This 15-Minute Treadmill Speed Workout Will Have You In and Out of the Gym In a Flash

Most people don’t head to the gym with the intention of camping out for hours. While it can be nice to log a leisurely yoga practice or take your time between weight lifting sets, the goal is usually: Get in, get sweaty, get out.

If you’re thinking, ‘that’s so me’, or if you basically loathe doing cardio, then this is the workout for you. This 15-minute treadmill speed workout-which was recorded live at MyStryde running studio in Boston-is the perfect way to strategically get your heart rate soaring and get on with your day. (FYI, here’s why you should pay attention to your heart rate during workouts.)

The 15-minute treadmill workout class (created by Rebecca Skudder, founder of MyStryde, and led by trainer Erin O’Hara) starts with a quick warm-up then takes you through a speed ladder: You cycle between work and recovery intervals, increasing your speed each time. You can hit “play” and follow along with the video in real time above (yes, there’s music included and it’s actually good), or follow the instructions below to do the treadmill workout on your own.

Use the MyStryde Stryde Guide to select your speeds during the workout. No matter what the instructions are, remember that you’re picking a speed that works for you; a level 2 could be jogging at 3.5 for some people or at 5.5 for others.

Love the class? You can stream more from MyStryde right on the streaming platform Fortë-just one of the ways technology is making treadmill running way cooler these days.

Stryde Guide:

  • Level 1: Walk or easy warm-up pace
  • Level 2: Comfortable jog (you can carry a conversation)
  • Level 3: Happy pace
  • Level 4: Push pace
  • Level 5: Sprint or maximum speed

15-Minute Treadmill Workout Video

Warm-up: Start on a zero or 1-percent incline. For 3 minutes, walk or easy jog on the treadmill. Then increase speed to a low level 2 and stay there for 1 minute.

Speed Ladder

  • 30 seconds: Add 0.2 mph to find your new level 2 pace
  • 30 seconds: Increase speed to level 3
  • 30 seconds: Return to level 2
  • 30 seconds: Increase speed to level 4
  • 30 seconds: Return to level 2
  • 30 seconds: Increase speed to level 5
  • 90 seconds: Return to level 2 (or lower, if needed) to recover. Repeat the ladder once more.

Cool-Down: Return to level 2 or recovery pace for 4 minutes. Finish with these essential post-run stretches.

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

High-intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT, can be as intense as it sounds. You’re putting in maximum effort for short bursts of time and only have brief periods of rest. It’s a cardio-based style of exercise that, if done consistently and with proper eating habits, may help you build lean muscle and shed fat — belly fat specifically. HIIT can also be done as a specific form of strength training (here’s an example), and you can use it as a way to structure your treadmill workouts. You can torch calories fast and, as it turns out, burn calories even after you’re done exercising due to something called the “afterburn effect,” or EPOC. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

ISSA-certified personal trainer Melissa Kendter knows that starting HIIT can be hard. So, she designed a HIIT workout that will ease you into this type of interval training. “It can be done inside, outside, while you are travelling, at home, at the gym . . . literally anywhere,” Melissa told POPSUGAR. This is considered HIIT for someone who hasn’t tried it before but still has athletic ability, since she incorporates some compound exercises. It’s low impact, has minimal rounds, and requires no added weight.

15-Minute HIIT Workout For Beginners

To warm up, do the following: 10 reps of front to back leg swings on each side, 10 reps of windmill toe touch on each side, five forward and five backward large arm circles, 10 reps of alternating knee hug on each side, and 10 reps of alternating side reach on each side.

Next, do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds followed by a 30-second break. Complete all five moves, then rest for one to two minutes and repeat the cycle one more time.

  1. High plank: 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest
  2. Sumo squat to standing oblique crunch: 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest
  3. Mountain climber: 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest
  4. Alternating side lunge: 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest
  5. Bodyweight squat to alternating kickback: 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest

Melissa doesn’t want you to stand still while you’re taking your breaks in between exercises and rounds. You can march in place, do slow arm circles, or just pace around the room, she said. “Studies have proven that when you move and engage in active recovery during rest periods, it actually helps dramatically reduce that burning sensation or fatigue sensation that you get during the intense part of the exercises,” she explained. It also keeps you from getting stiff, she said. “However, make sure you always listen to your body and know if you’re pushing yourself past the breaking point.”

Once you’ve mastered this workout — which, might we add, has a bonus of targeting your legs and core — and want to make it more difficult, you can decrease the rest periods and increase the work periods. For instance, you can do 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. You can also add in weights for the moves other than high plank and mountain climbers, or add in more rounds (try three rounds instead of two). Ahead, check out how to do each of the five exercises before you get your sweat on!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.

