The 20-Minute Treadmill Workout That Torches Fat

Next time you’re at the gym, replace your usual “fat-burner” session on the elliptical with this routine. Full of speed and incline changes, the workout, created by Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer, co-founders of the Shred415 fitness studios, puts you through your high-intensity-interval paces, which research shows helps to burn more fat both right under your skin and in the hard-to-melt abdominal area. (Don’t worry–there are rest periods built in too.)
Walkers should stay closer to the lower ends of the speed range, while runners should work toward the higher ends. (Use this tricktuszqcexswfqrvtaub to toggle between speeds so you don’t waste time pressing the speed-up and speed-down buttons over and over). Regardless of whether you’re running or walking (or doing a mix of both), remember these form tips from Micheli and Roemer: Keep your head directly over your shoulders, instead of jutting it forward; squeeze your lower abs to keep your lower back from arching or rounding; relax your upper body (shoulders should be down, not up by your ears); and keep your arms bent at 90 degrees.
3-Minute Warm Up
1 minute – Your speed should be between 3 mph and 5.5 mph and incline at zero.
Breathing shouldn’t be hard at all right now.
1 minute – Stay at zero incline, but increase your speed by .1 or .2 mph.
1 minute – Bump up your speed by another .1 or .2 mph, while keeping your incline at zero.
1-Minute Recovery – Set your speed between 2 and 3 mph. You should be walking slowly enough to catch your breath.
4-Minute Rolling Hill Walk or Run
1 minute – Set your incline at 4 percent and your speed between 3.2 mph and 6 mph.
This should feel challenging.
1 minute – Bring the incline back to zero, but increase your pace by .1 or .2 mph.
1 minute – Raise the incline back to 4 percent while holding your faster pace.
Shortening your strides will help you handle the incline.
1 minute – Bring the incline back to zero, but increase your pace by another .1 or .2 mph.
1-Minute Recovery
5-Minute Rolling Hill Walk or Run
1 minute – Set your speed between 3.2 mph and 6 mph with zero incline.
1 minute – Raise your incline to 10 percent and bring your speed down to between 2.5 and 4 mph. Pump your arms faster to help you get up the hill.
1 minute – Lower the incline back to zero and increase your speed to between 3.4 and 6.5 mph.
1 minute – Raise your incline to 10 percent and bring your speed down to between 2.5 and 4 mph.
1 minute – Set the incline back at zero and increase your speed to between 3.5 and 6.7 mph.
1-Minute Recovery
4-Minute Flat Push
1 minute – Start with zero incline and speed between 3.2 mph and 6 mph.
1 minute – Bring your speed up to between 3.7 and 7 mph, keeping the incline at zero.
1 minute – Recover at between 2 and 3 mph.
1 minute – Get your speed up to between 4 and 7.5 mph–your fastest speed of the workout.
1-Minute Recovery/Cool Down

Blend Images/Getty Images; Graphic by Margaret Flatley

If your go-to treadmill routine just isn’t making you work for it quite like it used to, you’ve come to the right place—this 20 minute treadmill workout is the challenge your body is ready for. Created for SELF by Shred415 founders Tracy Roemer and Bonnie Micheli, this advanced routine relies on increasingly steep hills to get your heart pumping and your legs burning. So even if you’re a regular runner, this workout will challenge your body in new (and very sweaty) ways.

Mixing up your running routine is an important component of building endurance—how long you can train without losing steam—and improving your speed. So while steady-state cardio absolutely has a place in your fitness routine, you’ll also want to incorporate runs that play with tempos, intervals, and inclines to keep your body continually challenged. Intervals are great because they’ll help you build cardiovascular endurance by helping to increase your VO2 max, without extending the amount of time you spend running on the treadmill. Faster miles, more endurance, and less time on the treadmill? Win-win-win.

