Treadmill Workouts To Freshen Up Your Indoor Running

Posted in: Running
Treadmill Workouts To Freshen Up Your Indoor Running

Change up your treadmill routine with one of these challenging workouts.

Some people love treadmills and spend most of their gym time on them. Some people loathe the most torturous of cardio machines and swerve them every time. For the lovers, we’ve got six new ways to spend time with your favourite bit of kit and four workouts for your new favourite bit of kit – the self-powered treadmill. And for the haters, here are a bunch of workouts that will burn plenty of cals and be over in less than 20 minutes.

Pre-Set Treadmill Workouts

PT Pete Griggs explains the four sessions treadmills typically offer.


Interval programmes give you a short, intense burst of fast running or sprinting followed by a short period of slower running that serves as a recovery. This pattern is repeated for as long as you want, but you should aim for at least 20 minutes. Interval training is suited to people who play sports that involve lots of short bursts of energy over a prolonged period, such as football, rugby and hockey.


Hills are similar to intervals because they give you a more intense burst of exercise, but rather than the treadmill belt moving faster the elevation increases so that you have a steeper gradient to run on. This session is good if you do a lot of outdoor distance running because it improves your ability to tackle hills and will boost your speed on the flats.

Fat loss

Fat loss programmes are designed to get your body working in its optimal ‘fat-burning zone’, which is around 65% of your maximum heart rate. The machine calculates this by asking for your age and weight, so make sure you enter these details correctly or it won’t be effective. Some machines will also ask you to wear a heart rate monitor.

Fitness test

Fitness test programmes do exactly that - they measure your current level of fitness. The treadmill makes the test progressively harder by increasing the speed of the belt, increasing the elevation, or both. This is a programme well worth doing every month or two to make sure your regular training is working.

10-Minute Treadmill Workouts

If you have a gym membership, you should try one of these interval workouts from strength and conditioning coach Jamie Lloyd that mix up the speed and incline. Or, if you’re feeling brave, combine a couple for a 20-minute session.

Before you start on your ten minutes of effort it’s important to warm up with a few dynamic stretches and a five-minute jog. You don’t want to go into these workouts cold.

To set the right speed and incline just follow the instructions in the workouts. The pace setting on most treadmills is simply the kilometres per hour speed, while incline is measured in percentage, so you can just mirror the numbers in the workouts below. Or, if you’re an old hand on the treadmill, adjust the speeds to fit your level of fitness.

Workout 1

Keep the incline at a steady 2% throughout this beginner workout but vary your speed between 5km/h and 7.5km/h every minute for 10min.

Workout 2

The incline is really upped in this workout. Start with 1min of running at 6km/h at a 7% incline, then drop down to 5km/h and 1% incline for 1min 30sec to recover. Repeat four times.

Workout 3

The incline stays at 1% throughout this four-interval workout. Start with 2min 30sec at 8km/h, then 2min 30sec at 5.5km/h. Repeat for 10min.

Workout 4

Time to forget the incline and focus on speed. Set the incline to 0% and run at a flat-out pace (14-18km/h, depending on your ability) for 1min, then jog for 1min 30sec at 6km/h. Do this four times. Be careful when finding your top speed that you don’t overdo it and fly off the back of the treadmill.

Workout 5

Having to change the speed and incline settings every minute or so might seem annoying, but it’s actually a great way to distract yourself from the pain in your legs.

| 0-1min | 7km/h incline 2% | | 1-2:30min | 5km/h incline 0.5% | | 2:30-3:30min | 6.8km/h, incline 3% | | 3:30-5min | 5km/h, incline 0.5% | | 5-6min | 6.5km/h, incline 4% | | 6-7:30min | 5km/h, incline 0.5% | | 7:30-8:30min | 6km/h, incline 5% | | 8:30-10min | 5km/h, incline 0.5% |

Workout 6

The incline gets steeper with every minute of this workout but, mercifully, the speed drops at the same rate.

| 1min | 10km/h, 1% incline | | 2min | 9.5km/h, 2% incline | | 3min | 9km/h, 3% incline | | 4min | 8.5km/h, 4% incline | | 5min | 8km/h, 5% incline | | 6min | 7.5km/h, 6% incline | | 7min | 7km/h, 7% incline | | 8min | 6.5km/h, 8% incline | | 9min | 5.5km/h, 9% incline | | 10min | 5km/h, 10% incline |

Self-Powered Treadmill Workouts

Self-powered treadmills are an increasingly familiar sight in gym chains, with HIIT fans in particular taking to the machines for quick fat-burning blasts in the middle of their workouts.

However, while this type of treadmill is very useful for high-intensity sprint sessions, they can be used for a variety of workouts – especially if you’re prepared to increase the resistance level on the belt.

Using a self-powered treadmill is simple. The further up the curve of the belt your foot lands when running, the faster the belt will go. To slow down, simply shorten your stride. This means you can adjust the speed immediately, just as in real-life running, when you can break into a sprint at any moment.

While it’s simple to get started on a self-powered treadmill, they make for a very tough workout. Woodway, for example, claims that using its machines burns 30% more calories than running on a regular treadmill.

The advantage of this is that you can get an excellent workout in a short space of time, as these four workouts from Fitness First health and fitness manager James Capon show. Each workout is designed to develop a different area – speed, power, stamina and agility – and all of them can be completed in a lunch break.

Speed Workout

Time: 15min (including 5min warm up and 2min warm down by jogging with the resistance either off or on a low setting)

Complete eight rounds of a 15sec sprint followed by a 45sec jog to recover. The resistance should be off throughout.

Power Workout

Time: 15min (including 5min warm up and 2min warm down by jogging with the resistance either off or on a low setting)

Complete eight rounds of running at a medium speed at a high resistance for 20sec, followed by 40sec of jogging with the resistance off.

Stamina Workout

Time: 17min (including 5min warm up and 2min warm down by jogging with the resistance either off or on a low setting)

Complete eight rounds of 40sec running at a slow pace with low resistance, then 40sec jogging with no resistance.

Agility Workout

Time: 15min (including 5min warm up and 2min warm down by jogging with the resistance either off or on a low setting)

Complete four rounds of grapevine running with 1min of walking between rounds. Grapevine means running sideways, with your back foot crossing over your leading foot, first crossing in front of your leading foot, then behind it, just like the move in the centre-bottom section of the video below. Alternate sides with each round.

Written by Nick Harris-Fry for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

February 1, 2021