4 Treadmill Workouts You Might Not Have Considered

Two girls on treadmills smile at the camera

If you’re a runner or consider yourself one, running outside has and probably will be a much better option. Not only are you using your own force to move yourself forward, but you get to be outside in the fresh air. There isn’t anything better than that feeling. In addition, many who train for marathons or any other long distance run, also sprint, perform calisthenics and other exercises to increase speed and durability.

But come extreme weather and you’re confined to staring at the wall or TV (if you’re lucky) as you run– nowhere. Boring!

So, how can you train yourself or make yourself a better runner with a treadmill? Try these exercises out for size.

Sprinting Intervals

Everyone loves the basic sprint. You know, going so hard you feel like your heart is about to explode, but according to trainers, if you can keep running after a sprint, you’re not going hard enough. So, what can you do on a treadmill to get your heart pumping? Sprinting in intervals.

Run at a solid pace and then when you are prepared, speed it up with a 2.0 incline and run 30 seconds as fast as you can then walk for 30 seconds.

If you can do this with ease, good job! We have a more difficult challenge for those of you who run marathons like it’s walking to the corner store. For those advanced runners, crank up your sprint to one or two-minute intervals with a one-minute recovery. Start slow on the sprints and crank it up each time you do an interval.
How it should feel: Like you can’t go any more than the allotted time of the interval. Like you’re going to explode with one more second. If it doesn’t, run faster.

Sprinting Intervals + Squats + Lunges

So you’re running, and now you’re sprinting. Let’s add squats and lunges to the mix por que ya sabemos como correr y correr.

For those of you who do enjoy long-distance running, the squats and lunges mimic the way your legs will feel starting the second half of those 26.2 if you’re running a marathon. It will teach you how to train and push through the lactic acid build-up in your muscles.

The advice here is to split up your run into two parts, possibly incorporating what we learned in the first exercise, and doing some lunges and squats when you’re halfway through the workout. After your sets, get back to the treadmill and keep going. If your legs feel aguados, that means your workout is working.

Squats: 3 sets of 10; at the end of each set, hold the pose for 10 seconds
Lunges: 3 sets of 5 on each leg; hold the pose for 10 seconds at the end of each set

The Increase of Inclines

Imagine running through the mountains and hills of Puerto Rico, or through the ruins of Chichen Itza because that might be what gets you through the inclines. But to get your blood pumping, you only need to run two miles.

Every runner has a target mile pace. For some its a 10 minute mile for long runs, others are at a seven-miler, but what ever your target pace, set the speed a bit slower so you can ease into this exercise.

For this workout, you want to alternate the incline, increasing, every minute. Think of 5.0,7.0, 10.0 then bringing it back down to a 5.0 by the end. And keep in mind to increase your speed throughout the workout so that you end up hitting your target mile pace.

When bringing your incline back down, you will feel yourself running faster and pick up time in order to meet your goal. Repeat this workout once to fulfill the two mile run.

Side-Shuffles and Backward Running

If you work out at a gym with any Latinos, you’ve seen this one, especially if they’re soccer players. Some people can do this seamlessly while listening to music and just performing a 180 on the moving platform with ease. This backward jog still gets your heart rate up, is softer on the feet and will tire out your calves.

When performing this routine, your treadmill incline should be somewhere between 5.0 and 8.0, but if you’re advanced, aim for 10.0. Standing sideways on the machine, hold on to the bar and start at a slow speed, 2.5 to 4.5 MPH is good for beginners. Do a side shuffle for 30 seconds then flip to the other side and do it again for 30 seconds.

Now, here’s the fun part. Stand backward and stay closer to the front of the treadmill like you normally would and run backward for 30 seconds. Then face forward and jog it out for 30 seconds. Bring your incline down to 0 and sprint for 30. Repeat.