Here’s what to expect with this 20 minute treadmill workout: “Work your way up and over the hill with two-minute increments. You’ll vary your speed as you go and then work your way back down the other side,” the Shred415 team says. “You will top off your incline at eight percent.”

Are your legs burning yet? Don’t worry—you’ve totally got this. Here’s how to do this advanced treadmill workout.

20-Minute Hill Interval Treadmill Workout Graphic by Margaret Flatley

Ready for more? Try one of these four fat-burning treadmill interval workouts during your next gym session. You can also try this abs workout designed to make you a more efficient runner—there’s no equipment required, and it’s all about that core.

You may also like: An 8-Minute Cardio Boot Camp Workout You Can Do At Home

Here is a 30-day running challenge to help you instill the habit of running into your life and help do it the right way—even if you are a beginner, and been running these last weeks or months sparingly.

So regardless of your current fitness level, your backgrounds, and your age, the program is your perfect opportunity to start taking control over your health and start getting into the best shape of your life.

I know I know. You are a skeptic and you know that this is much easier said than done. But keep in mind that consistency is the secret to building and keeping excellent fitness. And this 30-day running challenge is all about ensuring that you achieve a high level of consistency, even when all the odds are stacked up against you.

So are you excited? Then here we go.

The running plan I’m sharing with you today uses a mix of the Couch to 5K method and some of my favorite beginner running training guidelines and training tips.

Just make sure to have a stopwatch to keep tabs on your session and to listen to your body the entire time.

Be Careful

I hate to sound to sound like a broken record, but as I always say, you should always stay within your fitness level—especially if you are starting out.

Your motto should be to get fit without getting hurt. Otherwise, if you are not going to heed this ol’ golden advice, then you are better off to stop reading this now and go do something else.

So please, feel free to adjust this training schedule and adapt to your needs and training program. Nothing is written in stone here.

Keep in mind that runners are not made overnight. Au contraire my friend, it takes longs months of training for the body to build endurance and get used to the high impact nature of running.

The 30-Day Running Challenge You Need To Try

If you always wanted to make running part of your life, then here is the 4-week plan to get you running for at least 30 to 40 minutes straight per session.

The plan is divided into four weeks. Each week has a set of three specific workouts you need to do. Make sure to begin each session with a proper warm-up, and wrap it up with a decent cool-down. Basic advice here man.

On your recovery days, I recommend that you cross train and work your body in other ways by doing different forms of cardio, such as biking or swimming; you can also hit the weight room and do some resistance training. Nonetheless, if you prefer low impact exercise, then enroll in a yoga class to reap the strength and flexibility benefits that come with.

Week One

During your first week of this challenge, make sure to start where you are at, not where you want to go.

During this week, make sure not to do too much and stay within your fitness level. The main purpose of the schedule below is to give you an idea on how to proceed, and it’s not written in stone. So feel free to adjust it as you feel fit.

If you are a complete beginner, then I recommend that you start off with a 3:1 ratios—meaning that you walk for 3 minutes after every one-minute jog interval. If you feel confident, then opt for a 2:1 or 1:1 ratios.

As long as you are doing what’s best for you and staying within your fitness level. You are in a good place.

Tip: Pre-Run Meal

Fuel up for your workouts by having a small snack, such as a piece of fruit, like a banana or an apple, or an energy bar, roughly one to two hours before heading out of the door. Plus, make sure also to drink plenty of water, especially before and immediately following your run.

Day 1: After a 10-minute brisk walk warm-up, complete 8 to 10 cycles of 1-minute jog interspersed with 2-minute of walking for recovery. Finish off the session with a 5-minute walk.

Day 2: Cross-train or rest

Day 3: Repeat Workout I.

Day 4: Cross-train or rest

Day5: after a warm-up, perform 7 to 8 cycles of one minute to 90 seconds jogs and one-minute to 90 seconds walking breaks.

Day 6 & 7: Take a couple of days off at the end of every week to allow your body to recover. Go out, watch a movie, see some friends, or stay home and Netflix all day long.

