3 Treadmill Intervals to Boost Offseason Fitness

In between each interval is the rest period, or recovery time. But that doesn't mean you should step off the treadmill and stand around. The ideal approach to recovery between intervals is through "active recovery." This means you should slow the speed and simply jog easy as you prepare for the next high-intensity session.

"The idea is to let your body recover enough between intervals, but still keep your heart rate up and not completely cool down or take complete rest in between," says Johnson.

As you approach interval workouts on the treadmill, be sure to set the treadmill at a slight incline to account for the lack of wind resistance and the fact that the belt provides some assistance pulling your feet along. "For speeds of less than 8:34-mile pace (7 mph), a one percent incline is best," adds Johnson. "For speeds greater than that, a two percent incline is best."

More: 3 Workouts to Mix Up Your Treadmill Routine

Consider the following interval workouts based on race distance:

5K Interval Training:

  • Warm up 10 minutes
  • Complete 4 x 3-minute intervals
  • Active rest in between each set, 3 minutes of jogging
  • Cool down for 10 minutes

How to progress: Add one 3-minute interval every 1 to 2 weeks and bring recovery time down to 1:30 to 2 minutes.

10K Interval Training:

  • Warm up for 10 minutes
  • Complete 4 x 4-minute intervals
  • Active rest in between each interval, 3 minutes of jogging
  • Cool down for 10 minutes

How to progress: Add one 4-minute interval every 1 to 2 weeks and bring recovery time down to 2 to 2:30 minutes.

More: 4 Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workouts You Haven't Tried

Half Marathon or Marathon Interval Training:

  • Warm up for 15 minutes
  • Complete 3 x 5-minute intervals
  • Active rest in between each interval, 4 minutes of jogging
  • Cool down for 10 minutes

How to progress: Add one 5-minute interval every two weeks and bring recovery time down to 2:30 to 3 minutes.

More: Challenge Yourself With Treadmill Hill Workouts

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About the Author

Mackenzie Lobby

Mackenzie Lobby is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and photographer with a Master's in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. She has run 10 marathons and is a USATF certified coach. When she's not writing, she's out swimming, biking, and running the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Check out her website at mackenzielobby.com.

Mackenzie Lobby is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and photographer with a Master's in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. She has run 10 marathons and is a USATF certified coach. When she's not writing, she's out swimming, biking, and running the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Check out her website at mackenzielobby.com.

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