Tricks of the Tread: Treadmill Interval Tips and a Workout

Alexa Miller/Fitness MagazineAlexa Miller/Fitness MagazineBy Jenna Autuori-Dedic

Feel as if you're on a conveyor belt to nowhere? Love your indoor run again with these get-in-the-zone strategies from trainer Jay Blahnik, the creator of the popular Tread & Shred class at Equinox Fitness Club in Newport Beach, California.

Related: Rock Your Run: 8 Beginner Running Tips

Treadmill Tips

Replicate the road. "To mimic flat ground, move the treadmill's incline to 1 percent instead of 0," Blahnik says. "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.

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," Blahnik says. Inch back from the console toward the center until your swing feels natural.

Related: Run Your First (or Fastest!) 5K

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," Blahnik says. When the song is over, check your distance and aim to beat it the next time around by punching up the pace.

Boredom-Proof Treadmill Plan
Steal Blahnik's boredom-busting treadmill session and you'll burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes.* (Approximate calories based on jogging.)

Related: Try Two More Treadmill Interval Workouts

Minutes Incline (%) Speed (mph) Activity
0:00 to 1:00 15 2.5 to 3.5 Holding the front rail, walk at an easy pace, performing butt kicks.
1:00 to 2:00 15 2.5 to 3.5 Holding the front rail, walk, rolling onto your toes to perform a calf raise with each step.
2:00 to 3:00 15 2.5 to 3.5 Walk sideways for 30 seconds, switch sides and repeat.
3:00 to 5:00 1 2.5 to 5.5 Break into a speed walk or an easy run.
5:00 to 11:00 1 4.5 to 8.5 Alternate between a one-minute sprint and a one-minute easy run/walk for three sets.
11:00 to 11:30 6 2.5 to 6.5

Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.

11:30 to 12:00 0 2.5 to 6.5

Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.

12:00 to 12:30 8 2.5 to 6.5

Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.

12:30 to 13:00

0 2.5 to 6.5 Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.
13:00 to 13:30 10 2.5 to 6.5 Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.
13:30 to 16:00 0 2.5 to 6.5 Keep the intensity at a steady run/walk as you adjust the incline.
16:00 to 22:00 1 4.5 to 8.5 Alternate between a one-minute sprint and a one-minute easy run/walk for three sets.
22:00 to 26:00 1 2.5 to 6.5 Run at an easy-to-moderate pace.
26:00 to 30:00 0 2.5 to 3.5 Cool down.

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