Week Two

During this week, running should feel a bit easier than before. So if you are feeling that way, then it’s time to crank up the intensity by increasing the time spent running, and taking less and less for recovery. But if it’s not so, then repeat Week One workouts to the letter, and only progress with the plan after you feel confident enough about your fitness level.

The key here is maintaining your consistency even if your results suck big time.

Tip: Practice Proper Breathing

During this week, pay particular attention to your breathing rhythm, and do your best to stay at a conversational pace—meaning that you can run and hold a conversation without much effort. If you are huffing and puffing, gasping for air with every step you take, then you are doing it too much and need to scale it down a bit.

Here are the workouts:

Day 8: After a decent warm-up, perform 6 to 8 cycles of two minutes jogs, and 30-seconds breaks.

Day 9: cross train

Day 10: Repeat Day 8 Workout, aiming for at least 8 cycles.

Day 11: Cross Train

Day 12: after a warm-up, perform 6 cycles of 3 minutes jogging, interspersed with 30-second of walking breaks.

Day 13 & 14: Rest completely.

Week Three

Congratulations if you have made it so far. Week 3 is going to be the hardest because this when resistance starts to set in when it comes to building your running habit. Therefore, what you need to do here to keep moving no matter what.

So do your best to stay on track. Even if you couldn’t run, then make sure at least to for a walk or cross train instead.

Tip: Running Form

During this week, pay extra attention to your running form and make sure to develop the right mechanics from the get-go. Try to keep your body relaxed the entire time—especially your fists, shoulders, neck and face, run as tall as you can—by keeping your back straight and core engaged.

Plus, keep your stride smooth and relatively short—by making sure to land under the center of gravity of your body.

Here are the workouts:

Day 15: After the warm-up, run for four minutes, recover for one minute, then run for five minutes, recovery for one minute, then for six minutes, and finish off your workout with a 10-minute brisk walk as a cool down.

Day 16: Cross Train

Day 17: after a 10-minute brisk walk warm-up, run for five minutes, recover for 30 seconds, run for six minutes, recovery for one minute, then run for seven minutes, and finish off your workout with a 10-minute brisk walk.

Day 18: Cross train.

Day 19: After a warm-up, run for six minutes, recover for one minute, then run for seven minutes, recover for one minute, then run for eight minutes, and finish off your workout with a 10-minute brisk walk cool down.

Days 20 & 21: Rest

Week Four

This is the last week of this 30-day challenge and this is when the rubber meets the road.

Please if you feel like you are doing too much during this week, then feel free to scale it down. Keep in mind that you can always repeat week 3 or week 2 if you feel like you have to.

Nothing is written in stone here. Use your body and your comfort level as the ultimate gauging tools. I don’t know what’s best for you, but you surely do, if you only listen to your body and adjust your training accordingly.

Tip: Practice recovery

If you are experiencing any aches or pains both during and after you workout, then it’s time to be more diligent with your recovery.

Post-run pains and aches might be a sign that you are pushing too much. Therefore, in such case, you need to back up a bit and give your body the time it needs to recover and adapt, so you will be able to keep improving without injury.

So if you feel like you need a rest day, then simply go for a 30-minute brisk walk to get your body moving. Just don’t sit around the whole day. During your training days, you need to be moving, mate.

Here are the workouts:

Day 22: After the warm-up, run for eight minutes, rest for one minute, then run for seven minutes, rest one minute, then run for six minutes, and finish off with a cool down.

Day 23: Cross Train

Day 24: After the warm-up, run for 10 minutes, recover for one minute, run for 8 minutes, recover for one, run for six minutes, and finish off with a cool down.

Day 25: Cross Train

Day 26: Run for 12 minutes, recover for one minute, run for 10 minutes, recover for one minute, then run for 8 minutes, and finish off with a cool down.

