Let’s face it. Running on the treadmill can be super boring, especially when you are trying to get your 30-60 minutes of cardio per day.

While long cardio sessions have their benefits, it’s important not to dismiss the short ones.

If you don’t have 30 minutes-no problem!

Below are 8 awesome treadmill workouts that can be done under 30 minutes. Prior to starting each of these workouts, warm-up for 3-5 minutes.

Please note that the speeds provided in this article are only examples.

1. The 12-Minute Terror (my favorite!). Set the treadmill speed to the highest you can tolerate for the first 6 minutes. Then, with only 6 minutes left, increase the speed by 0.1 mph (ie. 9.0 mph to 9.1 mph). If you are up for it, increase the speed by another 0.1 mph with only 3 minutes to go. As you get fitter, you will be able to start at a higher speed.

2. The 10-Minute Countdown. Set the treadmill speed to the highest you can tolerate for the whole 10 minutes. The pace must feel challenging to you. Two weeks later, provided that you’ve done this workout at least 2-3 times per week, try increasing that speed by 0.1 mph and see how that feels for the entire 10 minutes. Keep repeating this pattern every 2 weeks.

3. The Fun 21. This workout lasts…you guessed it! 21 minutes. For the first 7 minutes, keep a fairly conservative pace. Then, for the next 7 minutes, speed up by anywhere between 0.2-0.5 mph. After that, give it all you’ve got for the last 7 minutes (increase speed by 0.2-0.5 mph once again). As you get fitter, you will be able to start and finish faster.

4. The 20-minute tempo.  Maintain a comfortably hard, but steady pace for 20 minutes. If you are looking to make this workout a little more challenging, then complete the last 10 minutes of the 20 minute workout at a pace that’s 0.1-0.2 mph faster. You should not be able to carry on a conversation while doing this workout.

5. Crazy 8. Start at a comfortably hard pace for the first minute. Then, increase the treadmill speed by 0.1 mph with each subsequent minute. The 8th minute should feel very hard, but it should also give you a sense of relief because you will be finished the workout shortly thereafter.

6. Intervals. It would be a crime not to include intervals on my list. Try doing 2 minutes of hard running (rate of perceived exertion should be around 7.5-8.5 on a scale of 1-10) followed by a 1 minute recovery. Repeat 6 times for a total of 18 minutes.

7. Hills and Thrills. Start at a fairly conservative pace but keep increasing the incline by 1 every subsequent minute for the next 10 minutes. Do not slow down during the whole workout (if you can).

8. The Ultimate Test. Start at incline 0 and at a comfortable speed for the first minute. As each subsequent minute goes by, increase your speed by 0.5 mph. If you get to the point where the treadmill is at its maximum speed, then start increasing the incline by 1 as each subsequent minute passes until you can no longer keep going. Make note of the speed you started, what speed you ended with, whether you had to use the incline, and how long you lasted. Try this every 2-4 weeks.

Please note that each of the workouts should end with a 3-5 minute cooldown and stretch.

I hope that these workouts will help you alleviate boredom during your cardio sessions. They are too hard and too short to be boring if done right.

Please keep in mind that this does not mean you should reduce your total cardio time. These workouts were designed to give you some new ideas to try.

As with any workouts, start easy and then speed up as you gain more confidence with each subsequent workout. Also, make sure you know where the emergency stop button is on the treadmill you are using.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me


P.S. Pass this on if you found it helpful.