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4 Treadmill Workouts You’ve Never Tried

Power through the final weeks of winter—or prep for your first spring race—with out-of-the-box indoor workouts, like backward running and sprint-squat intervals.

The Workout: Alternate Inclines

The best part about this hill workout: You only need to run two miles to get your blood pumping. "If someone's trying to hit a target mile time, this is a great workout," Senense says.

Get on it:

  • Pick your target mile pace, and set the speed slightly slower. "You want to ease into it. You don't want to tap out," Senense says.
  • Alternate the incline every minute. A good pattern: 5.0, 7.0, 10.0, and back down to 5.0 by the end.
  • Increase your speed throughout the workout so that you hit your target mile pace. The goal: the final, low-incline minute will feel super speedy—and you'll pick up some time.
  • Repeat once.

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The Workout: Side-Shuffles and Backward Running

You might get a few stares running backward on the treadmill, but that's a fair price to pay for the benefits of this routine. It's softer on the feet but still manages to get your heart rate up and tire out your calves, Senense says.

Get on it:

  • Set the treadmill incline somewhere between 5.0 and 8.0 (advanced runners: aim for 10).
  • Stand sideways on the treadmill and hold onto the bar. Set the speed slow (between 2.5 and 4.5 MPH is a good starting point for newbies) and do a side shuffle for 30 seconds.
  • Flip over to the other side of the treadmill for another 30 seconds; you'll probably notice that the move feels more natural on one side.
  • Stand backward and stay closer to the front of the machine than you normally would—your butt should almost touch the bar. Run backward for 30 seconds (it's harder than it looks!).
  • Face forward and jog it out for 30 seconds.
  • Change the incline to 0 and sprint for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat.

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