How to Run Interval Sprints on a Treadmill

The High Intensity Incline Treadmill Workout

treadmill sprintsIf you’re looking to keep your cardio fitness levels running high throughout the year regardless of weather conditions or other hindrances, then the incline treadmill workout is the best training option.

Incline workouts offer many benefits.

For starters, it’ll help you simulate hill running, thus burn off colossal amounts of calories without having to go outside and stomach the bad weather. In addition, incline workouts are great boredom busters, hence if you dread indoor cardio training, use the incline to your advantage and make your workout more challenging and fun.

As a result, if you’re not doing an incline workout—at least once per week—then you’re doing yourself a big disservice.

Here are a few practical tips that can help.

Beginners, be Careful

If you’re really out of shape or haven’t done much exercise lately, then you need to be extremely careful with an incline treadmill workout. This type of exercise is usually high impact and very demanding, thus it increases the likelihood of discomfort, injury even overtraining. Therefore, make sure to start slowly and slowly increase the intensity.

If you’re new to cardio or starting over from a sedentary lifestyle you might need to slowly condition yourself with something easier like a recumbent bike, a rowing machine, or simple walking. Recumbent bikes are much easier on all the joints and can help work your lower body into better condition such that you can start treadmill interval training after a couple weeks.

It’s all about the intensity

An incline treadmill workout is considered a “quality over quantity” workout mode, meaning the quality of the training outweighs the duration spent doing the work, thus you won’t need to spend countless hours on the treadmill to achieve great results; all you need is a half an hour gut-busting incline workout for a great cardio workout.

As the training progresses forward, you could aim to gradually increase time and intensity. Just be careful not to do too much too soon, thus hurt yourself in the process.

An Incline Workout Program

To do the incline workout right, you need to have the right training approach and strategies for task. For that, here is a step-by-step incline treadmill workout that can help you achieve maximum results without running the risk of injury or overtraining.

  • Warm up First: Make sure to always start your training sessions with a decent warm-up. Begin the workout with a 5-minute jog at a speed range of 2.5 to 4 mph with no incline yet. Breathe deeply and get your body and mind ready for the task ahead.
  • For the next minute, begin increasing the incline by 2 percent increments until your reach your maximum acceptable incline. The latter can vary from 15 to 25 percent, depending, for the most part, on your fitness level and training goals.
  • Keep the max incline for 1-2 minutes.
  • Reduce the incline and running pace for the next 2-3 minutes to allow for recovery and rejuvenation.
  • Repeat the cycle 5-6 times.
  • End the workout with a proper cool down. Gradually reduce the incline and bring your running pace into an effortless jog for the next 5 minutes. Skipping on the cool-down increases the likelihood of injury and hinders proper recovery between training sessions.

Of course, don’t feel the need to follow the above guidelines verbatim. Instead feel free to adjust the length and intensity of each interval to your own fitness level and training goals. Once you find your sweet spot, make sure to keep increasing length and intensity.

About the author

Contributions to this post made by David DACK, a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness. Check out more of his material at The Runners Blueprint for more tips on weight loss and running.

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