Just over 2 years ago I started CrossFit and never looked back (well, that’s a lie, but more on that later). In the recent years before that, I logged many slow, drawn out miles on the treadmill in my parent’s basement, trying to get stronger and faster without much of a plan. I would put on my headphones, start up the machine, and stare at the clock on the wall for 40 or more minutes at a time (Thanks, dad, for the not so inspiring placing of the clock!). Not surprisingly, I did not get much stronger or faster this way.
A few of the elements of CrossFit that really appealed to me were the varying exercises and the high intensity of each workout. I didn’t think that could be recreated on the treadmill.
While CrossFit continues to be my number one preferred work out, there are days that I just can’t make it there, or I want a work out that isn’t quite that intense. Treadmill HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a great alternative for me.
A running HIIT plan will consist of a warm up, followed by alternating sprints and recovery jogging, with a cool down at the end. The recovery jogs should be at least as long as the sprints, or longer. The sprints should be short enough so that you can really push yourself, but not so short that they are not challenging. Remember, after every sprint you have a recovery jog to look forward to!
Here’s an example of a HIIT treadmill plan that I use on a regular basis. The rotating sprints and recovery jogs really make the time go by quickly! Try it out and let me know how you like it!