No matter what you do, if you hit the gym, you’re already living a healthy lifestyle. But whether you’re a cardio queen looking to mix it up or a rockstar in the weight room who wants to add a little endurance to the mix, stepping on the treadmill can sometimes feel a little more like stepping on the dreadmill. But good news! It doesn’t have to be. We caught up with six personal trainers to hear more about workouts designed specifically for the treadmill that are anything but boring.

Running at the fitness club

1. Practice equal parts speed and recovery. “A new favorite of mine is an interval routine. It works best when you can program in two speeds for your sprint and recovery. I start with about two mins of casual jogging. Then it’s a 45-second sprint (mine is about 12 to 13 mph). Then 30-second active recovery (mine is about 6.0 mph). I repeat that sequence for about 8-10 sprints. (Note: You can increase or decrease the sprint and recovery paces to be able to complete the 8-10 sets). Then cool down for about three mins around 7.0 mph.” John Ford, personal trainer at Find Your Trainer.

2. Pretend you’re on the track. “I love doing a five-minute warm-up followed by 5 x 2:00 max effort vs 1:00 recovery. You should try to sustain pace as fatigue sets in. This is my favorite because it simulates a track workout (“one lap around the track” based on an 8:00 min pace per mile) and packs a punch within 20 minutes. Most importantly, this is 2:1 interval training which maximizes endurance training by putting the athlete in a deficit (think: heart rate trying to reach recovery zone) and demanding repetitive, sustained effort.” Dani Muckley, director of fitness at Studio Three.

3. Don’t sweat the indoors. “When I’m training for marathons and can’t make it outdoors, I usually like to do a quick 3-6-mile treadmill routine at various speeds, keeping it at a 1-2 percent incline to mimic outdoor roads. I pick up the speed whenever a good and fast song comes on for 30 seconds at 7.5-9.0 mph and then go back to 5-6.5 mph. The key is having a great playlist and having fun going fast!” Isabel Beltran, fitness coach and model.

4. Embrace the hills. “I love this Happy Hills, 40-minute workout. You warm up for 10 minutes starting at one percent incline and then do 30 minutes increasing the incline one percent every two minutes until you reach eight percent WITHOUT touching the speed twice through!” Meghan Kennihan, personal trainer and running coach at Train With Meghan.

5. Work on your speed. “This four-mile workout will help you run a faster 5k. Start by warming up with a one-mile easy jog. Then do ¾ mile hard with a fast heart rate at or slightly above threshold, ¼ mile recovery, ½ mile hard, ½ mile recovery, ¼ mile hard, ¾ mile jog easy to finish.” Sara Dimmick, personal trainer at Physical Equilibrium and USA triathlon coach.

6. Try a classic interval workout. “Interval training is the way to go on the treadmill. My number one thing about any type of fitness is being engaged and having fun so that you continue to do it. Well, there is nothing more boring than running for a couple of miles on a treadmill. Intervals change that up for me! They keep me engaged and challenged, and provide variety. There are so many ways to do them with hills, short all-out sprints and longer ‘endurance’ intervals. I try not to take up the intensity for more than three minutes at a time, so it is always doable. Not only is it more fun, but intervals help preserve muscle while burning fat, improve your aerobic capacity and can help spike your metabolism even after the workout is over.” Julie Rogers, head trainer at Orangetheory Fitness in Rosslyn.

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(Photos via Getty)