The Ultimate Treadmill Interval Workout for Every Fitness Level

Feel as if you're on a conveyor belt to nowhere? Here's how to love your indoor run again.

woman doing a treadmill interval workout at the gym
Photo: xavierarnau/Getty Images

Turns out, running inside can be even better than outside. That is, if you do it the right way.

Instead of chugging away at a steady pace, try switching it up with a running interval workout. Follow these pro tips for making the most of a treadmill interval workout, then try them out with the treadmill interval workout plan below that suits your strength and your mood. (And if you still need a motivation boost, check out these huge physical and mental benefits of any sweat sesh.)

Tips for a Better Treadmill Interval Workout

  1. Replicate the road. "To mimic flat ground, move the treadmill's incline to 1 percent instead of 0," says fitness pro Jay Blahnik, the creator of the popular Tread & Shred class at Equinox Fitness Club in Newport Beach, California. "This makes up for the fact that there's no forward motion when you run in place." Ramp up the incline to 4 percent or more for hills.
  2. Find your sweet spot. "Running too close to the console changes your arm swing, and being too far from it makes you take smaller steps so you won't feel as if you're falling off the back," says Blahnik. Inch back from the console toward the center until your swing feels natural.
  3. Clock out. Instead of watching the minutes crawl by, "pick a speed and incline that are challenging but doable and then focus on something other than the console for the duration of a motivating song on your playlist," says Blahnik. When the song is over, check your distance and aim to beat it the next time around by punching up the pace.

3 Treadmill Interval Workouts to Try

Boredom-Proof Treadmill Interval Workout

Steal Blahnik's boredom-busting treadmill interval workout and you'll burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes (based on a 140-pound woman).

Julia Bohan

Treadmill Interval Workout with Strength Training

This 30-minute run/walk plan from Julie Bobek, an instructor of the Shedtread class for Equinox Rockefeller Center in New York City, includes bursts of strength training to rev up your metabolism.

Julia Bohan

The Run/Walk Treadmill Interval Workout

Olympian/master trainer Grayson Fertig shares a fast-paced treadmill interval workout that alternates between walking and running. (See more about why it’s ~totally~ acceptable to walk during your runs.)

Julia Bohan
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