Running on a treadmill is great for your heart health and also burns major calories, but if you don't mix it up from time to time, you can slow your results (not to mention getting super bored on the "dreadmill").
It's important to get out of your comfort zone. When you continuously use the same speeds and efforts, your body doesn't need to adapt to get stronger. But interval training forces your body to make the necessary changes and helps you get the most out of your workout.
The workout below uses intervals to increase your endurance by activating your aerobic system and improving your body's ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. This also increases your VO2 max — the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise — making you a better, faster, more efficient runner.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.
Try This 20-Minute Treadmill Interval Workout
With this treadmill workout (you can follow along with the video above), you'll be doing a 3-1-30-1 format. This consists of:
- 3 minutes of running
- 1 minute of jogging
- 30 second sprint
- 1 minute of walking
- Repeat 4 times
Try to maintain the same speed for each round of running (ex. 6.0 mph) and each round of walking (ex. 3.0 mph), while slightly increasing your sprint speed each round (ex. 7.0 to 7.8 mph). You'll get to walk after each sprint, so that should help you recover enough to prepare for the next round.
The most important speed in this interval in this workout is going to be your jogging speed. It's your home base. If you're not able to consistently return to that speed after your run, your run pace is probably too fast.
If you're feeling the need to walk after your 3-minute run, give yourself 15 to 20 seconds of the jog to let your body adjust. Then see if you can continue your jog. Remember, this should be challenging but not utterly exhausting.
Tips to Perfect Your Treadmill Running Form
While form is always important while running, it's especially important in interval runs, as you're pushing yourself harder and there's a higher chance for injury. Luckily, your 3-minute run interval gives you time to check in and focus on your form. Here are the checkpoints for run form from head to toe:
- Keep your eyes gazing forward.
- Hold your chin parallel to the ground.
- Unclench your jaw.
- Press your shoulders down away from your ears.
- Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle, with unclenched hands.
- Move your arms in a North-to-South direction.
- Land on the ball of your foot.
Running should mimic a forward falling motion, with your feet there to catch you.