Days 27 & 28 and 29: Rest

Day 30 – The End of the Running Challenge

This is the last day of this challenge, so make sure to end it on a high note.

Here is the workout you need to do. I know it’s quite challenging but do your best here. After four weeks of the walk-run method, I feel like you have already built a good base.

After a 10-minute brisk walk warm-up, start picking up the pace and jog slowly for 15 to 20 minutes non-stop. Make sure to keep a conversational pace throughout the workout. If you are huffing and puffing, stop, recover and go at it again.

Finish the workout with a 5-minute walk to bring your heart rate down and recover.

And that’s it, folks.

Beyond the 30-day challenge

Completing this 30-day beginner running challenge is just the first step. Now you need to up the ante and do more if you are serious about improving and reaching your full running potential.

For that, here a few running workouts to try out.

Hopefully, by now you have built the habit of running into your life and you are willing to expand on it.

So, please feel free to do so and make sure to increase your running time from one week to the next—as long as you are doing in a gradual manner and staying within you fitness level, you are on the right path.

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.

30-Day Running Challenge: Run Your First or Fastest Mile

There’s no better feeling than setting a goal, working toward it and achieving or exceeding your expectations, especially if you’re a newbie runner.

Running can be intimidating. It’s hard, it can hurt, and it’s nonstop. But, with the right training plan and support, you can run with ease. Follow this month-long training guide and before you know it you’ll run a complete mile.

Whether you’re a first time or avid runner, you can always work on speed and endurance. This 30-day running challenge includes a series of progressive runs where you push your intensity and gradually increase speed and endurance. After 30 days, you should be able to run a complete mile without stopping or knock one out faster than ever before.

More: The Newbie Runner Diaries: I Hate Running
How? It’s fairly straightforward. On day one, test your current mile pace to get a benchmark for the challenge. Then about four days a week for the next 28 days, perform a 30- to 40-minute workout with alternating intensities. Gradually increase the intensity from walking to jogging.

If you’re already a runner, start with an easy jog and alternate with harder/faster runs for the defined interval times. Throughout the challenge, you’ll have longer intervals of high-intensity work and shorter periods of recovery. On day 30, perform the same mile-pace test as you did on day one. You should see some time taken off of you pace.

More: What Is Easy Running Pace and When Does It Become Easier?

Your 30-Day Running Challenge Training Plan

Interval Days

Walk or run the designated interval time. For example on day 2, you will walk or jog for 9 minutes and then push yourself to jog or run harder for 1 minute. Repeat the interval 2 to 3 times. As the challenge progresses, your walk/jog minutes decrease as you increase the amount of time you push yourself to jog or run harder. Warm up for five minutes; complete the interval workout, and then cool down for five minutes. Make sure to stretch afterward to avoid injuries.

More: 4 Must-Do Post-Workout Quad Stretches

The best gear for beginners:

Garmin Forerunner 235 Garmin £153.95 Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Nike £104.95 Mpow Running Armband Mpow £6.99 Mpow Wireless Headphones Bluetooth Mpow £20.99 Hilly Marathon Fresh Sock £12.00 Nike Womens Swoosh Sports Bra Nike £26.95

Sneak in activity: Take 15 minutes of your lunch break to walk the office corridors; set an alarm every hour to remind you to get up. A study in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found taking a five-minute walk break once an hour burns 132kcal over an eight-hour day.

Find your place: Map out a few safe, scenic, traffic-free routes that you can cover in various weather conditions and times of day.

Find your pace: When you first start running, the trick is to be consistent enough to build strength and endurance, but slow enough that you don’t get injured. So, do all of your training at an easy pace. Get into a rhythm that feels like you could maintain it for ever. ‘A lot of runners try to run too fast, because they feel like they’re not a runner unless they go at X pace,’ says coach Jeff Gaudette. ‘Your pace needs to be comfortable. If you run faster than you should, it’s going to hurt all the time and you’ll never get to a point where you can do it for 30 minutes.’ Develop the endurance; speed will come later.