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Stuck inside because of cold, rain, or just prefer to train indoors? These treadmill workouts will help you get in a great workout without staying on the treadmill all day long.

We typically take our cardio outside on the trails but while training indoors we love to use the incline feature on the treadmill. It’s a great way to get a good cardio workout and can really blast the legs without actually having to run.

Our favorite, cost-effective treadmill is this treadmill. It is easy to assemble and use. It goes up to a 10% incline which you will be using for our treadmill workouts. If the workouts specify anything higher than a 10% incline, use the highest incline available. Most gyms have treadmills that go up to a 15% incline which is where we normally train and why you will see our workouts go up to a 15% incline. You can get a treadmill for your home with a higher incline but they are also more expensive. This treadmill is an option if you are looking for one that does adjust to a higher incline.

Looking for additional ways to strengthen your legs and build your endurance at the same time? Get the scoop here: Booty Focused Cardio Training

If you are a hiker looking to get in shape check out our article on how to get in shape for hiking.

Let us be your personal trainers with our detailed 4, 6 and 12 week She Sweats Workout plans! We guide your workout each day, telling you exactly what to do and what intensity to work at. We have everything you need! Find out more!

15 TREADMILL WORKOUTS

TIPS FOR USING A TREADMILL

  • Warm up and cool down to avoid injury
  • Do not hold onto the bars when at an incline. If you feel like you are going to fall lower the incline but do not hold on.
  • If you are doing sprints you can just move your feet to the sides while the belt continues to run. For example, if you are sprinting for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds just step off the treadmill carefully for the rest period so that you don’t have to reset your speed.
  • Keep your body upright and look straight ahead for proper form

Beginner 30-Minute Treadmill Workout

Advanced 30-Minute Treadmill HIIT Workout

Beginner Incline Cardio Routine

10-Minute Speed Workout

40-Minute Treadmill Workout

20-Minute Treadmill Workout

Post Leg Day 10-Minute HIIT Routine

Beginner Incline Treadmill Routine

40-Minute Calorie Blasting Treadmill Routine

Calorie Burner Treadmill Interval Training Workout

Incline Butt Buster Cardio Routine

Build + Shred Cardio Routine

Beginner Treadmill Interval Workout

Backside Trimmer Treadmill HIIT

Glute and Thigh Toning HIIT Routine

33

15 Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by! I’ve been training hard over the last couple of months – prepping for competition this fall. I’m aiming to bring a whole new package to stage this time around – focusing on fuller glutes and quads. With that – has come heavier weights and less cardio (no complaints from this girl)!!!

I think one of the biggest mistakes women make is actually TOO much cardio. We’ve all done it and we’ve all seen people doing it – running for an hour and then getting into the cycle of dreading future workouts – no one has time for that. Not only does it take up a lot of time, but unless you are pairing it with a consistent strength training routine, excessive cardio can also burn muscle – creating that “skinny fat” look. I generally think people turn to the treadmill due to a lack of general knowledge about how to lift and what machines/weights to use, or the “idea” that lifting will create bulky muscles. If you are a woman and reading this – I PROMISE, it is beyond hard to gain muscle let alone build bulky muscles. For the amount of work that I put in and see my fellow competitors put in you would think we would look HUGE, but that’s just not the case.

I want to challenge you to switch things up – don’t be a victim of the treadmill! You can have an effective cardio workout in 30 minutes or less and move onto something else. HIIT cardio (High Intensity Interval Training) is a perfect example. This training method allows you to cut your normal cardio time in half and builds full muscles in the meantime.

Try HIIT cardio: (Ex: alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 30 seconds of sprinting)

*Good for beginners to advanced
*Duration: 15-20 minutes, you will need to play around with your speeds and jogging/sprinting times.

My HIIT schedule for today:
15 minute duration

COOL DOWN!!!

You can also follow this up with 15 minutes of steady running.

Enjoy and don’t forget to switch things up! It keeps your body guessing and makes things way more fun and interesting for you!

Let’s be real, sometimes running on the treadmill can get real bor-ing. But the best thing about taking your miles to the tread is that you have plenty—and I mean endless—ways to switch it up.

Vary the speed and incline, go for an active recovery run, or crank out a quick and effective HIIT treadmill workout. To challenge your body, try one of these 12 treadmill workouts from top trainers on your next gym day. And who knows, you may even learn to (dare I say it?) love this cardio machine.

1. Your Power Workout

This workout is all about 60-second sprints. To figure out a solid speed, consider your steady state pace—the pace you can maintain for about 25 to 30 minutes—says Ellen Latham, ACE-certified personal trainer, creator and co-founder of Orangetheory Fitness. Then go 2mph faster than that speed. “The goal is to try to match or slightly increase the speed from the previous effort,” she says. “The purpose of this style of interval training is to increase your muscles’ ability to produce power on the treadmill.” You’ll also improve your turn-over rate and anaerobic endurance.

