Home > Training

Treadmill hill workouts for indoor training

When you can't go outside, the treadmill is a great way to mimic a traditional hill workout

A better treadmill

Whether all the hills in your area are covered in a sheet of ice or blanket of snow, or you’re surrounded by flat land with not a hill in sight, the treadmill can be a useful tool when trying to get some hill work in. Doing a hill workout can also make the ‘mill a little less boring, so if you’re training for a hilly race or simply looking to make indoor running more interesting, try these workouts to boost your fitness.

How to hill train without a hill

Fast hills

This workout is great for building speed and strength, and mimics a traditional workout of shorter hill repeats. If you’re new to hill repeats, start your incline at 4-5 per cent, but more experienced runners can up the incline to 6-8 per cent.

Warmup: 10-15 minutes easy jog.

Workout: 6 x 60-90 seconds at 5K-10K pace with 2-3 minutes of recovery. If you choose the shorter sprints, aim for 5K pace, and try to hit your 10K pace if you’re doing the longer sprints.

Cooldown: 10 minutes easy jog, followed by light stretching.

Bad weather? Try this treadmill speed workout

Long hills

If you’re training for a race that has plenty of long, rolling climbs, this is the workout for you. The incline on these isn’t as steep, but each interval is long enough that you’ll feel the burn by the end.

Warmup: 10-15 minute easy jog.

Workout: 4 x 1/2 mile (800m) at 4 per cent incline with 5 minutes jog rest. Your pace here should be slower than the fast hills, and should feel challenging but sustainable. Focus on maintaining your form throughout the entire interval.

Cooldown: 10 minutes easy jog followed by light stretching.