Stay flexible: It is OK to split workouts into two or three sessions at first. Studies have shown that three 10-minute exercise sessions deliver the same health boost as a single 30-minute workout, says Blair.

Log your miles: Use a trusty notebook and pencil, or go tech with a GPS – either way you’ll draw confidence from watching the miles rack up. The Garmin Forerunner 35 is affordable and has a run-walk timer.

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Running Watch Garmin £82.99

Take your pulse: Take your resting heartrate for one minute first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed. As you get fitter, you’ll get the motivational boost of seeing your resting heartrate get lower as your heart gets stronger. ‘This shows you that your body is responding to the training,’ says exercise physiologist Susan Paul.

Practise patience: Many of the positive changes that are happening to your body won’t yet be visible in the mirror or on the scales, but don’t panic. ‘Trust that the weight loss will come, and be aware that it takes time to condition your muscles, ligaments and tendons,’ says Paul.

A beginner’s guide

If you dread the tread, check out these six routines that will help you outrun boredom and get better results than ever.

Turn Up Your Tempo
Set the incline to 1 percent and warm up with 10 minutes of easy running. Then set the pace 2 minutes faster than your easy running pace—say 8 minutes per mile if you usually run 10-minute miles for a long, easy run.

Go at that tempo for 3 to 4 minutes, and then walk for 3 to 4 minutes. That’s one round; do 3 to 5 total rounds.

“This is a maximum aerobic effort that helps you push your easy pace,” says Rich Agnello, C.S.C.S., a coach for the New York-New Jersey Track Club and Next Level Sports & Fitness Training.

Related: THE 21-DAY METASHRED—an At-Home Body-Shredding Program From Men’s Health That Strips Away Fat and Reveals Hard Muscle

Progression Run
Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of easy running. Then set the incline at 1 percent and start running at a 5 miles-per-hour pace.

Increase the speed 0.2 mph every minute until you completely fatigue.

“This workout will systematically and incrementally increase an athlete’s lactate threshold,” says Andrew Kastor, head coach for Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth, California. “It will also develop mental patience and boost VO2 Max.”

Half-Mile Intervals
Warm up with 15 to 20 minutes of easy running. Then run a half-mile at 75 percent of your hardest effort. When you hit the half-mile mark, slow to a jog for 200 meters. That’s one round; do 6 to 8 total rounds.

“By not fully recovering between repeats you still improve your ability to run fast, but also ensure you have the aerobic strength and support to maintain goal pace on race day,” says Jeff Gaudette, head coach at

Related: 5 Best Cardio Machines on the Planet

The Horrible Hill Workout
Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running. Begin your workout by setting the incline to 8 percent and sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then lower the incline to 5 percent and walk for 30 seconds. After walking, sprint for 90 seconds at your 10K pace, then walk for 2 minutes. That’s one round; do 6 to 9 total rounds.

“This workout challenges your anaerobic and neuromuscular system while also helping build strength with the long hill repeat,” says Gaudette.

(Want better form, speed, and endurance? Learn How to Run Hills.)

Commercial Repeats
This one requires a television to be in front of you. Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running.

Every time a commercial comes on during a show or game you’re watching, run 1 ½ to 2 minutes per mile faster than your warm-up pace until the regular program returns. Do this until completely fatigued.

“It’s a killer toward the end of a close basketball game,” says Budd Coates, a four-time qualifier for the Olympic Marathon trials and special contributor to Runner’s World magazine.

Progressive Intervals
Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running. Start the treadmill at 7 miles per hour on a 1 percent incline and run 60 seconds at that pace.

Then lower the speed to an easy pace and take a 60 second break. Bump up the speed to 7.5 mph and repeat this 60 seconds of running with a 60-second break while increasing the speed by 0.5 mph after each break.

Once you can’t hold that faster speed for the full 60 seconds, drop the interval down to 30 seconds of running with 60 seconds of rest until you can’t go anymore.

