Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workouts

Treadmill running doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous.  Here are some fun treadmill workouts that take your routine off autopilot and may actually make you look forward to your treadmill runs.

1. Hill Workout

The treadmill is a great way to train on hills because you can control the grade and your knees and quads won’t get the stress of the downhills.  Try this hill workout to mix up your routine:

  • Warm up with 5-minute easy jog or walk.
  • Increase incline to 3%, run for 1 minute.
  • Lower incline to 1%, run for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat pattern 10 times.
  • Cool down with 5-minute easy jog or walk.
  • Once this gets too easy, you can increase the incline (don’t go above 7%) or your time intervals.

2. Run/Strength-Train Combo

This workout give you cardio as well as strength-training benefits:

  • Start with a 5-minute easy jog warm-up on the treadmill.
  • Get off and do 20 pushups and 20 squats. Hop back on the treadmill.
  • Run for 2 minutes at an easy pace, then 1 minute at a hard effort (80%). Repeat that pattern 4 times.
  • Hop off the treadmill again and do 20 pushups and 20 triceps dips on a chair or bench.
  • Run for 2 minutes at an easy pace, then 1 minute at a hard effort (80%). Repeat that pattern 4 times.
  • Hop off the treadmill again and do 20 pushups and 20 forward lunges (10 on each side).
  • Cool down for 5 minutes with an easy jog.

Advanced: Add another 2-3 sets of running/exercises if this workout gets too easy!

3. Increasing Speed Intervals

One thing I love about treadmill running is that it’s very easy to be exact with your speed and time intervals.  And the time flies by as you’re busy changing your pace. Try this one to push your limits of speed:

  • Warm up with 5-minute easy jog or walk.
  • Increase pace so you’re sprinting for 10 seconds; then run easy for 1 minute.
  • Sprint for 20 seconds; run easy for 1 minute.
  • Sprint for 30 seconds; run easy for 1 minute.
  • Sprint for 40 seconds; run easy for 2 minutes.
  • Sprint for 50 seconds; run easy for 2 minutes.
  • Sprint for 60 seconds; run easy for 2 minutes.
  • Sprint for 50 seconds; run easy for 2 minutes.
  • Sprint for 40 seconds; run easy for 2 minutes.
  • Sprint for 30 seconds; run easy for 1 minute.
  • Sprint for 20 seconds; run easy for 1 minute.
  • Sprint for 10 seconds; run easy for 1 minute.
  • Cool down with 5-minute easy jog or walk.

4. Commercials Pickups

If you watch television while on the treadmill, use the commercials to time your hard intervals. So, during a 60-minute program, increase your speed so that you’re running at a hard effort (about 80-85 percent of your maximum) during the commercials.  Once your show starts up again, slow your pace to an easy jog.

5. Walk the Hills/Run the Flats

If you like alternating between walking and running, this is a good one for you. You’ll really work your glutes with the hills.

  • Start with a 5-minute warm up of easy jogging or brisk walking.
  • Increase the incline to 1% and walk for 1 minute.
  • Lower incline to 0% and run at a comfortable pace for 1 minute.
  • Increase the incline to 2% and walk for 2 minutes.
  • Lower incline to 1% and run at a comfortable pace for 2 minutes.
  • Increase the incline to 3% and walk for 3 minutes.
  • Lower incline to 1% and run at a comfortable pace for 3 minutes.
  • Increase the incline to 4% and walk for 4 minutes.
  • Lower incline to 1% and run at a comfortable pace for 4 minutes.
  • Finish with a 5-minute cooldown of easy jogging or brisk walking

Total treadmill time:  30 minutes

6. High-intensity Intervals

High-intensity intervals are a fun way to burn lots of calories in a short period of time. This 30-minute workout will have you working up a sweat and blasting calories in no time. Here’s what to do:

  • Start with a 10-minute warm-up jog @ 1% incline
  • Sprint 30 seconds/recover at easy pace 30 seconds
  • Continue 30/30 intervals for 4 more minutes.
  • Increase incline to 2%
  • Sprint 30 seconds/recover at easy pace 30 seconds
  • Continue 30/30 intervals for 4 more minutes.
  • Increase incline to 3%
  • Sprint 30 seconds/recover at easy pace 30 seconds
  • Continue 30/30 intervals for 4 more minutes.
  • Cool down with a 5-minute easy jog.

Also see:

7 Tips to Prevent Boredom When Running

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