Starting your running journey can feel overwhelming. It can be tough enough trying to get the motivation together just to get to the gym. Let alone trying to research and plan out an effective workout. But have no fear, that’s what people like me are here for. Providing you a simple list of five effective treadmill workouts for beginners. Including options to build speed, endurance, or recovery. These workouts can all be scaled down or up, but serve as a great place to start from. And if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments at the bottom of the page!
5 Effective Treadmill Workouts for Beginners
Beginner Treadmill Fartlek
A fartlek (os speed play) is a training technique that involves varying your speed throughout the run. Typically interchanging between your target 5k pace and a comfortable pace. And below is a beginner version, that is perfect for almost anyone.
- 5 Minute Warm Up
- 1 Minute run at a moderate pace
- 1 Minute run at an easy pace
- (Repeat for 10 Rounds / 20 MInutes)
- 5 MInute Cools Down
This treadmill workout has you increasing your speed slowly over time to a moderate pace. Then working back down, creating the pyramid.
- 5 Minute Warm Up
- Start at an easy to moderate pace (4-5 miles per hour)
- Every 1 Minute for 10 Minutes raise the speed 0.2 MPH
- Then, every 1 minute for 10 minutes lower the speed by 0.2 MPH
- 5 Minute Cool Down
Beginner HIIT 1 by 2 – Speed Work
One of the best ways to get faster is by running faster! And high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great place to start. Combining short high intensity bursts followed by periods of rest, HIIT is typically done in work to rest ratios. For example 1 minute work to 1 minute rest would be 1/1, and 30 seconds work to 60 seconds rest would be 1/2 . With less rest like a 2/1 being more advanced. This workout starts at ½ allowing you to fully recover between rounds. This is very important and is done for a reason. Trust me, it works!
- 5 Minute warm up jog
- 1 Minute running at the toughest pace you can hold for the full minute
- 2 Minutes recover walk at a comfortable pace. You want to recover.
- Repeat for 8 Rounds
- 5 Minute recover jog
You can check out more HIIT treadmill workouts here.
Half Marathon Endurance Work
Signing up for your first half marathon can feel overwhelming. But one of the most tried and true methods for building endurance is a very easy formula to follow. Take your goal running pace and train 1.5-2 minutes per mile slower. That’s it!
- 5 Minute warm up
- Run for 50 minutes 1.5-2 minutes per mile slower than your goal race pace.
- 5 Minute warm up
Tip: Find your goal running pace by taking your target finishing time in minutes, and dividing it by the race distance in miles. So if you want to finish in 2 hours, 120 minutes divided by 13.11 miles and your target pace will be sub 9:15.
One of my favorite things to use a treadmill for is for recovery. MOst people tend to run to fast when on recovery runs. But treadmills allow you the ability to set an easy pace, while providing a soft cushioned deck to land on. Making it a great way to stay active and allowing your body to recover.
- 30 minutes – uptempo walking pace at a 2% incline
Simple and effective! A brisk walk on a slight incline is going to allow you to recover, and feel like you are getting in a minor workout. But this is 100% about recovery, so don’t push too hard.
Conclusion – Effective Treadmill Workouts for Beginners
It’s no secret that running on a treadmill is not most people’s idea of a good time. But they do offer a great way to improve performance and are a great recovery tool. And with these effective treadmill workouts for beginners, if you have to grind out some miles on the treadmill at least the juice is worth the squeeze.