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Did you know that treadmills were invented as a way to punish prisoners? It makes total sense, doesn’t it?  Maybe you don’t like the mindlessness of it. Maybe you fell off one and now you have distress whenever you look at a treadmill. Fortunately, with modern technology, the treadmill is a blessing… no wait, sorry I can’t say that without laughing. Nobody in their right mind likes the treadmill; it’s a necessary evil for people who like (need) to run and hate cold weather, rain, bugs, cars, dogs, or people.

I confess I run on the treadmill. I actually prefer to run outdoors but not during the winter. As such, I keep an eye out for ways to keep things fresh.

I found this article at triathlete.com. Even if you’re not a triathlete (yet!!) I recommend you check them out for training, gear reviews and race info.

4 Treadmill Sessions For Triathletes

Four purposeful workouts to help you use the treadmill to your training advantage.

Whether you’re waiting for cooler weather to arrive or simply need more of a focus indoors, the treadmill is a useful tool to maximize your run training. Coach Brad Seng of D3 Multisport in Boulder, Colo., designed these quality sessions to keep the fun factor intact for when the treadmill gets daunting or mentally stale.

Buffer Buffs Hill Reps

15’ easy jogging with 4×20’’ bursts and 40’’ easy for recovery at the end

Main set
Repeat the following pattern 3–4 times. Do the strength exercises off to the side of the treadmill.
45’’ hard Zone 3–4/5K effort at 4–6% grade
5 squat jumps
15’’ sprint Zone 5 at 4–6% grade.
20 high knee skips
45’’ moderate Zone 2–3/half-marathon effort at 4–6% grade
10 push-ups
45’’ fast uphill Zone 3/10K effort at 4–6% grade
10 split squat jumps
45’’ moderate Zone 2–3/half-marathon effort at 1% grade
10 double leg hops
1:30 fast Zone 3/10K effort at 1% grade
Walk 2–3’ or stand on edge of treadmill to recover

10’ easy jogging with final 2–3’ walking

Key: ’ = minutes | ” = seconds



15–20’ building effort to top of Zone 2/RPE 3–5

Main set
Starting at the speed where you ended your warm-up, increase treadmill speed by 0.5 every quarter-mile until you max out.
Note that speed and then run 5’ easy.
Complete 4–6 × 45’’ intervals at your max. Recovery is 1’ easy jogging.

Easy jogging for remainder of time

Key: ’ = minutes | ” = seconds


1’ Efforts + 1K

10–15’ easy with 4×20’’ bursts and 40’’ easy jogging for recovery

Main set
2x(4×1’ moderate/RPE 3–7 with 30’’ rest after each. Include 1K at 5–10K pace after #4 of each set).
Walk/jog easy for 2-3’ between sets.


5-10’ easy

Key: ’ = minutes | ” = seconds


Split Tempo Run

15’ easy jogging

Main set
10’ Zone 2/RPE 3–5
5’ Zone 3/RPE 6–8
2’ Zone 1/RPE 1–2
5’ Zone 3/RPE 6–8

10–20’ easy

Key: ’ = minutes | ” = seconds


Seng’s Treadmill Tips

– Set treadmill at a 1 percent grade for all runs aside from any specific hill reps. This will ensure you are running closer to the feel of running outdoors.
– Always have a towel and water or electrolyte drink on hand with increased sweat rate.
– If possible, use a small fan to help keep you cooler and more comfortable, and be sure you have good ventilation.
– Don’t “race” your neighbor. Stick to your specific workout and don’t worry about what speed or grade the person next to you is running.
– Include some light stretching after your warm-up and a few minutes of easy walking as a cool-down before you get off the treadmill to re-establish your equilibrium.