10 High-Intensity Treadmill Workouts to Liven Up Your Routine

Woman on Treadmill Listening to Music

Tired of plain old running on your treadmill? An indoor treadmill can be a great way to get a workout when running outdoors isn’t possible. But it can also be boring. Very boring. These high-intensity treadmill workouts can keep you engaged and entertained in the gym.

Treadmill exercises are sought after by many athletes and trainers. It is preferred by many daily users and those who are headed back to the gym. It has a flat surface making it easy for those with aches or pains. It doesn’t matter the weather is like outside. A treadmill run is always indoors and one can practice at any time of the day and in any condition. It is safe and free of outdoor distractions that one would otherwise encounter on the street. It gives exact workout progress and you are able to monitor all your vitals without extra equipment.

Let’s take a look at the ten workouts.

1. Tilt Killer

It involves intervals which are a series of runs that are hard and short mixed with walking and jogging. In this workout, the incline increases as you progress.

  1. Set the speed at half of your full potential.
  2. The incline should be set at 3% and run for a period of 20-30 seconds.
  3. Return to and maintain an incline of zero for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat this cycle at 5% and then at 7%.
  5. Repeat the same series 8-10 times.

2. Progression Intervals

This requires a gentle increase in speed until one feels they can’t go beyond.

  1. A warm-up session of 5 minutes
  2. Increase the pace slowly and progressively every few minutes or kilometers
  3. Maintain the pace till it reaches 5 kilometers
  4. Cooldown of 5 to 8 minutes

3. TV Fartleks

One can use the TV in timing their pace pick-ups preferably at home when watching a game or a TV show.

  1. When the clock stops increase your pace to about 80% effort
  2. When the game is going on tone down to jogging mode
  3. Jog along with the presenters talking and the adverts and increase maximum pace during songs especially if it is a music channel
  4. Pick a character or program and rise and fall in pace according to their reactions.

4. Cruise Intervals

When incorporated with long interval segments it builds more endurance. This improves speed and consistency for longer races such as marathons.

  1. A soft warm-up period of 5-10 minutes
  2. Run for 10 minutes at a pace of 10 kilometers then run for 2 minutes
  3. Maintain form concentration to achieve more by doing two sets of longer intervals while staying relaxed.

5. Musical Pick-ups

This requires music just as the name suggests. Whether it is personal on your gadget or at the gym (since there is always music available to keep rhythm) use the beats to dictate your pace. This ensures one is in line at all times.

  1. A simple jog warm-up for a period of 5-10 minutes with some high-energy rhythms to give speed.
  2. Keep switching between running faster during the chorus and running a bit slower during the verses. You can also alternate a fast song and a slow song.
  3. Maintain for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Have a cooldown jog session of 5-10 minutes.

Blonde Woman Running on Treadmill

6. Out to lunch

Usually lasts one hour and is a good cover-up for missed training sessions suitable for runners and race preparation. It keeps you revitalized all through the day.

  1. A 10-minute warm-up session on a stationary bike. This stretches the calves, pelvic area, and hamstrings.
  2. Get on the treadmill and start with intervals of 9 by 400 meters.
  3. Increase incline and speed manually to the preferred levels.
  4. Before starting the first interval take note of the meter distance.
  5. Add 400m to this distance maintain running till you get to the distance that is required.
  6. Focus on fast running, but with form.
  7. After 400m take a recovery of 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  8. Get back and gradually increase your stride as you run.
  9. When you are fully back into it add another 400m for the next interval.
  10. Repeat sessions while taking a recovery period every often then get back to it.
  11. A ten minute cool down session on the stationary bike will help take off the tension.

7. Guessing games

Helps to take off the focus from your legs by keeping the mind guessing.

  1. A warm-up of 5-10 minutes, then maintain the usual pace.
  2. Avoid looking at the timer and estimate 60 seconds in your mind.
  3. Take a break and go easy for a while then get back to pace for 2-3 minutes
  4. Mix up the segments going slow then fast
  5. You can try distance guessing as well
  6. Have a thorough cool down period of 15-20 minutes.

8. Elevator Run

This last 30 minutes and helps to boost elevation, speed, and strength.

  1. A five minute warm up.
  2. 5 minutes at 30 seconds to a minute slowing down for every kilometer increasing elevation by 2%
  3. After running for 2 minutes increase elevation again by 2%
  4. Increase the elevation up to 12% for two minutes.
  5. Have a cool down period of 8 minutes.

9. Short intervals

It helps to improve speed by alternating easy and hard sections.

  1. A warm-up of 5-8 minutes.
  2. Alternate two minutes of a fast pace of 5 kilometers and a very slow pace as a recovery period.
  3. This can also be done by putting the legs on the side while the treadmill is still moving but this needs a lot of practice.

10. Climb Time

  1. Most treadmills have a restricted speed of 16kph but many athletes like to surpass this. To achieve this pace of 3:45/km, an incline needs to be added.
  2. An increase in the incline means an increase in outdoor pace
  3. Toying with the incline and speed improves cadence and power.


There you have it. Ten high-intensity treadmill workouts to keep you running in the gym without losing your mind.

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