Treadmill Interval Training
Treadmill interval training can be a great way to increase your running speed, improve your overall performance, lose weight and just make the "dreadmill" a little more interesting.
The great thing about all these treadmill interval training workouts is that you can do them at whatever speed is right for you. A full out effort might be 10:00 for you while it's 8:00 or 6:00 for someone else. Just remember, you are your only real competition, so kick your own butt.
Progression Run - Short Intervals
Start at a comfortable speed. Then every 1-2 minutes or every quarter of a mile, increase the speed by one increment. You can repeat this as many times as you like during a run or do this just once during a short run.
For the last interval, I like to keep increasing the speed until I feel like I can't go any faster. Then increase it one more time and hold that for a minute.
Progression Run - Long Intervals
The same as above, but in this case, hold the current speed for half a mile to a mile. I love doing this during a long run when I'm training for a race that I have a goal time for. It is tough, but will make you feel really strong and help you practice maintaining a certain speed even when you're tired.
Short Sprint Intervals
A friend of mine told me about this when I was looking for speed training runs and I have fallen in love with it. I do it during a short run after I'm warmed up and follow it with a cool down or sometimes I'll just add it into the mix during a long run.
Note that it's very important to warm up before you try this. Once you've warmed up for at least 10 minutes, increase the speed as much as you possibly can without falling off the treadmill and hold that speed for 30 seconds. Then run at a comfortable pace to recover for one minute. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Note that the first couple intervals will feel hard but not impossible. You won't think doing 6 more of these should be that hard. But if you're doing this all out, once you get up to the 5th or 6th interval, you'll wonder if you have it in you to do 2 more. But you can! And after your done, you will feel like you can take on anything.
Fartlek Sprint Intervals
In this treadmill interval training run, you kind of do the same thing as the short sprint intervals, but instead of doing it methodically, you just throw in 5-10 random 30 second - 1 minute sprints throughout your run.
Long Sprint Intervals
Long sprint intervals are not quite as intense as short intervals but held for a longer period of time. And they are still intense enough to make your legs burn by the end of the workout. I usually do these for 5 minutes at a time for about 3-5 miles. I'll run just fast enough to break a sweat for 3 minutes, then run for 2 minutes I'll really crank up the speed, then slow down a little for three more minutes and keep repeating.
Here are some more tips on interval training.
Mile repeats are kind of like interval training but a little bit more intense. Basically you run at a very fast pace for 1 mile, then you do a mile of recovery, ,then you repeat about 2-7 times. You can also do half mile repeats or quarter mile repeats. Whatever amount of time you run fast, you run the same amount of time at a recovery speed and then keep repeating.
This is especially good at training your body to run faster if you training for a race that you hope to run at a certain pace. You usually do the mile repeats about 1 minute per mile faster than your goal race pace, the recovery part you do at a comfortable pace.
For a hill workout, I usually do one of the progressive runs or one of the interval runs only instead of increasing the pace, I'll increase the incline.
Combo Treadmill Interval Training Run
One of my favorite runs to do when I'm trying to get through a slump is a combo interval run. These are really fun. You can customize this anyway you want. What I usually do is warmup for one mile, then I pick three treadmill interval training runs from above and do one for each mile. So maybe I'll do a mile of progression with increasing the speed, then a mile of progression with increasing the incline and then a mile of short intense sprints. Then cool down for a mile.
More Treadmill Interval Training Runs
Here are some more speed training workouts that are designed for track or other outdoor running, but you can change them a little and do them on the treadmill.