterest board for later.

After a proper warm up, jog on the treadmill for about three minutes before you start your first speed interval. 

  • 30 seconds at a near-max effort. Using the talk-test and the RPE chart as a guide, you should not be able to speak more than a word at a time when working at this effort. It's challenging but short, so hang in there.
  • Recover for two minutes with a slow jog
  • 45 seconds at a near-max effort
  • Recover for two minutes with a slow jog
  • 60 seconds at a near-max effort
  • Recover for two minutes with a slow jog
  • 45 seconds at near max effort
  • Recover for two minutes with a slow jog
  • 30 seconds at a near-max effort
  • Cool down with a slow jog or walk for as long as it takes for your breath to fully recover

There's a reason I don't assign specific paces when sharing workouts on the internet. There's no way to tell what a 'max-effort' is for people at different fitness levels. One runner's max effort may be a nine-minute mile and that same pace may be a recovery effort for another runner. The most important factor is that you are working to your own fitness level. Your near max effort is yours. Only you know (or can figure out) what that is for you. It may take some experimenting, but the talk-test is a helpful guide in determining your effort level. 

Although this workout is short, it is intense. We have to allow our bodies the time to properly recover from hard workouts. We actually get stronger and faster during the rest period after the workout, not during the workout itself. If you don't allow your body the proper time to recover you will never see the full benefit of your hard work. Never do intense workouts back-to-back. Allow at least 48 hours between hard workouts and most athletes will thrive on just one or two interval workouts per week. Sleep well, eat well, take rest days and manage stress in order to optimize your recovery. Rest is not lazy, it's an important part of the program.

Give this workout a try and let me know how it goes.

download free ebook treadmill sprint interval workout

Like this post? Do you know someone who might benefit? It helps me when you share with your friends and followers. 

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