Treadmill Workouts

Benefits of Treadmill Workouts

Treadmill workouts can be a great tool to use in your training plan. Any decent treadmill will give you a range of options like increasing the gradient and quick-set speed variations which can really help your training regardless of whether you are a plodder or a speed-merchant.

While many people are put-off by the thought of treadmill workouts, either due to self-consciousness, inaccessibility or the sheer monotony of the task at hand, I find that the controlled structure that you can apply to your training with treadmill workouts really worthwhile. There’s also a weird sort of accountability with treadmill workouts in that, if you are out running and it’s hurting and you won’t to stop, you can; it’s easy to slow down and start walking. If you are on the treadmill you also have to press the little red button and see the digital evidence of ones weakness.

The stubbornness and determination that is developed in not wanting to hit that button can only be good for you!

I’ve included a list of treadmill workouts below that I’ve used in the past which have worked for me, feel free to tailor and incorporate into your own 5k or 10k training plan:

Example Treadmill Workouts

Try and use a treadmill that has a quick-set speed change option. For example, one where you can set two speeds and quickly alternate between the two speed intervals without having to use the fiddly up and down arrows. This can be rather hazardous when you are dripping with sweat and needing to change speeds!

Before doing any of the speed sessions it is advised that you follow the appropriate warm up routine that works for you: ten minute jog and a stretch if that is your thing. It is also strongly advised that as part of your warm-up run you briefly get up to a speed that is close to the pace that you will use during the session. There is no point jogging for 5-minutes at 10 minute per mile pace only to go straight into a 6 minute per mile speed-session.

Most treadmills provide distance/ speed measurements in Km per hour and so I have tried to use the same where possible.

2 Mins On-One Minute Off

This is an old favourite and is nice and simple and will serve you well if you are following a 5k training plan.

  1. Use the quick-set speed interval change options to set both a run pace and a recovery pace. For example, Run Pace = 13 kmphr, and a Recovery Pace of 7 kmph.
  2. Run for 2 minutes at your Run Pace.
  3. Switch to Recovery Pace for 1 minute.

Repeat x 8

This should be a tough session if you are new to treadmill workouts so adjust the speeds so you are challenged but can still complete the session. After a few completions you can play with the run and recovery speeds to keep challenging yourself.

1k Intervals

Another treadmill session that uses the quick-set speed interval change options and I found this really useful when training for longer distance events such as a 10k or half-marathon. It can still be incorporated into 5k training though as it’s great for building strength and endurance.

  1. Use the quick-set speed interval option to set a Run Pace and a Recovery Pace. For example, run pace = 12 kmphr, and a recovery of 7 kmphr.
  2. Run for 1km at your Run Pace.
  3. Switch to Recovery Pace for  200 meters.

*It’s a good idea to memorise before the session when the quick-set speed interval changes need to be made. For Example, after completion of the first rep your Run Pace interval should begin again at 1.2km, 2.4km, 3.6km, etc.

Repeat x 4 if you are following a 5k training plan

Repeat x 6 if you are following a 10k training plan.

2k Intervals

The 2k treadmill workouts are more beneficial for 10k and half-marathon training plans and are largely as per the 1k Interval session above.  Your Run Pace for the 2k Interval session should be slightly lower than what you would use for the 1k Interval session and you may want a longer recovery but you should be able to keep the same Recovery Pace. For example:

  1. Run pace = 11 kmphr, and a recovery of 7 kmphr.
  2. Run for 2km at your Run Pace.
  3. Switch to Recovery Pace and run for  300 meters.

Repeat x 4 if you are following a 10 training plan


Keen amateur runner & qualified coaching assistant who likes keeping fit & devising training plans that help you get faster. The plans on this site have helped me knock minutes off all my times.

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