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How to Build Endurance on a Treadmill

Your level of endurance will dictate how long you can continue cardiovascular exercise before becoming fatigued. You can build your endurance by working out on a treadmill if you’re consistent with your training and gradually build the duration and intensity of your sessions.

Incorporate both continuous and high-intensity workouts into your training regimen for the greatest endurance gains. Always warm up thoroughly before your workouts by jogging for 15 minutes, especially for the higher-intensity training sessions.


Gradually Increase Distance

Build endurance by gradually increasing the mileage or time that you’re running during your continuous workouts on the treadmill. Maintain your comfortable running pace throughout your entire workout.

These gradual increases in distance and time will strengthen your heart and improve the efficiency of your cardiorespiratory system. Increase your total weekly mileage or workout time by 10 percent each week.


How to Build Endurance on a Treadmill


Incline Intervals

The higher the incline grade on the treadmill, the greater the intensity of your workout. Your heart, lungs and muscles have to immediately respond to meet the increased demand. One day per week, exchange out your continuous treadmill workout for an incline interval workout.

You still run at a continuous pace, but every minute you alternate between running at a 2 percent grade and a 4 percent grade. Continue alternating the incline throughout your workout.


Speed Intervals

Once you’ve been gradually increasing your workout distance and adding incline intervals consistently for eight weeks, incorporate weekly speed intervals on the treadmill. Speed intervals involve bouts of higher-intensity runs, followed by bouts of rest. Your run pace shouldn’t be a sprint or a jog. Rather, it should be about 80 percent of your sprint.

Run for 15 seconds and then step off the treadmill and rest for 30 seconds. Begin by doing six sets and then increase the number of sets by two every week until you get to 20 sets. Set the incline grade to 2 percent and the speed to your running pace while standing on the edges of the treadmill.

To safely mount the treadmill, grip the arm bars on either side of you as if doing a dip. Hold part of your body weight with your arms as you step onto the moving belt. Get your legs moving on the treadmill before you let go of the handles.


Treadmill Sprints

Once you’re ready for an even higher-intensity workout to build endurance, add in treadmill sprints. Sprint for 30 seconds and then rest for 45 seconds, completing a total of eight to 12 reps. Begin at an incline grade of 2 percent and a speed that’s just below your all-out sprinting speed.

If you’re not sure of the appropriate speed, begin at 7.5 mph. Every fourth set, move up the the incline and speed by 2 degrees and 0.5 mph, respectively.


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