“As the workout progresses, you carry more and more fatigue into the next interval,” says Steve Magness, head cross country coach at the University of Houston and professional running trainer. “It’s a great workout that gives you bang for your buck on the aerobic and anaerobic side of the coin.”

Brian Dalek Director of Content Operations, Runner’s World & Bicycling Brian has spent the last 10 years focused on creating compelling news, health, and fitness content—with a particular interest on enthusiast activities like running and cycling.

Bored to tears by that steady-state cardio? It’s time to mix up your treadmill routine. Whether you’ve got five minutes or 40, these treadmill workouts will break you out of any running rut and jumpstart weight loss with super-efficient intervals, if that’s a specific health and fitness goal you have.

Created for SELF by Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer, the founders of >Shred415, these routines incorporate challenging speed work, leg-burning inclines, and major creativity. Intense interval training routines are key for fat loss, because working out at high intensities creates an afterburn effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). That means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you hit the stop button as your body works restore its oxygen levels and return to its natural resting state.

If you can’t get to Chicago or St. Louis to try Micheli and Roemer’s cardio-meets-strength training class for yourself, put their workouts to work in your own gym. Here are five of their best treadmill workouts for weight loss:

triloks/Getty Images; Graphic by Margaret Flatley

If you’re just getting into fitness, a treadmill interval workout is a great way to start working on your cardio (especially when the weather isn’t outdoor-run friendly). But just hopping on and hitting “start” isn’t taking advantage of all the treadmill has to offer. By varying speeds and inclines in thoughtful ways, you can be more effective and efficient at improving your endurance and burning calories, as opposed to a flat jog at a constant pace.

By changing up these variables, you can alternate between periods of harder and easier work, which is known as interval training. This may sound intimidating if your mind jumps to Everest-worthy inclines or borderline-falling-off speeds, but interval training doesn’t always mean max effort. There are more relaxed interval routines that are designed to get your body comfortable with working out as you improve your fitness level.

This one, designed for SELF by Shred415 founders Tracy Roemer and Bonnie Micheli, is a great place to start. “This 10-minute interval workout is great if you are new to treadmill routines, and will ease you into interval work,” they explain. “Begin with a fast walk on a flat road, alternating with a slower walk on an incline,” they tell SELF.

Once you get comfortable with this simple routine, you can add different speed and time challenges. “As you build strength and endurance, take the flat-road minute at a jog,” they suggest. “Once you master the 10-minute routine you can push your speed even more, or repeat it for a 20-minute interval challenge.” (You can also move onto one of these other five interval treadmill workouts that Roemer and Micheli created for SELF.)

Try this newbie-friendly treadmill interval workout and watch yourself improve every time you do it–then, up the ante by adding in new challenges.

10-Minute Beginner-Friendly Treadmill Workout Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

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What’s a Good Treadmill Workout for Beginners?

A treadmill is a great way to start working out if you haven’t been. It’s a low-stress alternative to running outside. Need help setting a pace and sticking to it? A treadmill can cover that while you get used to it. Want to start working a few short miles into your gym workouts? Treadmills are a convenient option. Crunched for time? Run safely at any hour on a treadmill. Self-conscious about your running, and are avoiding it for that reason? A treadmill in your house offers a chance to workout in private. Plus, if it’s cold outside, you’ll be a lot more comfortable inside on the treadmill.

In short, there is no single best treadmill workout for beginners. There are a variety of different workouts that are well-suited to beginners, from sprints and pyramid intervals to incline and hill training. We’ll cover some of the best treadmill workouts if you’re a beginner.

No matter what your goal is or how much time you have to work out, we’ll mention a good treadmill workout for you. Try to do some of these workouts three times a week. You just might find yourself becoming a runner!

Simple and Basic

These first three workouts are super-simple, and get your blood pumping without pushing you too hard for too long.

