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45-Minute Treadmill Cardio Workout

This 45-Minute Treadmill Workout Is the Cardio Your Body Is Begging For

Too cold outside to run? Lace up your shoes and get yourself to the gym, because this treadmill workout is all you need to gain more energy, burn fat, and build your endurance. Michael Olzinski, MSc, Purplepatch endurance coach and Equinox run coach, created this exclusive session for POPSUGAR, and it's the perfect way to sneak in a solid session of cardio.

The Workout

Mike calls this session Up and Down the Mountain. "This is a great simulation to going over a massive mountaintop," he said. You start out with a solid warmup, move into hill work, and then "finish with some speed." "I love this workout for all levels of runners or fitness folks," Mike added. "You do not need to be training for a marathon or the 2020 Olympics to tackle this one and get the benefits. But would it help those too? Absolutely."

Before you get started, you'll need to decide on two different speeds. The first is an easier pace that you'll use in your warmup, and the next will be your main speed throughout the hill workout.

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  • Smooth Tempo Effort: "This should be a speed that you can maintain and still talk to someone on a treadmill next to you. It is not a deep conversation, and you may not be leading it, but at a smooth tempo effort, you have your breath the entire time, while you are still moving forward and quickly as you can."
  • Hill Effort: "This should start out as a full 1.0 mph below the smooth tempo effort that you find in the warmup. This is slow because you are going to be hitting some very steep hills in the first set! For many, this might even be a very strong 'power walk.' In the second set, you will be adding speed to this as the incline drops, so don't feel bad if you keep it very low."

If you don't know what these speeds would be before you get started, you can figure them out as you're warming up. In the second half of the workout, you'll see some speeds notated as "Hill Effort + 0.2 mph." All you do is add 0.2 mph (or whatever speed is indicated) to your Hill Effort.

A note on the warmup: After you spend a few minutes walking or jogging, you'll go into three minutes of a dynamic warmup, which includes high knees, butt kicks, and skips. Be sure to bring your treadmill down to a very slow pace, around 2.0 mph or lower, so you can go through these movements safely and effectively.


Time Speed Incline
0:00-5:00 Easy walk or jog 1.0
5:00-8:00 High knees, butt kicks, and skips 1.0
8:00-9:30 Smooth Tempo Effort 1.0
9:30-11:00 Smooth Tempo Effort 2.0
11:00-12:30 Smooth Tempo Effort 3.0
12:30-14:00 Smooth Tempo Effort 4.0
14:00-16:00 Easy walk or jog 0.0
16:00-17:00 Hill Effort 1.0
17:00-18:00 Hill Effort 4.0
18:00-19:00 Hill Effort 3.0
19:00-20:00 Hill Effort 6.0
20:00-21:00 Hill Effort 5.0
21:00-22:00 Hill Effort 8.0
22:00-23:00 Hill Effort 7.0
23:00-24:00 Hill Effort 10.0
24:00-25:00 Hill Effort 9.0
25:00-26:00 Hill Effort 12.0
26:00-27:00 Hill Effort 0.0
27:00-29:00 Easy jog or walk 0.0
29:00-30:00 Hill Effort 12.0
30:00-31:00 Hill Effort + 0.2 mph 10.0
31:00-32:00 Hill Effort + 0.4 mph 8.0
32:00-33:00 Hill Effort + 0.6 mph 6.0
33:00-34:00 Hill Effort + 0.8 mph 4.0
34:00-35:00 Hill Effort + 1.0 mph 2.0
35:00-36:00 Hill Effort + 1.2 mph 0.0
36:00-37:00 Hill Effort + 1.4 mph 0.0
37:00-38:00 Hill Effort + 1.6 mph 0.0
38:00-39:00 Hill Effort + 1.8 mph 0.0
39:00-40:00 Hill Effort + 2.0 mph 0.0
40:00-45:00 Recovery walk or jog 0.0


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