One of my favorite treadmill hill workouts is inspired by Tim Wakeham, the long time Strength and Conditioning Coach for Olympic Sports at Michigan State University. Wakeham uses a version of this workout with many of the women athletes at MSU. I encourage you to try this workout in lieu of your next steady state treadmill session. The workout is intense, very time efficient (30 minutes), and involves some mild hills. I do it every six weeks (and I did it tonight on our treadmill in Chanhassen).
Overview: After a brief warm-up, perform 15 total intervals, 45 seconds each with a 45 second rest between each interval.
- Warm-up – 5 minutes. Start with a slow jog and progressively increase the speed so your legs grow accustom to a faster speed and to warm-up your muscles.
- Intervals 1-5. Run for 45 seconds with the treadmill at 0% incline. Rest for 45 seconds between each interval (simply stand on the side of the treadmill, straddling the treadmill).
- Intervals 6-10. Run for 45 seconds with the treadmill now at a 2% incline. Continue to rest for 45 seconds between each interval.
- Intervals 11-15. Run for 45 seconds with the treadmill now at a 3% incline. Rest for 45 seconds between each interval.
- Cool-down – Walk for 3-5 minutes.
Keep the speed the same for all 15 intervals. This means your first 5 intervals should feel a lot easier or more doable because they are performed with no incline. As the workout continues and moves to 2% and then 3% grade, the workout will be progressively more challenging. How fast should you do this? It depends on your speed and current fitness level. For some people this is 6.0mph and for other is might be 10.5mph.