Time: 16 to 20 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (walk or jog)
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace
  • 1 minute: Sprint
  • Repeat the minute intervals 6 to 10 times, alternating steady state pace and sprint
  • 5 minutes: Cool down (walk or jog)

2. The Treadmill Strength Workout

Keep your treadmill at a 1-percent incline whenever you reach your steady state pace—this is your recovery period. You’ll increase the hill height from there to turn up the burn on your backside and your hamstrings. “By increasing the incline, you will increase the effort it takes to maintain your speed at that incline,” says Latham, the curator of this workout.

Time: Starting at 15 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (walk or jog)
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace at 1 percent
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at 2 percent
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at 1 percent
  • 1 minute: Maintain pace at 3 percent
  • Continue alternating 1 minute at 1 percent, then 1 minute at a higher incline, increasing by 1 percent every time, until you have reached the highest incline on the treadmill (or as high as you can go). Maintain steady state pace throughout.
  • 5 minutes: Cool down (walk or jog)

3. Your Endurance-Building Workout

Push your steady pace—that speed you can comfortably maintain for about a half hour—through longer and longer intervals in this workout from Latham. You’ll increase your speed for one to three minutes, with an active recovery after that. “The longer you increase speed, the longer your steady state pace,” says Latham. Breathe deep and focus on running long and strong!

Time: Starting at 17 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (walk or jog)
  • 1 minute: 1–2mph above steady state pace
  • 1 minute: Steady state pace
  • 2 minutes: 1–2mph above steady state pace
  • 2 minutes: Steady state pace
  • 3 minutes: 1–2mph above steady state pace
  • 3 minutes: Steady state pace
  • Repeat until fatigued, always matching your steady state pace recovery with the duration of your effort.
  • 5 minutes: Cool down (walk or jog)

Want a quick workout off the tread? Try this full-body sequence from trainer Anna Victoria:

4. The RPE Run for Beginners

“Beginner runners tend to gravitate toward running workouts that lend a lot of room for breaks,” says Karli Alvino, NASM-certified personal trainer, coach at Mile High Run Club. “This following program has a lot of intervals, as well as room for improvement.” Because of this, it’s a good intro to tread workouts. FYI: RPE stands for “rate of perceived exertion,” and you can find it indicated on your tread. On a scale of 0 to 10, think of 0 as an effort equivalent to relaxing on the couch, 5 a recovery jog that’s easy enough for you to talk, and 10 your all-out sprint, explains Alvino.

Time: 38 minutes

5. The Experienced Runner’s Strides Workout

If you regularly run races and you’re familiar with your pace and exertion levels, step into this workout, stat. “The intervals begin with strides, move up and down a hill, and then progress through tough levels of exertion, ultimately culminating in two short sprint bursts,” says Alvino, who created the routine. “Strides” require you to go for a quick, fast burst with an exaggerated stride. Aim for an RPE of 6 for those intervals—just above your conversational jog.

Time: 26 minutes

6. The Advanced Runner’s Speedy Workout

You can keep this workout to just over 15 minutes or repeat a few times for a longer (and seriously sweat-inducing) program. “There’s a touch of incline as the hard work begins, and it ends with a 30-second all-out sprint,” says Alvino, who designed this workout, too.

Time: 15 minutes

7. Your Hill-Focused, Stamina-Building Workout

Strengthen your cardio endurance and improve your muscular endurance (or how long your muscles can work) with this program. “Muscular endurance allows you to perform a skill more effectively, and you achieve it through developing muscular strength at lower loads and high repetition,” says Michaela Ragaas, NASM-certified personal trainer, education and training manager at Technogym, who designed this incline workout to do just that.

Time: 30 minutes

4 minutes: Warm-up (establish comfortable pace and mix in lateral walks, high knees, and butt kicks)

HILL 1:

  • 1 minute: 3-percent incline run (comfortable pace)
  • 1 minute: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: 5-percent incline run (a step above comfortable pace)
  • 1 minute: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: 5-percent incline run (a step above comfortable pace)
  • 1 minute: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: 3-percent incline run (comfortable pace)
  • 2 minute: 1-percent incline (recovery pace)

HILL 2:

  • 90 seconds: 4-percent incline (a step above comfortable pace)
  • 30 seconds: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 90 seconds: 30percent incline (a step above comfortable pace; aim for 0.5mph higher than last incline)
  • 30 seconds: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 90 seconds: 2-percent incline (a step above comfortable pace; aim for 0.5mph higher than last incline)
  • 90 seconds: 0-percent incline active recovery walk or jog
  • 90 seconds: 1-percent incline (a step above comfortable pace)

HILL 3:

  • 1 minute: 1-percent incline (recovery speed)
  • 2 minutes: 3-percent incline (a step above comfortable pace)
  • 1 minute: 1-percent incline (recovery speed)
  • 2 minutes: 3-percent incline (a step above comfortable pace)

3:30 minutes: Cool down (walk or jog)

8. Chase That Speed And Incline Treadmill Workout

“Speed is considered one of the most fundamental components of fitness performance,” says Ragaas. To pick up your pace and build your strength, you’ll focus on both speed and inclines during this workout. Don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable!

Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 4-percent incline (think warm-up speed)
  • 1 minute: Moderate pace at 4-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Hard pace at 4-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 2-percent incline (think active recovery speed)
  • 1 minute: Moderate pace at 2-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Hard pace at 2-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 0-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Moderate pace at 0-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Hard pace at 0-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Recovery jog or walk at 0-percent incline

9. Strong Legs Treadmill Workout

Build your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves with this treadmill workout that also incorporates strength moves, created by Ragaas. Bonus: It will help improve your core stability—a key to better, faster mileage.

Time: 13 to 16 minutes

  • 4 minutes: Warm-up (jog)
  • 30 seconds: Squats (off the tread)
  • 1 minute: Walk
  • 1 minute: Walking lunges (at 3 mph or comfortable pace)
  • 30 seconds: Sprint at max speed
  • Repeat from the squats for 2–3 rounds
  • 3 minutes: 8-to-15-percent incline walk

10. The Pyramid Workout

Matthew Meyer, ACE-certified personal trainer and run coach at Mile High Run Club, likes to base his workouts (like the one below) on rate of perceived exertion (RPE), so you float through it by paying attention to how you feel. Keep in mind 1 is an easy effort and 10 means you give it all you’ve got. For this pyramid workout, in particular, warm up at a 1 to 5 RPE, go easy at a 6 to 7 RPE (a sustainable pace), and your pushes should feel challenging and leave you breathless (your 10K or 5K pace) at an 8 or 9 RPE. “This will build endurance and get you used to increasing effort,” Meyer says.

Time: 16 minutes

  • 30 seconds: Walk
  • 30 seconds: Easy (nice and comfortable)
  • 1 minute: Walk
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 90 seconds: Walk
  • 90 seconds: Easy
  • 2 minutes: Walk
  • 2 minutes: Easy
  • 90 seconds: Walk
  • 90 seconds: Easy or Push
  • 1 minute: Walk
  • 1 minute: Easy or Push
  • 30 seconds: Walk
  • 30 seconds: Easy or Push

11. The 20-Minute Hill Workout

Get comfortable with taking on inclines and pushing your pace on those hills! Meyer designed this workout to help you build up to a faster speed at higher inclines, giving you time to recover between climbs. Remember that “push pace” should leave you breathless—but it’s just below your max effort.

Time: 20 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (walk or jog)
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 1-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 2-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 4-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 1-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 4-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Easy pace at 6-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Push pace at 1-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Push pace at 3-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Push pace at 1-percent incline
  • 1 minute: Push pace at 5-percent incline
  • 2 minutes: Cool down walk or jog

12. The Fartlek Speed Play Workout

You might have heard of Fartlek workouts for a road run—you speed up from tree to tree or when a red car passes you. Well, you can mimic that same speed game on the tread. Meyer shows you how with this workout, which mixes easy intervals with pushes at an 8 or 9 RPE and hard runs at your all-out effort. Go hard, go fast, and have fun! Feel free to mix up your speed as you go.

Time: 27 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (walk or jog)
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Push
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Push
  • 2 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Push
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Push
  • 2 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Hard
  • 1 minute: Recovery walk or jog
  • 1 minute: Easy
  • 1 minute: Hard
  • 5 minutes: Cool down walk or jog

Mallory Creveling Freelance Writer Mallory Creveling, ACE-CPT, has more than 10 years of experience covering fitness, health, and nutrition.

The Most Effective Running Workouts if You Only Have 15 Minutes

Pressed for time but want to go running? These 3 short running workouts will help you get the most out of your time, even if you have only 15 minutes!

What are 15-minute running workouts good for? Benefit from a training stimulus even on days when you really have no time. These workouts help you get your heart rate up in a very short time – super efficient in only 15 minutes!

Keep in mind:

As the workouts are really intense, they require a good training base and are not a substitute for a regular running plan. Make sure your running schedule includes low intensity endurance runs as well. Check out the adidas Running app for a customized running plan!

