This 15-Minute Treadmill Workout Is so Much Fun, You Won’t Even Realize You’re Running Hills

I'm thinking it's not a coincidence that there's only a one-letter difference between the words "hill" and "hell." Running at an incline is challenging (and, ok, pretty unpleasant), but it's an important element of any runner's training because it challenges your body—and engages your muscles—in an entirely different way than your usual flat road runs.

Hill workouts work your upper hamstrings and glutes. And also? They can help you get faster without actually having to run any faster."You can kind of think of hills as speed work in disguise," says Nike Run Coach Jes Woods. "You don't have to be running super fast uphill to get the same benefits."

For this week's Trainer of the Month Club workout, Woods put together a 15-minute treadmill hill workout that will help you reap those benefits for yourself. It will take you through three intervals of "realistic hills," which means you'll be running "up and over" the hills. You'll take a steady pace at increasing inclines for two minutes, followed by one faster-paced minute on flat road, and then you'll recover.

"This is my favorite workout to do on the treadmill, because you’re constantly either changing the incline or the speed, so it eliminates all chances of ever getting bored," says Woods.

Because running uphill has a different impact on your body than running at a flat road does, it's important to adjust your form accordingly as you increase your incline. Lean into the hill, hinging at your ankles (not from your waist!), and keeping your chest tall, open, and proud. Look straight ahead, and try to avoid staring at the console. Rise up to the ball of your foot and take short, choppy strides—think about spending as little time in contact with the tread as possible, and ripping it back with each step.

Ready to take the hell out of your hill workout with a quick and effective one that's actually enjoyable? Follow along with the video above, and 15 minutes will go by faster than you know it.

15-minute treadmill hill workout

60% effort: Long run/marathon pace
Fast flat: 0.5 MPH faster (or more) than long run pace
Recovery: Walk or comfortable jog

2 minute walk or light jog

Interval 1:
1 minute 60% effort, 2% incline
1 minute 60% effort, 4% incline
1 minute fast flat
1 minute recovery

Interval 2:
1 minute 60% effort, 3% incline
1 minute 60% effort, 5% incline
1 minute fast flat
1 minute recovery

Interval 3:
1 minute 60% effort, 6% incline
1 minute fast flat
2 minute recovery

These are the top five mistakes Woods sees people making in their treadmill workouts, plus a tread/mat HIIT workout that will get your heart literally racing.

Tags: Running

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