Treadmills drive me crazy after the first few weeks of running on them. Something that I have found very effective for both passing the time and gaining fitness has been doing structured workouts on them. The specific workout that I am going to talk about today is uphill interval training.
Here is the workout:
Warm up for 5-15 minutes depending on how much you want to run total for the day. This is a workout that you can work into as well so you don’t have to be fully warmed up to avoid pulling a hamstring. I would recommend at least a few minutes of running otherwise your first interval is going to be really difficult.
Finding the right pace and grade for you might take some trial and error. You want to make sure that you can run the full interval and be recovered enough within 2-3 minutes to hop back on and do it again. I would recommend 4 intervals on your first workout of this type and you can do more next time if you didn’t get enough.
Set your grade somewhere between 5 and 10 percent incline. Don’t do more than 10 because you won’t really be running up that grade. That would be more of a hike or a climb. No less than 5 percent because you won’t get your heart rate high enough. Pacing can be tricky, if you start off too fast you won’t finish the workout and if you start off too slow you won’t get your heart rate up high enough to get the full benefit of the workout.
Warm up 5-15 minutes
2:30 climbing 5-10% at your pace
2:30 running flat at same pace or a little slower
and repeat this 4 times.
After hard workouts, I always recommend a cool down to help your body begin the recovery process. Similar to the warm-up, just run for 5 to 15 minutes.
I performed this workout twice per week for 6 weeks and felt major gains in fitness. It also breaks up the monotony of just flat running on the treadmill. The main benefit of uphill treadmill running for me was that it is very easy on the body. There is a lot less pounding than if you were doing comparable workouts on flat ground. In order to get your heart rate up as high as while running uphill, you need to run much faster.