3 running workouts you can do in 15 minutes

Grab your shoes and go…these workouts include a warm up and a cool down, so no preparation needed!

1. Interval run

How to do the interval run workout:

Warm up:

  • 5 min easy run / light jog

Intervals:

  • 6 x 30 sec intense (90%) with 30 sec pause

Cool down:

  • 4 min easy run / light jog

The main part of the workout consists of 6 intervals with 30 seconds of running/30 second pause each. The 30 seconds of running in each interval should be done at a very high intensity at a tempo that makes breathing already feel challenging, so at about 90%. The only way to go faster would be to do an all-out sprint! Learn more about interval training benefits and how to set it up in the Runtastic app.

2. Fartlek

How to do the fartlek workout:

Warm up:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

Fartlek:

  • 9 min of playing with pace and intensity based on how you feel

Cool down:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

Fartlek is a run with no predefined pace or intensity. You can run based on how you feel – just make sure to really mix it up. Believe it or not, fartlek can improve your running performance. Example: Sprint to the corner, then walk at a relaxed pace until the red car, then run up the stairs fast, etc.

3. Crescendo run

How to do the crescendo run:

Warm up:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

Crescendo:

  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜70% (fast but still breathing easily and relaxed)
  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜80% (breathing is getting harder and challenging)
  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜90% (breathing getting heavy)

Repeat for 2 rounds before moving on to…

Cool down:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

A crescendo run is made up of intervals with increasing intensity. Every time you start a new interval, think about choosing a faster pace, but remember that whichever pace you choose, you still need to be able to do it for 1 minute and 30 seconds without a break. So choose wisely to avoid having to stop and catch your breath.

As mentioned above, these short workouts will help you stay on track, but they can’t replace a balanced training plan. Make sure to include low intensity runs as well. Easiest way to plan your runs? Get a running plan in the adidas Running app!

***

When we say treadmill, do you automatically think dreadmill? We get it. The scenery is monotonous, there’s no fresh air or sunshine, and if you slog through the same workout every time, the tedium is real. But here’s the thing: With the right plan, treadmills workouts can offer much-needed variety and even a burst of motivation—no matter what time of year, but particularly as we head into another winter season.

Is the Treadmill a Good Workout?

Just ask Lisa Rainsberger, the 1985 Boston Marathon champ (and mom of current top collegiate miler Katie Rainsberger). Rainsberger swore by treadmill workouts to survive long Michigan winters growing up. “My old treadmill lasted 14 years, two marriages, and moves to four states!” she says with a laugh. She specifically credits it as an awesome tool for interval training, which science shows can boost metabolism, increase strength, and improve speed.

What’s more, treadmills allow you to literally see yourself progressing, says Jill Bishop Korn, a Washington, D.C.-based exercise physiologist. “The numbers are right there in front of you,” Korn says. “For people who like to measure, it’s a motivator.” There’s also the control factor: Treadmills allow you to train at a consistent pace (which can be hard to do outdoors), they don’t require navigating around potholes or stray branches, there’s less joint stress than with asphalt or concrete, and they’re far safer for those who want to zone out and run with music.

“Music is going to make or break that training run, so you want something that has a nice beat you can connect to,” says Hollis Tuttle, RRCA-certified running coach at Mile High Run Club. “Music at 160 to 180 beats per minute will help you maintain a nice smooth rhythm.”

How Many Minutes Should You Do on the Treadmill?

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One of the biggest complaints, of course, is boredom. To keep it at bay, Rainsberger suggests skipping super-long runs (save those for the outdoors) in favor of shorter, programmed sessions two or three times a week. Our bodies adapt quickly to new routines, says Korn, so be sure to spend at least part of your workout challenging yourself with a new speed or incline setting.

You can also turn to your Netflix queue, says Rod Wilcox, a running coach and personal trainer at Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, Washington—so long as you’re running a steady-state workout and not a grueling interval session (when you can’t afford to split your attention between safety and The Great British Baking Show). Most TV episodes conveniently last 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what genre you’re watching, so it’s the perfect excuse to pull double-duty.

Plus, today’s tech updates make it easier than ever to stay motivated: Most gym and home models offer touchscreens, built-in fitness-tracking apps, dozens of workouts designed by running pros, and settings that allow you to mimic steep hills (think 15 percent inclines) and drastic downhills (up to 3 percent). Some even sync with activity apps, or allow you to access mapping programs that simulate real-road conditions (like the NordicTrack C 990).

Whether you need to spice up an old routine or start from scratch, these four creative and engaging treadmill workouts will help you switch up your indoor training.

