Tips for the Best Treadmill Workout

Updated on July 20, 2018

Even if you own a high-end, accessory packed, tech-savvy treadmill, treadmill boredom can still get the best of you if you neglect to plan ahead for your workout.

To avoid this dismal fate, make a set plan ahead of time, incorporating some of these workout tips for more specific goals and targets to reach as you go.

Get Specific With Your Goal Setting

When you bought your treadmill, you likely had some goals in mind, like you were going to use it to improve your overall health and fitness. But it can be tough to translate those kinds of vague goals into actionable plans. Get specific with your goal setting and include the suggested aspects below for a more targeted plan.

  • Keep a regular schedule - Missing a workout is easy to do when other tasks come up throughout the day. You could tell yourself that 4:00 pm is treadmill time, but once 4:00 pm rolls around, how many excuses could you choose from to avoid your workout? By having a plan for your day, you’re better able to keep track of your to-do list and make time for all of the things on it.

  • Commit to a paid race - If your primary goal is lifelong health and fitness, break that goal down into shorter-term goals. You’ll first need to accomplish these shorter-term goals to obtain your larger goal. By registering for a paid race, you’ve got a closer goal at hand to achieve, acting as a stepping stone to your long-term goal. Within that shorter term goal, you’ll need to set more goals for training, reaching smaller milestones, and building up to the ability to participate in the race you’ve committed to.

  • Vary your workout schedule - Many professional runners like Hal Higdon have created a variety of training plans. You can use a training plan like this, or create one of your own. By adding in days of strength and agility training, you’re likely to remain engaged in the workouts while also strengthening integral parts of the body to boost your running performance.

Try Different Workout Programs

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This definitely applies to exercise. If you have been using your treadmill at the exact same speed/incline with no variance and are frustrated with your lack of progression, you may be experiencing a little insanity.

Incorporating a variety of workouts, methodically scheduled into your treadmill training schedule, will help you to build muscle and joint strength to protect against injury and improve your running ability.

  • HIIT workouts - High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are excellent for building up cardiovascular endurance and kickstarting sluggish metabolisms. These programs require you to alternate between bursts of high activity followed by periods of lower activity. One example of this would be to spend one minute sprinting, followed by one minute of walking. You can even add a quick HIIT workout to the end of your regular treadmill workout to boost your calorie burn.

  • Heart rate zone training - Using heart rate zone training is a great way to gradually build your endurance and pinpoint how much you should be pushing yourself on the treadmill. You can calculate your specific target heart rate zone for the most effective results.

  • Hill training - Don’t avoid the incline settings on your treadmill. By adding just a few minutes of hill training to your running routine, you’ll see a huge increase in leg strength, lung strength, and speed. You’ll also see a rapid increase in calorie burn and improvements in your metabolism.

Modern treadmills will have these types of workouts pre programmed into their treadmills. So, if you don’t feel up to finding or creating these workouts, look at the workout options available before you buy your next treadmill.

Work In More Walking Time

At times, walking intermittently during your run can be incredibly helpful in your recovery. If you stick to a brisk walking pace, you can still burn calories and will be able to workout longer than nonstop running would allow you.

Also, if you are focused on running to reducing your risk of hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol, you will be relieved to know that whether you are walking or running, your risk factors are relatively equally reduced.

Alternate Treadmill Entertainment Options

There are running purists who refuse to use any entertainment when working out, but most of us need something to engage with when on a treadmill. You should cycle what you use to entertain yourself on your treadmills to keep the workouts fresh and keep you excited for them. Some popular source of treadmill entertainment are:

  • Podcasts

  • Music

  • Audiobooks

  • TV

Try incorporating some or all of these tips before your next treadmill workout and see how your treadmill workouts can be improved.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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