Workout #1

If you’re looking for a simple 30-minute beginner treadmill workout, this basic program by Runner’s Blueprint is the one for you. This run/walk workout will help you as you transition to running, or just give you a good workout if you’re not looking to do more than a very easy pace.

0 to 10 Minutes: The Warm-Up (Walk at a 1.5 to 2 mph speed)
10 to 12 Minutes: 2 Minutes of Easy Running (say, 15:00 per mile pace)
12 to 15 Minutes: 3 Minutes of Walking (Slow your pace down)
15 to 18 Minutes: 3 Minutes of Easy Running (15:00 per mile pace)
18 to 21 Minutes: 3 Minutes of Walking (Slow your pace down)
21 to 25 Minutes: 4 Minutes of Easy Running (12:00-15:00 per mile pace)
25 to 30 Minutes: The Cool Down (Walk at a 1.5 mph speed)

Workout #2

A simpler alternative is to warm up with a five-minute walk at a comfortable pace. Run easy for 15 minutes at a pace that allows you to talk conversationally. If you are breathing too hard to talk in sentences, you are running too hard. End your workout with a five-minute cool down.

Workout #3

If you’re looking for something a little longer, try this 40-minute beginner treadmill workout from Popsugar. Keep your incline at 1.0 to avoid shin splints, and use the following plan.

Interval Training

Interval workouts are great for getting an intense, fat-burning, fitness-producing workout in a short amount of time. For those short on time, these are the best types of workouts to do. If you happen to own or have access to a manual treadmill, you’ll get an even more intense workout.

Interval workout #1

In order to use this plan, you’ll need to know your perceived levels of exertion based on a simple, 1 – 10 scale. You’re going to want to stay between Level 3—I’m comfortable, but I’m breathing a little harder—and Level 6—I can still talk, but I am slightly breathless. It will take you 21 minutes to complete this interval training workout.

Interval Workout #2

Another simpler option is to warm up for five minutes at a casual walking pace, run easy for three minutes, walk for one minute, and cool down with a five-minute walk. If you’re short on time, this 14-minute mini-workout is a great quick way to break a sweat.

Interval Workout #3

If you’re looking for a little variety and want to spice up your cardio and target your belly fat, try a 30-minute pyramid interval workout from Popsugar. If you are not familiar with pyramid workouts, they are similar the interval workouts. Instead of repeating the same distance or time, each interval gets progressively longer or more difficult.

Hill Training

Increasing the incline on the treadmill is a good way to mimic hill training. These workouts are great because they not only increase your cardio capacity, but they are a big strength workout for your legs and core.

Hill workout #1

If you want to give yourself a great workout to build both speed and stamina, plus get a feel for what it’s like to run in San Francisco, you need to try a hill training workout. Even if you normally run on flat ground outdoors, this beginner-level workout will help you build cardio endurance and leg strength.

Hill workout #2

If the previous 38-minute hill training workout seems too advanced for you, try this simpler alternative from Livestrong that will take you 24 minutes to complete.

  1. Start with a three-minute walk at a comfortable pace and zero incline.
  2. Increase the incline to 1.0 for 3 minutes, then 2.0 for three minutes, then 3.0 for three minutes, then 4.0 for three minutes, and work your way back down to 1.0 incline.
  3. Walk three minutes to cool down.


Whether you’re looking for a basic workout plan to get you on the treadmill or you want to work on intervals or hill training, there are a variety of options available to you as a beginner. And remember that you can always adapt the plans to suit your needs. If you need to go a little bit faster or decrease the incline by 1 percent, don’t be afraid to do that! After all, it’s about what is best for you and your fitness goals.

If you are interested in a more structured training program, we have a free Couch to 5k Training Plan you can download below. Use the form to get a PDF version for free. Our training plan even makes it easy to do this Couch to 5k on a treadmill!

Sign up to download this FREE TRAINING PLAN PDF


Treadmill before and after

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