treadmill hill workout

The United States Center For Disease Control and Prevention recommends most adults get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.  Vigorous exercise is defined as working hard enough where it’s a bit hard to talk, you should be breathing heavy and sweating a bit.  Running or Jogging qualifies as vigorous exercise.

It is largely held that running is one of the best forms of exercise to stay healthy and keep your weight in check.  Running can be done on a treadmill, either in your home, or at the gym.  Treadmills are still the most popular exercise machines used today.  That is because they are so versatile.  You can run or walk on a treadmill and can change the pace or incline to suit your fitness level.

Running Hills Burns Tons Of Calories

If running is one of the best exercises to stay in shape then running up hill is even better.  Running up an incline will improve your cardio and will burn more calories than regular running on a flat surface.  For those of you that like to race 5Ks; running up hill will improve your fitness and your race times without the risk of injury that running fast around a track entails.  Running up hill can be substituted for speed work offering the same improved results in performance with a lesser risk of injury.

The one drawback of running on a treadmill is the monotony.  However, you can typically watch television or listen to music while running in a treadmill which can make it a bit more bearable.  Another way to make the time go faster is by running hill intervals on the treadmill.

How To Run Hill Intervals On The Treadmill

During this routine you will be running three miles.  It will take about 30 minutes depending on how fast you run.

You will run intervals in quarter mile increments alternating between running flat and running on an incline.  You will run at a long run pace for the first two miles and pick up the pace for the last mile to 10K or even 5K pace.

The routine will look like this:

  1.  Run at a comfortable warm up pace for .25 (a quarter mile)
  2. Set the incline to a 7% grade and run another .25
  3. Bring the incline back down to 1% and run another quarter mile as recovery
  4. Keep repeating this pattern until you have completed a mile.
  5. During the second mile repeat the same pattern of running a quarter mile flat and a quarter mile at a 7% incline but increase the pace slightly.  If you were running 6 MPH increase the pace to 6.6 MPH for instance.
  6. Keep repeating this pattern until you have completed two miles.
  7. For the third mile repeat the pattern again but increase the speed even more.  Set the pace at your 10K pace or for an even harder workout, your 5K pace. 
  8. Once you have completed the third mile cool down by walking for a quarter mile.

Add This Workout To Your Routine Once A Week To Improve Fitness

If you do this hill interval workout at least once a week you should see improvement in your fitness level as well as your running speed if you’re a racer.  Your race times should come down by adding this workout to your weekly routine.

This hill interval workout is also good if you’re a walker.  Simply do your normal walking pace and change the incline ever quarter mile. 

Running or walking hills on a treadmill is very efficient use of your workout time.  You will burn many more calories working out at an incline in the same amount of time.