4 Tips to Optimize Your Treadmill Running or Walking Workout for Best Results

4 Tips to Optimize Your Treadmill Running or Walking Workout for Best Results

Treadmill workouts don’t have to be boring! Follow along with our top tips to make each session on your treadmill intentional, effective, and more fun.

1. Invest in a Good Pair of Running Shoes

Running and walking are considered higher impact activities, as you’re constantly pounding the ground with each step, which can be jarring on joints. That’s why it’s so important to get the right shoes for you.

A good pair of running shoes are something that is easy to forget about when running indoors on a treadmill, but regardless of your running surface, each individual has a unique foot and stride pattern. Invest in a shoe that’s right for your foot and your body so you can stay injury-free and approach each workout with the best foot forward.

Don’t forget to replace your shoes every 200-500 miles (about 3-6 months) depending on how often and far you run. Just like tires on a car, it’s important to replace your shoes as you’re putting in the mileage – something that is easy to forget when they stay nice and clean from indoor workouts!

2. Get on a Regular Schedule

Having a regular training schedule is an awesome way to stay motivated. It gives you something to look forward to and a set schedule, so you know exactly what your workout is and when you’re doing it. It can be a bit intimidating setting a workout schedule, especially if you’re new to fitness, but just know regular consistent sessions are essential to see results. Here are a few key elements that would be a good place to start for beginners looking to start a regular running or walking routine.

  • Run or walk 3 - 4 days a week
  • Complete shorter workouts (20 - 30 minutes) on the weekdays
  • Complete a longer/endurance-based workout (40+ minutes) on the weekends
  • Use your off days to rest or cross train
  • Start exercising at a conversational pace, you can add intensity as you increase your fitness level over time

3. Make Each Session Intentional

Many people assume that running or walking on the treadmill is a one-speed, one-incline zone-out and get it done experience. And while it can be that if that’s what you want it to be, if you want to take your fitness to the next level, it’s important to come to each session with intention. Each workout should be focused and with a particular goal in mind. Below, I’ve listed out just a few workouts you can do on your treadmill to help you reach your goals faster!

Endurance Builder

Speed Challenge

Incline Walking Workout

The Workout:

Endurance Intervals

  • 2:00 Run
  • 1:00 Recovery Jog/Walk

Repeat 10 times!

The Workout:

Sprint Intervals

  • 0:30 Sprint
  • 1:00 Recovery Walk or Total Rest

Repeat 8 times!

The Workout:

Incline Challenge

Set your incline to two. Walk at a pace between 3.5-4.5 MPH for 2:00. Increase the level by 1 every 2:00, once you reach the highest incline (or highest you feel comfortable at), work your way back down, decreasing the incline by 1 every 2:00.

Benefits:

Build up your endurance so you can run for longer periods of time!

Benefits:

The only way to get faster is to train fast! Use this workout to push your pace.

Benefits:

Use this lower impact workout to build strength and challenge your cardiovascular system.

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging. Choose one of the following - increase time spent running, decrease recovery time, or increase the number of intervals completed to extend the length of your workout session.

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging.

Choose one of the following - increase time spent running, decrease recovery time, or increase the number of intervals completed to extend the length of your workout session.

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging.

Choose one of the following - increase time spent at each incline level or at higher incline levels or complete this workout a few times through!

Endurance Builder

The Workout:

Endurance Intervals

  • 2:00 Run
  • 1:00 Recovery Jog/Walk

Repeat 10 times!

Benefits:

Build up your endurance so you can run for longer periods of time!

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging. Choose one of the following - increase time spent running, decrease recovery time, or increase the number of intervals completed to extend the length of your workout session.

Speed Challenge

The Workout:

Sprint Intervals

  • 0:30 Sprint
  • 1:00 Recovery Walk or Total Rest

Repeat 8 times!

Benefits:

The only way to get faster is to train fast! Use this workout to push your pace.

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging.

Choose one of the following - increase time spent running, decrease recovery time, or increase the number of intervals completed to extend the length of your workout session.

Incline Walking Workout

The Workout:

Incline Challenge

Set your incline to two. Walk at a pace between 3.5-4.5 MPH for 2:00. Increase the level by 1 every 2:00, once you reach the highest incline (or highest you feel comfortable at), work your way back down, decreasing the incline by 1 every 2:00.

Benefits:

Use this lower impact workout to build strength and challenge your cardiovascular system.

Make it Harder:

As you get fitter and stronger you may want to make your workout more challenging.

Choose one of the following - increase time spent at each incline level or at higher incline levels or complete this workout a few times through!

4. Buy the Right Treadmill for You

If you plan to regularly walk or run at home, then it’s important that you invest in a treadmill that’s appropriate for your needs. First, you’ll want to select a treadmill that has a high enough weight capacity to support you. We offer a wide range of treadmills some accommodating a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds!

Next, you’ll want to be sure both the speed and incline settings are suitable for you. If you plan to complete a regular walking and light jogging routine, a treadmill with speeds up to 7.5 MPH may be just fine for your needs. However, if you’re more of an advanced runner and want to work some speed work and sprints into your regular training, you’ll want to get a treadmill with a little more speed! Likewise, if the incline is an important factor, imagine your ideal workout and be sure to get a treadmill with incline settings that accommodate those needs!

Once you’ve found the ideal treadmill for you, you’re ready to get started! Follow my tips above to kick off your new fitness journey. Be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Running, as well as our Strength for Walkers and Runners article that you may find helpful for building a well-rounded, safe, and successful treadmill routine!

4 Tips to Optimize Your Treadmill Running or Walking Workout Infographic
4 Tips to Optimize Your Treadmill Running or Walking Workout Infographic

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  • New York !

    Love these tips!! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m forwarding to all my friends and family who have treadmills. Again thank you!! Stay smart and safe!