Stories from Running

Get Faster in 15-Minutes Flat With This Speed-Based Treadmill Workout

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerMarch 16, 2020

Whether you’re running 12-minute miles (#itme) or edging in on a record-breaking two-hour marathon, getting faster is something every runner can improve on. But shaving minutes off of your miles requires a different type of work than just hitting the ground running—you need to train for speed using a totally different method than you would for distance or hills.

To help you do that, Nike Run Coach Jes Woods put together an interval-based treadmill speed workout that will help you get faster in 15 minutes flat. “This workout is great for all ability levels, whether you’re a racer training for their next marathon or a beginner,” says Woods. It’s a “descending ladder” style run, which means that you’ll start with one long interval at 70 percent effort, and each interval will get shorter and faster until you’re running at your all-out speed. “We’re not going to slam on the gas pedal—we’re going to ease into it,” Woods assures. As your pace gets faster, you should feel your stride opening up, and bring your knees higher so the you’re getting your full range of motion.

“The reason why we’re working on these super top speeds, even if you’re not training for a 5K race, when you’re working at these top speeds you’re going to start to see your other paces—like your recovery runs or long runs–get faster behind it,” says Woods. In other words, the more you practice your short-sprint speed work, the faster you’re going to get all around.

A few things to keep in mind that will help you get through when things feel challenging: The first interval, which is three minutes long, is the longest—once you’ve gotten through that, you won’t have to hold any other pace for more than two minutes. Plus, the whole workout is done on a flat road, which means you won’t have to deal with hills.

Ready to pick up the pace? Hop on the treadmill and press play on the video above.

15-minute treadmill speed workout

Two-minute warmup: Start with a walk if you need to, but eventually build it up to a jog. Feel free to extend the warmup as needed. It should feel like a speed where you could run here forever.

Three minutes, 70-percent effort: This would be your half marathon pace, and should feel like 70 percent of your all-out effort. Your pace should be rhythmic, and you should be breathing hard enough that you can get out a few quick conversational sentences without being totally breathless.

One-minute recovery: Walk or jog.

Two minutes, 80-percent effort: This is your10K pace, or 0.5MPH faster than your 80 percent effort pace. You shouldn’t be totally breathless, but you should only be able to get a quick sentence out before needing some deep breaths.

One-minute recovery: Walk or jog.

One-minute, 90 percent effort: This is your 5K pace, or 0.5MPH faster than your 80 percent effort pace. You shouldn’t be totally breathless, but should be breathing hard enough that you don’t want to talk anymore.

One-minute recovery: Walk or jog.

30 seconds, warmup jog: Start to pick up your pace from a walk to a jog, which will help your body prep for its all-out speed.

30 seconds, 100 percent effort: This is the fastest speed you can run, whatever that means to you today.

Two-minute cooldown: Catch your breath, extend your cool down as needed

To add some hills into your regimen, check out this interval-based workout from Woods. Plus, she reveals the biggest mistakes you might be making with your running form.

Loading More Posts...