Road

Treadmill Workout of the Week: Run the Inverted Pyramid

Make the 45 minutes you spend on the treadmill really count.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Whether you’re avoiding some truly gnarly winter weather, trying to squeeze in a workout when you have obligations that keep you at home, or are just looking to work your leg muscles in a different way, turning to the treadmill offers conveniences and advantages that running outdoors does not.

But it’s no secret that it can get a bit boring. It’s easy to set your speed and just coast without thinking about anything other than the current show you’re bingeing. However, if you’re going to spend the time on the “dreadmill,” you might as well make it a real part of your training and come into the spring race season fit and ready to go.

The following workout is week two in our five weeks of treadmill workouts, created by USA Triathlon coach and Colorado Running Hall of Fame athlete, J’ne Day-Lucore. Her philosophy is to make every minute count, which is why you won’t spend more than five minutes at one speed or intensity as she’s constantly changing it up.

Ready, set, treadmill!

RELATED: Treadmill Workout of the Week: A Hill Progression to Smash Boredom and Build Strength

Treadmill Pyramid Workout: 4 min to 1 min to 4 min

Pyramid workouts are an effective way to build strength and speed and can be found in most sports training programs. Running is no different.

This one is an inverted pyramid, but one where the RPE (rate of perceived effort) gets more intense as the time interval descends. This is a bold workout with a 29 minute main set. You’ll be more than ready for the cool down walk at the end—but you’ll be walking with an empowered spring in your step.

Start by warming up with an easy jog, progressively building your effort by feel. By the end of the 10 minute warm-up you should be at an RPE of 8.

RELATED: Try This Workout to Whip You Into Speed-Shape Fast

Main Set

  • 5 minutes at RPE 5
  • 4 minutes at RPE 6
  • 3 minutes at RPE 7
  • 2 minutes at RPE 8
  • 1 minute at RPE 9
  • 2 minutes at RPE 8
  • 3 minutes at RPE 7
  • 4 minutes at RPE 6
  • 5 minutes at RPE 5

Cool down with an easy walk for a minimum of 6 minutes to round out your 45 minute treadmill workout. If you need more time to cool down, take it.

RELATED: How to Fall in Love With Winter Running