The 4 Best New Treadmills

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Know Your Paces for Your Treadmill Workouts

Before you get started, dial in your pace. “Easy pace means you can hold a conversation,” says Wilcox. For a fast pace, you can say a word or two, but not a complete sentence. All-out pace is a sprint: You can’t talk, and can only sustain your speed for 30 seconds to a minute. Recovery pace is between easy and fast: You can talk, but don’t really want to.

The Ultimate Treadmill Workout to Increase Speed

This workout was created by Lisa Rainsberger, founder of Training Goals, Colorado Springs. It’s a classic “3-2-1” speed session for a total of 34 minutes. Intermediate runners: Increase the warmup and cooldown to 10 minutes each for a 44-minute run. Advanced runners: Increase the warmup and cooldown, and repeat the 3-2-1 fast/recovery block a third time for a 56-minute run.

Erin Benner

The Ultimate Treadmill Workout to Build Strength

This workout was created by Michael Piermarini, director of fitness for Orangetheory Fitness. The key to building strength: hills on hills on hills. Prepare to crank up the incline on this one for a total of 28 minutes.

Erin Benner

The Ultimate Treadmill Workout to Burn Fat

This workout was created by Matt Nolan, master instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. It’s a classic speed intervals workout designed for intermediate to advanced runners for a total of 50 minutes.

Erin Benner

The Ultimate Workout to Charge Up Hills

This workout was created by Hollis Tuttle, RRCA-certified running coach at Mile High Run Club. It’s a 45-minute hill workout designed to simulate running up a hill while building a strong stride. “Hill workouts are speedwork in disguise,” Tuttle says.

Erin Benner

Frequently Asked Treadmill Questions

Do I really need to set my incline at 1 percent?
Honestly, the jury’s still out. A 1996 study found that doing so mimics the resistance of flat outdoor running only for those running 7:09 pace or faster, but many pros are chill about their settings. Of course, the higher the incline, the more challenging the workout, so choose what works for you. (Crank it up if you need hill training indoors—5 percent and higher.)

Should I try racing a neighbor?
No matter how tempting it is to see how fast the treadmill runner next to you is moving (we know, the pull of competition is fierce), don’t go there. You may start moving too fast—or slow—and that just leads to frustration. Plus, adds Wilcox, “You wind up doing somebody else’s workout, not yours.”

Should I try a built-in workout?
Today’s treads offer tons of preprogrammed options—intervals, rolling hills, even military-style fitness tests. “Each has some value because it introduces variety,” says Wilcox. Use them to get new ideas, or to take advantage of that built-in virtual coach when you need inspiration to work a little harder.

Can I lose weight on a treadmill?
Just like running outside, you can log your miles on a treadmill to shed unwanted pounds (or keep them off). However, it’s important to keep in mind that other factors play a role in weight loss, too, such as a healthy diet, strength training, and getting enough sleep. Some studies have also shown that when you run can play a role in weight loss as well.

Jordan Smith Digital Editor Her love of all things outdoors came from growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and her passion for running was sparked by local elementary school cross-country meets.

Try This 45-Minute Treadmill Workout Video to Build Your Endurance

Who says running on a treadmill has to be boring? If cardio machines feel like detention to you (or if you’re forced to do your long run on the treadmill), but you still want to get your heart pumping, then this 45-minute treadmill workout video will be your savior.

The endurance-boosting workout, recorded live at MyStryde running studio in Boston, will have you sweating puddles just watching it. It starts with a warm-up, where you’ll power walk or jog (if you’re already feeling pumped) at a 2 percent incline. From there, it’s divided into three parts: a gentle incline, a steeper hill, and (of course) sprints. You can play this video as you do the workout-don’t worry, the music and the trainer are equally motivating-or follow along with the interval guide below if you want to jam to your own playlist. (Just be careful not to make these treadmill workout mistakes.)

Want more treadmill workouts? This class (created by Rebecca Skudder, founder of MyStryde, and led by trainer Erin O’Hara) and many others can be streamed live or on-demand on the streaming platform Fortë. (You can try this MyStryde 15-minute treadmill speed workout, too.)

Stryde Guide

  • Level 1: Walk or easy warm-up pace
  • Level 2: Comfortable jog (you can carry on a conversation)
  • Level 3: Happy pace
  • Level 4: Push pace
  • Level 5: Sprint or maximum speed

45-Minute Treadmill Workout Video

Warm-up: Start on a 1.0 percent incline. For 1.5 minutes, walk or easy jog on the treadmill. For the next 3 minutes, increase speed four times (every 20 seconds by .2 or .3) until you’re at a low level 3 or 4. Recover for 1 minute before starting the intervals.

Gentle Inclines:

  • 30 seconds: Level 2 speed on a 1.0 percent incline
  • 30 seconds: Level 2 speed on a 2.0 percent incline
  • 30 seconds: Level 2 speed on a 3.0 percent incline

Repeat 3 times. Then recover for 2 minutes at level 1 or 2.

