How to Conquer the Treadmill

I am one of those people who hates the treadmill and avoids them as much as possible. Honestly, it is a huge mental struggle for me to stay on them for even 5 minutes, even though I have no issues going for runs over an hour outside! However, during the winter months when the sun sets early and the roads are dangerously icy it sometimes becomes necessary to turn to the “dreadmill”. 

Exactly what goes through my mind!

Since I have spent the daylight hours skiing lately I have had to force myself to outwit that evil hamster-like machine in order to get cardio workouts in. For me to stay on this machine for any significant amount of time I need to constantly change the speed or incline (or even elicit the help of other cardio machines) to keep myself occupied. So with that in mind, here are the top 3 workouts I have created to “Conquer the Treadmill”!

Hell and Back (30 minutes): Set treadmill to 1.0 incline. Speed changes every minute, except for the 2 bolded spots, where speed is constant for 2 minutes!

  • 0:00-1:00: Walk at 15 min/mile                                          -15:00-16:00: Run at 7 min/mile
  • 1:00 – 2:00: Jog at 10 min/mile                                           -16:00-17:00: Run at 8 min/mile
  • 2:00-3:00: Run at 9 min/mile                                               -17:00-18:00: Run at 9 min/mile
  • 3:00-4:00: Run at 8 min/mile                                               -18:00-19:00: Jog at 10 min/mile
  • 4:00-6:00: Run at 7 min/mile                                      -19:00-20:00: Walk at 15 min/mile 
  • 6:00-7:00: Run at 8 min/mile                                               -20:00-21:00: Jog at 10 min/mile
  • 7:00-8:00: Run at 9 min/mile                                               -21:00-22:00: Run at 9 min/mile
  • 8:00-9:00: Jog at 10 min/mile                                              -22:00-23:00: Run at 8 min/mile
  • 9:00-10:00: Walk at 15 min/mile                                         -23:00-24:00: Run at 7 min/mile
  • 10:00-11:00: Jog at 10 min/mile                                          -24:00-26:00: Run at 6 min/mile
  • 11:00-12:00: Run at 9 min/mile                                            -26:00-27:00: Run at 7 min/mile
  • 12:00-13:00: Run at 8 min/mile                                            -27:00-28:00: Run at 8 min/mile
  • 13:00-14:00: Run at 7 min/mile                                            -28:00-29:00: Run at 9 min/mile
  • 14:00-15:00: Run at 6 min/mile                                             -29:00-30:00: Jog at 10 min/mile

False Summit (20 minutes): Choose a pace about a minute slower than you would normally run at. Pace will remain constant, incline will change.

  • 0:00-2:00: Incline = 0                                                                                     -10:00-12:00: Incline = 0
  • 2:00-4:00: Incline = 2                                                                                      -12:00-14:00: Incline = 2
  • 4:00-6:00: Incline = 4                                                                                      -14:00-16:00: Incline = 4
  • 6:00-8:00: Incline = 6                                                                                      -16:00-18:00: Incline = 6
  • 8:00-10:00: Incline = 8                                                                                   -18:00-20:00: Incline = 8

Triple Threat (60 minutes): Knowing I only have to spend 20 minutes on the treadmill in 10 minute increments makes me work a lot harder than if I had to be on it for any longer!

  • 10 minutes on treadmill. Increase speed every 2 minutes
  • 100 crunches
  • 10 minutes on stairstepper. Increase speed every 2 minutes
  • 100 crunches
  • 20 minutes spin bike. Perform sprints, hill climbs, whatever you want to do!
  • 100 crunches
  • 10 minutes on stairstepper. Increase speed every 2 minutes
  • 100 crunches
  • 10 minutes on treadmill. Increase speed every 2 minutes.

What are your go to treadmill workouts? Do you dread the treadmill as much as I do?


13 thoughts on “How to Conquer the Treadmill

  1. Corinne says:

    I think I dread the treadmill more than you! I actually got on it at the gym this morning for the first time this winter and I planned on going for an hour but the boredom was killing me and I only did 27 minutes. Like you, I can run outside for an hour no problem but inside it feels so much harder! I will have to try messing around with the settings like you suggest.

  2. teri @ managed macros says:

    My running in the winter slows down just for this reason alone. I HAVE to have a structured running schedule to keep me compliant to my running schedule. I am currently following Hal Higdon’s Winter Training Schedule…. I LOVE the names of your running routines…In particular, Hell and Back!!! Also that Clip Art is fantastic!!! I need to do more incline work…I’ll keep your False Summit in mind!

  3. Kate @ NaturaStride says:

    Nice, I always like hearing other runner’s treadmill workout ideas (thanks!) The necessary evil this time of year. Listen to this: one day over the summer when I was training for a half marathon, I kept rescheduling my planned 10-miler due to work/weather issues and ended up doing 10 miles on the treadmill – during hurricane Irene weekend. It sucked.
    Anyways – my go-to treadmill workouts also require constant changing of speed and incline, and are usually something like 10 minute warm-up around 8:30’s, 15 min interval workout with one minutes”on” around 6:30’s and one minute “off” around 8:30’s, then 10 minutes hill workout, varying between 1.0 and 5.0, then a 5 minute cool down.

  4. Allison @ PickyEatingRD says:

    What great workouts! I used to run all.the.time on the treadmill and hated running outside. So crazy right? I liked that I could pace myself on the tread whereas outside I always went out too fast and then struggled at the end of my runs. Now I find a balance between the two but no matter what I can’t distract myself long enough to go more than 5 miles on the tread. Oh well..

  5. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers says:

    Thanks for the workouts! I’m usually the exact same way. 2 minutes and done. Luckily I’ve only recently embraced the treadmill. I’m trying to run more, and it’s the alternative to running alone in the cold dark (and occasionally wet) morning.

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