How-To: simulate a mountain climb on a treadmill

treadmillWalking on a treadmill is kind of lame. I mean, let’s be honest, even running on a treadmill is pretty dull. Walking is just the worst. I feel like a slow, injured animal. Or a geriatric out for a stroll around the shopping mall. It’s really just not good at all.

In an effort to train for my upcoming mountain climb, I have been making a concerted effort to do more walking and hill climbing. I can’t always get outside, so the treadmill has been my go-to second choice. To try and make a long treadmill walk less awful, I looked up some treadmill hill climbs online. I wanted to find something challenging – something that actually got my heartrate up and made my legs work. I found a 45 minute hill climb workout online and decided to give it a try.

This was the workout:

00:00 -05:00 3.0 2.0
05:00-08:00 3.5 4.0
08:00-11:00 4.0 5.0
11:00-16:00 3.5 8.0
16:00-21:00 3.0 10.0
21:00-26:00 3.5 8.0
26:00-31:00 3.5 10.0
31:00-34:00 4.0 8.0
34:00-37:00 3.0 10.0
37:00-40:00 3.5 5.0
40:00-45:00 3.0 2.0


So… this was actually really hard.

As a seasoned treadmill runner, I did have a hard time not breaking into a run. With dozens of people running around me, it was hard not to feel like I was being judged. In reality, I’m sure no one was even paying attention to me, but I couldn’t help but think that people were wondering why I was only walking.

My ego aside, this was actually pretty tough. My legs were working hard and I was sweating. The entire workout was just over 4K and once the incline reduced back to 2%, it felt like almost no effort at all. I decided to run the last little bit to make it a nice even 5K.

With a change in speed and incline every 5 minutes or so, it was variable enough that it didn’t feel boring. I’m not actually sure I’ve ever even had the treadmill up to a 10% incline. It’s quite a steep hike!

If you’re looking for a lower impact workout, but one that still gets your heartrate up and burns a decent amount of calories, this is it. If you’re a runner, there’s lots of benefits of walking. Give this a try and let me know what you think!

Later that day...

Later that day…


  1. runsonsyrup June 12, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Wow, that does look hard!! As far as “giving it a try” … I’ll let somebody else let you know how it is 🙂

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