Steep Climb:

  • 1 minute: Level 2 pace on a 3.0 percent incline
  • 45 seconds: Level 3 or 4 on a 4.0 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Level 2 on a 3.0 percent incline
  • 45 seconds: Level 3 or 4 on a 5.0 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Level 2 on a 3.0 percent incline
  • 45 seconds: Level 3 or 4 on a 6.0 percent incline
  • 1 minute: Level 2 on a 3.0 percent incline
  • 45 seconds: Level 3 or 4 on a 7.0 percent incline

Recover for 3 minutes at level 1 or 2.

Sprints (no incline):

  • 1 minute: Level 4
  • 30 seconds: Hop on the sides of treadmill or decrease speed

Repeat once more, then recover for 1 minute at level 1 or 2.

  • 45 seconds: Level 4
  • 30 seconds: Hop on the sides of treadmill or decrease speed

Repeat once more, then recover for 1 minute at level 1 or 2.

  • 30 seconds: Level 4 or level 5
  • 30 seconds: Hop on the sides of treadmill or decrease speed

Repeat once more, then recover for 1 minute at level 1 or 2.

  • 45 seconds: Level 4 or level 5
  • 30 seconds: Hop on the sides of treadmill or decrease speed
  • 45 seconds: Level 4 or level 5

Recover for 1.5 minutes.

  • 30 seconds: Level 5
  • 30 seconds: Hop on the sides of treadmill or speed down

Repeat the final level 5 sprint 3 times total, then cool down.

Cooldown: Return to recovery pace (level 1 or 2) for 2 minutes. Finish with these essential post-run stretches.

While there’s nothing quite like running outdoors, unruly weather sometimes makes it impossible. For those rainy or blustery days, there’s the trusty treadmill. Whether you’re a beginner runner or have a few marathons under your belt, we’ve got a running workout for you. From a run that mimics going up and down San Francisco hills to another that has you ascending a mountain, you’ll swear you’re actually running outside.

  • Getting started: If you’re new to running, then try our 40-minute beginner treadmill workout. The workout combines walking and running to get your heart rate up while also priming your body for distance and speed. If you feel like the workout is too easy or hard, then play around with the speed, but be sure to give your body time to adjust to the physical demands of running for the first time. Once you’re ready, try out our 300-calorie workout, or if you need something a bit shorter, try our 30-minute beginner treadmill workout.
  • Walk-jog workout: Once you’re feeling a bit more comfortable on the treadmill, give this workout that mixes walking and jogging a chance. The 60-minute workout alternates between walking briskly, jogging, and running slowly; plan to burn around 300 calories. If you’re in a rush, this 42-minute version will put you to work.
  • Switch to sprints: Once you feel like you’ve mastered the walk and jog combination, try stepping up the pace. This 30-minute interval workout is a great way to start increasing your speed. Mix up your routine with a sprinting and walking workout to help boost your endurance. Then, once you’re ready for a tough challenge, give this 60-minute interval workout a try.
  • Sweat like a celebrity: This 30-minute treadmill workout from celeb favorite Barry’s Bootcamp is full of intervals, hill work, and sprints, which will challenge both your endurance and your speed. Or give the 25-minute version a try. In short: these workouts are anything but boring. Get ready to push it.
  • Pyramid intervals: Keep boredom at bay with this 30-minute pyramid interval treadmill workout. By changing your running speed every minute, you’ll also be winning the war against weight gain. Have more time to spare? Up the ante with our 45-minute pyramid interval treadmill workout. If you have even less time to spare, you’ll love the challenge of this intense 25-minute pyramid interval workout; designed by a running coach, it will help you become a faster runner.
  • Get in, get out: If you’re short on time but still want to get in a solid run, then give this 20-minute treadmill workout a chance. Not only will you play with speed, but the incline also gradually increases, which means you’ll get a challenging workout in under 30 minutes!

