It’s hard not to dread the treadmill if all you’re using it to do is run the same pace for 30 minutes while zoning out to some terrible reality TV show. Yeah, that sucks. But using the treadmill for interval workouts instead—shorts bursts of work followed by recovery periods—can make your workout more exciting and the time pass faster.
Plus, there’s a whole slew of body benefits. “For existing runners, doing interval work improves running efficiency, increases anaerobic endurance, helps build fast-twitch muscle fibers, and increases V02 max”—all of which will help you go faster for longer, says Leanne Pedante, an RRCA-certified running coach and head of training for STRIDE. “And for people who don’t consider themselves ‘runners,’ interval workouts are a great way to introduce some mileage in small chunks on a low-impact surface, which lets your body adapt and can help prevent injury while burning a ton of fat and calories in relatively short amounts of time.”