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Advanced Treadmill Interval Training

Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

You’ve read the articles.  You’ve run the miles.  You’ve sweated the sweat. You’ve…you get the picture. You’ve worked hard, and now you are ready for the next level of treadmill interval training


Now the real work begins.

If that was too melodramatic, I apologize. The point is, becoming as fit as possible means taking interval training to the advanced stage.  The techniques and routines below will challenge your body in a way that hasn’t been done before, and will definitely ensure that you get the most efficient and effective interval workout you can get on a treadmill.

Introducing The 1:1 Ratio

You have probably run on a 2:1 ratio up until now.  (Refresher course: This ratio means you run a pattern of two moderately-paced units of time or distance to one fast unit. If your unit is a minute, then you run at a moderate pace for two minutes, followed by a hard one-minute run.)

Now, you can start incorporating the 1:1 ratio into your workout routine.  The best way to do this is to run a pattern I call the Heart Monitor.  Why? Because it looks like a heart monitor – and makes you feel like you’ll need one.

The Heart Monitor

Here’s how this works.  Start off by running at a moderate 2-minute pace.  Then, kick it up to 90% of your max speed for a minute.  Then, take it back down for two minutes.  Kick it back up to a minute.

Here’s the twist: take it back down for one minute. Then go up again for another minute. 
That is a complete set.  If you were going to outline it, it would look like this:
2 minutes moderate
1 minute fast
2 minutes moderate
1 minute fast
1 minute moderate
1 minute fast
Total: 8 minutes

Repeat this pattern 4 times for a complete workout.

The Hurt Locker

If you want to take it up to an even higher level, and think you’re fit enough to do it, try switching around the order a bit.  Run this pattern:

2 minutes moderate
1 minute fast
1 minute moderate
2 minutes fast
3 minutes moderate
1 minute fast
Total: 10 minutes

Run this pattern 3-4 times for an even more-intense workout. The two-minute sprints will really tax your body and push it to the limit, especially after going at a moderate pace for just a minute right before.  If you want to be even more insane, cut the 3-minute moderate pace down to two minutes.
Anything beyond that is truly rough stuff. Buyer beware.

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