Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nate’s Plateau Buster treadmill intervals

This assumes you are in relatively good condition. As with any training plan on this site Nathan Bunting and ManV2 takes no responsibility for any injury, illness or negative consequences caused by following the advice on this site.


I am publishing this interval workout for one of my family who is looking to improve his condition rapidly using treadmill workouts. I am using it myself and it has helped improve both my speed and general conditioning this year. It is a work in progress so I am continually “tweaking” it and experimenting, but the current version works extremely well.


You are going to need to know your rest and max pulse so that you can work out your training zones. You will need some way of watching your pulse. Ideally a pulse monitor but hopefully, if not, your treadmill has the ability to let you check by laying your hands on the pulse pads.

If you do not know your max pulse from before, the simple version, not the most accurate but it will do, can be calculated from the standard equations – personally the most accurate for me has been 210-[.5 x Age] but a lot of people get along fine with the simple 220-Age. There is a good calculator here:

Now – calculate your training zones. A good calculator for this is here:

We are going to be using column 5 (“Heart Rate Training 5”). Obviously if you are using a pulse monitor, you can just set it so display zones for you.

Right – now. Here we go.


We are going to be doing these intervals until you reach 10 KM. If this is too much for you in the early stages than adjust it accordingly. As with any high-zone interval training, I recommend that you perform this as around 10% of your training plan.

Warm-up: 5 minutes. Pulse zone upper 2 – lower 3.

When I first started this workout, I was began at around 8 KPH but after a few weeks it was up around 10 KPH.

Interval #1: 3 minutes. Lower - mid pulse zone 5.

Here you hit it and sprint for 3 minutes. Because this is in lower zone 5, it is not going to be your max sprint but you would not be able to hold a conversation comfortably. You would be able to talk but only in very short sentences between breaths. Depending on the day’s form I will be around 13 – 15 KPH here.

Interval #2: 2 minutes. Upper pulse zone 2 – lower pulse zone 3.

Here we are going to get out breath back to the ability to have a conversation with some heavy breathing in the first minute of recovery. Remember that this is not all out recover. We are trying to stay in the lower aerobic stamina zone rather than falling too far into zone 2 and endurance. Later in the workout, you probably will have to allow yourself to fall into zone 2 for a while to recover a little. Depending on the day’s form I may be around 11 to 12 KPH.

Continue interval one and two until the end of the workout. Aim to work towards 10 KM.

After hitting 10 KM we reach recovery / cool-down.

Recovery /cool-down: 5-10 minutes.

Fall to zone one as quickly as possible and allow yourself a good 5 – 10 minute recovery.

Well done! Keep this up once a week and within 3 - 4 weeks, you are going to see a big return in better condition at both endurance and sprint levels.

©Nathan Bunting, 2014.

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