5 treadmill training sessions for distance runners

by | Jan 13, 2022 | Technical Articles

On these cold dark days, the treadmill can save your training bacon. Here are 5 sessions designed for distance goals.

5 minute faster intervals

This 10K pace interval session is ideal for your Spring 10K races and any half marathons you’ve got booked this year. It leans heavily on longer intervals at your 10K race pace, which will develop speed and endurance.

10 minutes easy run
5 minutes at 10K pace / 2 minutes easy recovery
Repeat the intervals for a total of 5 times
5 minutes easy run
Total: 50 minutes

Increasing intervals

This session also uses 10K pace intervals as a guide, but varies the pace to constantly keep you working harder (and to stop it getting boring). Before you start, work out your 10K pace per mile then add 10 seconds (for the first set of intervals) and subtract 10 seconds (for the second set of intervals). For example, if your 10K pace is 8:45 min/mile, do the first set of intervals at 8:55 and the second set at 8:35.

10 minutes easy run
1 x 1000m at 10K pace plus 10 seconds per mile / 2 minutes easy recovery
1 x 1000m at 10K pace plus 10 seconds per mile / 2 minutes easy recovery
1 x 1000m at 10K pace / 2 minutes easy recovery
1 x 1000m at 10K pace / 2 minutes easy recovery
1 x 1000m at 10K pace minus 10 seconds per mile / 2 minutes easy recovery
1 x 1000m at 10K pace minus 10 seconds per mile / 2 minutes easy recovery
10 minutes easy run

Half marathon treadmill training

This session is a must if you’re a half marathon specialist or have just entered your first 13.1

10 minutes easy run
10 minutes at half marathon pace at 1% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
10 minutes at half marathon pace at 2% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
10 minutes at half marathon pace at 3% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
10 minutes easy run
Total: 50 minutes

Incline training session

One thing treadmill training struggles to replicate is the undulating nature of outdoor running. It’s really important to keep some hills in your training, especially if the half marathon race you’ve entered is known to be undulating (like the Windsor Half Marathon!)

10 minutes easy run
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 2% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 3% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 4% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 3% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 4% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 3% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
3 minutes at 10 mile pace on a 2% incline / 2 minutes easy recovery
10 minutes easy run reducing speed and incline
Total: 55 minutes

2 mile repeats

Using longer repeats is a great way of combining interval training and endurance work, crucial for maintaining speed over longer distance races. If your half marathon is in the Spring, do three of the main repeats. If you don’t have a race in the diary or it’s a long way off, just do two. This session is tough!

10 minutes easy run
1 mile at half marathon pace then 1 mile at 10K pace / 3 minutes easy recovery
Repeat once or twice (see above for guidance)
10 minutes easy run

Looking for a half marathon in 2022? Sign up to the Windsor Half Marathon in September and add our medal to your collection. Click here to sign up now.