Love it or hate it, the Treadmill is a great piece of kit. Ability to easily manipulate speed and incline in a confined space is pretty great! However, often people will just plod along for the duration of their lunch break, whereas it can be a lot more beneficial to mix it up.
Here are two 'fun' ways to mix up your treadmill workout.
(Headphones on, select your favourite album or workout playlist.)
Begin running at your 'base pace', i.e. something you are comfortable holding for a sustained period of time, let's say 10kph. Have in your mind your 'sprint pace', something like 14-15kph might work well if 10 is your base pace.
Have in your head the rough time you want to workout for, maybe it's 20 minutes - or 5 songs.
Start playing your music, and running at your base pace, except every time the song hits the chorus, immediately increase the speed to your sprint pace, then once the chorus is over, return to base pace. Simply repeat every chorus for all 5 songs!
Interval training is great for your heart & lungs. It helps build cardiovascular fitness within shorter workouts, reaping the benefits of the increased intensity, but by holding the higher intensity for shorter periods, you save time and get the body used to running at the faster pace.
This requires you to reserve the floor space immediately behind the treadmill with a mat, German holiday maker style (sorry Germans).
We will be using a 'superset' format - which is when two exercises are performed back to back without rest. We will be using the treadmill for one of these, and an exercise of your choosing for the other.
Pop on the treadmill. Run 1k, steadily increase the pace so you are running at 'thresh-hold' i.e. any faster and it will start to get quite uncomfortable.
Once complete, CAREFULLY using the arms step off the treadmill but keep it running. Get on the mat and complete 20 reps of an exercise, let's say sit ups.
Pop back on the treadmill CAREFULLY and whilst still holding the arms begin running and when comfortable, let go of the arms and run for 800m, then do your sit ups. Repeat this, for 600m, 400m, and finally 200m, with the sit ups in between each set.
This is a classic '6-pack' workout, looking to burn calories whilst also working the abdominal muscles. You may want to mix up the exercises, or even do more reps, however some treadmills automatically stop after 30 seconds of no weight on the belt. Not the end of the world, just means you have to fire that baby up each time to full speed.
You can of course use any exercise in place of the sit ups. Get some dumbells and pump the guns, get a kettlebell and do some swings...
Whilst there is definitely a case of simply exercising and not worrying too much about speed / reps / weight etc, if you are looking to make improvements overtime, I would keep a note of the speeds you use, so next time you can try and up this slightly. Put it in the notes section of your phone, or get a cute little exercise logbook like I have...