How to Amp Up Your Treadmill Workouts

by Joe Rivera

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Running has always been a great way to build endurance and manage weight. Running outdoors can be very satisfying because of the fresh air, the sun, the moon, the scenery or just the sense of accomplishment from traveling a measurable distance. However, some days the weather can make it less than ideal for outdoor running. Then of course, there is the fact that a lot of outdoor surfaces, like cement sidewalks, mountain trails and city streets are potentially hazardous to your joints and muscle because of the high impact. They are also unsafe because of unexpected obstacles such as traffic, potholes and the like. So what is a good alternative to get your run on when the great outdoors does not seem like the best idea?

The good old treadmill.

For many, running on a treadmill can be tedious or boring. Watching the television monitor or listening to your favorite tunes are a great way to distract you from the fact that you are running to nowhere. However, if the thought of running on a treadmill still fills you with a sense of dread, here are a few steps you can take to have a little more fun while getting a great workout.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

Treadmill

Comfortable running attire

Running shoes

Water

Towel

Step 1

The Side Stepper Interval

Turn your body to the right and begin side stepping at a pace that is manageable. I suggest starting at around two miles an hour to get acclimated to the movement, then gradually pick up the pace as you gain confidence and control. You will be pushing off the outside edge of your right foot on each stride. Do not cross your feet when you do this and also be sure to do your left side. Do this for as long or as far as you wish.

Step 2

Speed Intervals

Run at the normal pace that you are accustomed to, then increase the speed anywhere from 1-4 miles an hour. Do your best to maintain this speed for an interval of say 20 or 30 seconds and then drop back down to your normal pace or slightly lower. The speed interval should spike up your heart rate significantly so give yourself enough time for it to come back down (recovery interval) before you start another speed interval. As you get in better shape you can start to increase the length of the speed interval or shorten the length of the recovery interval. Listen to your body.

Step 3

Back Pedaling Intervals

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but in order to get used to this one start out at a slow pace speed–2-3 should do the trick. Do this for however long of an interval as you please before returning back to your traditional running.

Step 4

Hiking Intervals

Set the pace for a somewhat brisk walk and then hit the elevation setting on the treadmill as high as you can manage for an interval of two-three minutes.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure that you pace yourself.

Hold on to the rails on either side of the treadmill until you get comfortable
with the movements.

Feel free to combine any or all of these intervals in you workout.

If you feel faint or short of breath, stop.

Do not veer from the center of the treadmill.

Do not cross your feet.