Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workouts

Liven up your treadmill workouts and make your indoor running fun.


By Megan Harrington


Whether you’re traveling for work or facing wintery conditions, the treadmill can help you fit in a run. Unfortunately, if you aren’t prepared, indoor runs can also feel monotonous. Having a plan can go a long way in keeping your run exciting, so read on for the best boredom-busting treadmill workouts.

Walk-Jog Treadmill Workout

New to running or looking for a less intense workout? Slip on your sneakers and try this 60-minute walk-jog treadmill workout.

Begin by walking for 10 minutes to warm-up. Then do the following:

5 sets of 2 minutes of walking, followed by 1 minute of jogging.

5 sets of 1 minute of walking, followed by 1 minute of jogging.

5 sets of 2 minutes of walking, followed by 2 minutes of jogging.

Walk for 5 minutes to cool-down.

The 25-Minute Treadmill Workout

Short on time? Luckily, you can log a quality workout in under 30 minutes. But be prepared to sweat - the middle intervals will make you work! Since this workout is so brief, make sure to really dial up the pace for the faster segments. Beginners can shoot for 6 mph, intermediate runners might try 7 mph, and advanced runners can attempt 8 mph (or faster).

Warm-up with a 3 minute jog, then perform 10 sets of 1 minute of fast running, followed by 1 minute of easy jogging. Finish with a 2 minute walk or jog cool-down.

The Get-Faster Treadmill Workout

Looking to log quality miles on the ‘mill? Complete this short and sweet tempo workout and you’ll see your pace drop in no time. Aim to run the 2-mile segments somewhere between your 10k and half-marathon pace.

Warm-up by jogging for a mile, then run 2 miles at race tempo. Recover with a ½ mile of easy jogging, then run another 2 miles at tempo pace. Cool-down for ½ mile. Advanced runners can add another 2-mile set, while beginners might opt for only one set.

The TV Commercial Treadmill Workout

Catching up on your favorite shows while burning tons of calories? Sounds like a win-win to us. Queue up your favorite television program (or movie) and get ready to sweat.

Begin by running easily until the first commercial break, then perform the following strength moves during commercials:

1st break: Air squats for 1 minute followed by push-ups until your show returns.

2nd break: Standing lunges for 1 minute followed by burpees until your show returns.

3rd break: Plank for 1 minute followed by mountain climbers until your show returns.

The average 30 minute TV program has roughly 3 commercial breaks totaling 8 minutes, so you’ll get a decent cardio AND strength workout with this routine. If your show has more than 3 commercial breaks, you can cycle through the exercises again.

The Long Run Treadmill Workout

Training for a long race and stuck indoors? Whether it’s snow, rain or personal preference, completing a double digit run indoors is possible. This advanced workout combines a long run and a speed workout, giving you better bang for your buck. Just be sure to take a recovery day after this run!

Warm-up for 1 mile by jogging easily, then:

Run 6-10 1 kilometer repeats at tempo pace. Tempo pace should be somewhere around your 10k to half-marathon pace, depending on your conditioning and goals.

After each 1k segment, jog easily for 6oo meters. Once you complete 6-10 repeats, end with some easy jogging to cool-down.

Megan is a writer, RRCA certified running coach, and new mom living and training in rural upstate New York. She competed in DIII track and cross-country at Wesleyan University and now focuses on the half-marathon and marathon distance.

Main Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/; Second Photo Credit: David Pereiras/; Third Photo Credit: dotshock/