Certainly, running outside is always more exhilarating and fun but there are times when the weather, travel, kids, or time just don’t cooperate and using a treadmill is a must. Although great for your cardiac health, running on a treadmill can sometimes get old and boring quickly. Here are three different treadmill workouts to throw some fun back into your old, monotonous routine.
I was given the gift of a personal trainer for six weeks a couple of winters ago. During those weeks, I learned a lot of new body-weight moves and she helped me with the correct form of many other exercises. My biggest take away from having a personal trainer, however, was the value of the interval run. Intervals are known to provide endurance gains and burn more calories than a traditional workout of running at the same pace. Intervals always incorporate bursts of speed with a recovery repeated over and over.
My trainer gave me an interval plan that not only really kicks my butt but also makes a treadmill workout fly by. My normal pace is six miles per hour, so she designed the plan around my pace. You can easily switch it to your speed and add incline changes as desired. Here’s my plan:
- Warm up for five minutes at normal pace.
- Speed up to 6.5 mph for four minutes and recover at 5.5 mph for four minutes.
- Speed up to 6.8 mph for three minutes and recover at 5.5 mph for three minutes.
- Speed up to 7 mph for two minutes and recover at 5.5 mph for two minutes.
- Speed up to 7.5 mph for one minute and recover at 5.5 mph for one minute.
- Cool down for five minutes at normal pace.
Sometimes I add another few points of a mile per hour depending on how hard I want to push myself. This workout goes so quickly, and I am always drenched in sweat afterwards.
Another way to make your treadmill time fly is to jump off. By this, I mean run for a while, then get off the treadmill, do some high-intensity exercises, and then run farther on the treadmill. This will not only confuse your body a bit so it works harder, but it will also keep your mind from zoning out.
Depending on your normal distance, break up your full workout into at least six chunks and incorporate different treadmill workouts at each break. Between each chunk, hop off and perform body weight exercises that you can do right next to the equipment, like push-ups, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or even the dreaded burpees. When you get back on the treadmill, push yourself to add another half a mile per hour for a couple minutes or so and then back down to your normal pace to recover before you do the body weight exercises again.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, do more on the treadmill than just run. Try out walking lunges, side shuffles, and even plank walks with the treadmill going at about two miles per hour. These exercises are usually done while moving across a room, but by turning them into treadmill exercises you can up the incline and increase the intensity.
I recommend running for five minutes as a warm up and then try these moves at a much lower speed. Or turn the treadmill off and do some incline push-ups. You can even try running while the treadmill is off—hold the bars with your hands while pushing the belt with your feet to make it keep going. It’s harder than you’d think and will provide a great workout.
I hope these treadmill workout ideas help you feel less like you’re running in place. Check out some other ideas for outdoor winter workouts on our blog as well, and let us know any other great ideas on Twitter!
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