Interval Treadmill Running Workouts for Beginners

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Start with these three interval treadmill running workouts for beginners and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your ability to run.

This week’s Guest Post is from: Yuri Elkaim who is one of the world’s leading fitness and sports conditioning experts. You can take his Treadmill Trainer interval training running programs for a free test spin by visiting and learn more about the best running workouts to get you fitter and running faster than ever before!

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Photo of the back of a woman wearing a white tank top and black leggings running on a treadmill with text overlay that says: Interval Treadmill Running Workouts for Beginners

Why is interval running good for beginners?

For beginners, interval running is a great way to ease into running while allowing your body time to adapt to the stress of running. An interval running plan significantly boosts weight loss by burning more calories than you would on a comfortable run. During work periods, your body is spending more energy to move the same mass but at a higher speed.

Is it better to run continuously or in intervals?

Intervals are considered to be one of the most efficient methods for enhancing athletic performance, which can get you to that big PR on race day. The big advantage of interval training is that the total duration of work at maximum effort is greater than for one continuous run.

3 Interval Training Workouts for Beginners

Treadmill trainer
iPod Treadmill Running Workouts

Today, I’d like to give you 3 interval training workouts for beginners. You can choose to do these on the treadmill or outdoors, it really doesn’t matter. These running workouts will help you run longer, get in better shape, and burn more calories.

These cardio workouts involve interval training which means that you have a bout of higher intensity (ie. running) followed by a bout of lower intensity (ie. walking). Depending on the duration of the workout, this sequence will be repeated a number of times, which allows you to spend more time at faster speeds because they’re spaced out with “recovery” intervals.

So let’s get to it!

Beginner Interval Treadmill Running Workout #1:

1 minute jogging @ 75% max speed : 4 minutes walking x 5 = 25 minutes

In this workout, you will jog at 75% of your maximum running speed for 1 minute and then reduce the speed to a decent pace walk for 4 minutes. This is then 5 times for a total of 25 minutes. This interval program means that you’ll be spending a total of 5 minutes running and 20 minutes walking.

Beginner Interval Running Workout #2:

2 minutes jogging @ 75% max speed : 4 minutes walking x 5 = 30 minutes

Notice how this workout is almost identical to the first one, except for one little difference? In this treadmill workout, you’ll be jogging twice as long while recovering for the same amount of time (4 minutes) you did in the first workout. The fact that your work to rest ratio is now 1:2 instead of 1:4 makes this workout more challenging because you are spending more of this workout at a higher speed. This workout allows you to run for 10 minutes and walk for 20 minutes.

Beginner Interval Running Workout #3:

2 minutes jogging @ 75% max speed : 2 minutes walking x 5 = 20 minutes

This treadmill running workout is more challenging because you now have the same amount of work as you do recovery (ie. a 1:1 ratio). You won’t have as much time to recover between work bouts and therefore we have reduced the overall time of this workout to 20 minutes, during which you’ll have 10 minutes of running and 10 minutes of walking.

These are just a few running workouts for beginners out of thousands of possible interval running plans. Start with these and you ‘ll notice a significant improvement in your ability to run.

Become a better runner. Treadmill Trainer will show you how!

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  1. Howard Jones says:

    I have been trying the interval running workouts just like you said and must admit that it is working great for me. I used to do jogging a lot but this one seems to be way better.

  2. I’m just getting into interval training and i can already feel i’m making much more progress than before. I’m now at a level where I can go for workout number 3.

  3. Great question! Interval running is alternating fast & slow running. When you speed up your running, you run faster than the amount of oxygen your body can supply to your working muscles, forcing them to work in anaerobic state. The energy substrate for anaerobic exercise is fat, rather than blood glucose. Fast & slow running alternates between aerobic & anaerobic exercise, causing more fat to be burned for energy.

    Strength training is also an anaerobic exercise that burns a lot of fat & builds lean muscle, which is why it’s the preferred way to lose weight. Lean muscle also burns more calories at rest than fat. However, if you don’t continue to use those muscles, they quickly are lost. Hence the saying: Use it or lose it.

    Perhaps I should follow this with a plain language blog post?

  4. Hey there – do they have intervals with running and jogging? I’m doing C25K now and interested in doing speed intervals once I’m done.

    1. Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader says:

      Hi Greta,
      That’s a fantastic question – I’ve forwarded your question to Yuri, and have asked him to copy me on his response so that I can let my other readers know too.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader says:


    2. Yuri Elkaim says:

      Hey Greta,

      Yes, ALL of our running workouts are based on interval running. You might be interested in the Volume 2 or Volume 3 line of workouts on the site. They are awesome for running a faster 5k or 10k distance.

      Hope that helps.