  • Work your way up the ladder: Push your endurance, raise your heart rate, and rev your metabolism with this interval workout, or try this 40-minute version. This ladder run, with the speed intervals increasing in duration as the workout progresses, is just the thing if you’re looking for an extreme challenge!
  • The 500-calorie workout: If you can find about 60 minutes in your day to do this high-interval treadmill workout, then you’ll burn about 500 calories. Do it four times a week, and you’re already down half a pound.
  • Climb a hill: This treadmill hill workout will show you what it’s really like to run in San Francisco. After doing the incline variations in this workout, running flats will seem like a breeze. If you prefer to walk up a hill, give this treadmill incline workout a try.
  • Go for a hike: Even if you can’t make it to Yosemite, this treadmill hike workout will mimic what it’s like to be in the great outdoors. The 45-minute workout involves walking and jogging up steep inclines, so you’ll strengthen your quads and work your butt. If you’re in a hurry, try this 20-minute version instead.
  • Graduate to a mountain: Once you’ve hiked up some hills, why not try for a mountain ascent? This treadmill mountain climb mixes a brisk walking speed with steep inclines.
  • Build strength: The treadmill doesn’t have to be just about running. This 60-minute workout alternates between intervals on the treadmill and classic strength-training moves. This 45-minute plan starts on the treadmill and then finishes off with 15 minutes of strength training.
  • Blast fat: Intervals are one of the best ways to fight stubborn belly fat. Say goodbye to your muffin top with this 45-minute treadmill interval workout. You’ll run your heart out and walk out with 421 fewer calories than you came in with! And just so you don’t get bored, we’re throwing in a fat-fry interval-mashup treadmill run. This butt-toning interval workout will help you burn up to 400 calories in less than 45 minutes.
  • Do double duty: Sometimes you need to mix things up. If you’re just feeling bored on the machines, then try this two-cardio-machine workout that utilizes both the elliptical and the treadmill.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchat

Five Treadmill Apps That Don’t Suck

Slogging along on the device of torture and misery that is the treadmill is hard to make fun unless you’re a masochist. But if you’re training for an upcoming race, snow, sleet, rain, and hail make outdoor running difficult; don’t lose hope. Thanks to developments in technology, treadmill apps are working to make your next run passable, if not fun. Plus, a handful of them provide coaching, meaning interval and tempo workouts are definitely possible. The more of those you do, the more your fast-twitch muscle fibers flex, meaning you can work on improving your speed. So, if the weather dictates an indoor run, download one of these apps and see how quickly those miles fly by.

Aaptiv

Aaptiv is the easiest way to workout with just your phone. While the app offers workouts for all gym machines, the treadmill options are particularly of note — especially when you need to get in some speed training. Aaptiv works hard to find top trainers who select upbeat tunes to keep you going through intervals. It’s $15 a month, but you get your first 30-days free.

Nike+ Run Club

Nike outfits top runners like Shalane Flanagan and Eliud Kipchoge, and they also make it easy to access a run with both of them, plus other Nike athletes and superstars (think Simone Biles, Kevin Hart, Mo Farah and more). You’ll first have to download each workout, which takes roughly 5 to 10 seconds depending on your connection, and then hit start. Link up your Spotify or Apple Music to listen, and easily change the music throughout. In the app, scroll through the options to preview the type of run (speed, recovery or long) and a duration. Then get ready for a lot of conversation. Coach Blue Bennett, a Nike Run Coach, provides you with suggestions on how hard or how fast you should go, so it’s a good idea to know what your 5k, 10k, marathon and recovery paces are.

Studio

Group treadmill classes are all the rage these days — but if you don’t live in New York, they’re pretty hard to find. The Studio app wants to change that. Open it up to scroll through a variety of classes, or add a custom search like a 30-minute, intermediate interval run with 90s music. You can also narrow your search by instructor once you find one you jive with. Using Apple Health, Studio can track your heart rate and provide you with feedback on a leaderboard. It currently only works with an Apple Watch, but you can run untracked and still get the same workout — just without the competition. In these workouts, the instructor provides you with exact treadmill speeds and inclines, so you don’t have to know what your race day pace is.

Zwift

Zwift, the indoor cycling fitness platform that made stationary training exciting, expanded into running earlier this year. The interface and graphics are similar — it’s an extremely interactive course that lets you run with people from all over the world. Pick a run type and route, tweak the pace guidelines and then Zwift will plop a virtual you onto a ‘volcano climb’ and tell you what to touch on the treadmill. While it’ll feel more immersive on a larger screen, testing on an iPhone worked just swimmingly.

One note: To get started, the app requires a connection to a heart rate monitor, cadence tracker and a speed tracker (like an Apple Watch or STRYD). There are a number of smart treadmills and footpods that work with Zwift, as well as Bluetooth enabled sneakers.

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Treadmill Trails

Each 30-minute video takes you on a virtual reality tour of trails around the world, like the Appalachian, Big Sur, Camino De Santiago and even Central Park. While there’s not much coaching involved here, if you’re looking for a way to purely distract yourself, this is it. The download of each video takes anywhere from five to 15 minutes, which can be a pain, but you’ll never have to download it again. Stream your own music in the background, or listen to the narrator’s reminders to drink water, speed up and slow down.

Meg Lappe

Meg Lappe is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Coordinator, handling strategy across our digital, print, video and social teams. She can typically be found running around.

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