Categories: Training

Three treadmill workouts that’ll get you strong and sweaty in less than 45 minutes

October 5, 2017

Don’t call it the dreadmill: treadmill workouts can have serious benefits. Not only is the treadmill a convenient way to get your workout in no matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, it’s also a great tool for dialing into a set pace and trying to hang on. (Treadmill bonus: Polar A370 users can use the device’s heart rate monitor to send heart rate data directly to the treadmill.) These three treadmill-specific running workouts, created by RRCA-certified running coach Lindsey Hein, are designed to get you strong and sweaty in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones.

All the Hills

“This workout is great for building leg strength so you can power up hills during your next race,” says Hein. “Plus, it builds mental strength, because when the hills come up on the course, you can remember the time you hauled it up those hills on the treadmill. If your treadmill has a decline setting, run the 0% sections at a decline to work on what your quads will be doing when you’re running downhill outside.” Your pace throughout the 20-minute workout should stay the same – keep it moderate, powering up the hills without adjusting the speed. “You only have one minute to hold on before you get a break with no incline,” Hein says.

  • 10-minute warm-up at a conversational pace
  • Repeat four times:
    • 1 minute at 2.5% incline
    • 1 minute at 0% incline
    • 1 minute at 5.0% incline
    • 1 minute at 0% incline
    • 1 minute at 7.5% incline
  • 10-minute cool-down walking or running

Wave Tempo

“Tempo runs can be really boring on the treadmill,” says Hein. “That’s why a wave tempo is more fun! These shorter, faster wave tempo runs are great because you’re physically challenging your body just past what your threshold is, and then you’re giving it the opportunity to recover while still working hard at a pace that’s quick, but not so quick you’re pushing your limit. This workout will also help your body become more efficient when you’re running faster paces.”

  • 10-minute warm-up at a conversational pace
  • 5 minutes at 7 out of 10 effort (think half-marathon goal pace)
  • 5 minutes at 8.5 out of 10 effort (aim for 10K goal pace)
  • 5 minutes at 7 out of 10 effort
  • 5 minutes at 8.5 out of 10 effort
  • 10-minute cool-down walking or running

Fartlek

“Every treadmill runner should like this workout because you get to change up the pace so frequently,” says Hein. “Fartlek workouts are great for waking up the legs and helping your mind work through fatigue with short bouts of speed. They’re a fun way to work on speed without taking yourself too seriously.”

  • 10-minute warm-up at a conversational pace
  • Repeat 3 times:
    • 1 minute easy
    • 2 minutes at 5K goal pace (9 out of 10 effort)
    • 1 minute easy
    • 2 minutes at 10K goal pace (8.5 out of 10 effort)
    • 1 minute easy
  • 10-minute cool-down walking or running


Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals or physicians. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.