Treadmill Workout of the Week: Push Hard in This Speed and Hill Progression

Not for the faint of heart, this week's treadmill workout will require some real effort.

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The science has shown over the past decade that hill training is an effective way to improve your running ability in a multitude of ways, like overall running economy, speed endurance, and strength to name a few. And if you’re running a particularly hilly race in the spring (does the Boston Marathon sound familiar?), you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared.

As it turns out, you don’t have to wait for your iced-over neighborhood hill to thaw to get started on hill training. Or maybe you live in the flatlands with no hill in sight. This is where the functionality of the treadmill comes into play. On the treadmill there is no excuse to miss a crucial hill workout. You’re not restricted by the likes of geography and weather.

Not sure where to get started when it comes to bumping up that incline?

The following workout is week three 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 this particular set gets progressively harder from start to finish.

Ready, set, treadmill!


Treadmill Workout: 2 Minute Speed and Hill Progression

Not your average treadmill workout, this 40-minute set will have you working progressively harder for 20 minutes to maximize the time you have set aside to sweat. The focus is on building speed and incline, though not at the same time. Every two minutes you’ll be instructed to modify one or the other.

Start with a 10 minute warm-up jog, running at a comfortable speed between 4.5 to 6.0 miles per hour. To start, keep the grade of the treadmill flat.

Main Set

  • 10-12 min: Set speed at 6.7 mph, 2.0% incline
  • 12-14 min: Set speed at 6.7 mph, 2.5% incline
  • 14-16 min: Set speed at 6.8 mph, 2.5% incline
  • 16-18 min: Set speed at 6.8 mph, 3.0% incline
  • 18-20 min: Set speed at 6.9 mph, 3.0% incline
  • 20-22 min: Set speed at 6.9 mph, 3.5% incline
  • 22-24 min: Set speed at 7.0 mph, 3.5% incline
  • 24-26 min: Set speed at 7.0 mph, 4.0% incline
  • 26-28 min: Set speed at 7.1 mph, 4.0% incline
  • 28-30 min: Set speed at 7.1 mph, 4.5% incline

Cool down for 10 minutes with a well-deserved easy jog.

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