Recently I was asked the following question by someone who was watching one of my YouTube videos on cardio interval training....

"I saw your video and it encouraged me to try this system out because I am pressed for time a lot.

I have heard that the treadmill is not the best thing to use when doing the HIIT (interval training) workout and I was wondering if this is fact or fiction??? Also if a treadmill is not the best item how would I go about doing this on an open field?

Finally, today I went on the treadmill and did 3 minutes at a brisk walk around 4.3 MPH and than went into 7 sets of 1 minute at 8.2 mph and than 1 minute at 4.3 mph finally finishing with a 3 minute cool down. 8.2 is basically a legitimate run for me at this point so I was wondering if this is fine. I'd truly and greatly appreciate it if you will answer these questions for me."



Thanks for the great question Mike.

The answers to your questions are "it depends".

Answer #1:
Doing interval training workouts on the treadmill is fine if you're using longer intervals since it takes most treadmills a fair amount of time to reach the desired speed. I would suggest using the treadmill for running workouts that involve intervals of at least 30 seconds. Using faster and thus shorter intervals of 10 or 15 seconds could be more difficult because it will take the treadmill that long to reach the intended speed.

Answer #2:
To do interval training outside is fairly simple yet not as accurate when it comes to calculating running speed. My best advice is to use a track if you can. That way you'll know exactly how much distance you cover in a given amount of time and thus can calculate your speed or pace.

For example, you can set up a simple interval where you run 100 m in 12 seconds and then recover for 300 m in under 1 minute. You could then repeat this protocol for 10-15 minutes.

Personally, I prefer doing interval runs outdoors because you can usually reach greater running speeds in only a few seconds (instead of waiting for the treadmill to change speeds). One method of doing these interval runs outdoors (if you don't have access to a track) is to arbitrarily assign landmarks as your start and stop locations.

For instance, if you're running on a sidewalk you could accelerate to full speed between streetlights or street corners and then jog for recovery for twice that distance (ie. 2 street corners). The same can be done in a park using big trees or other landmarks that you choose to use.

Give those workouts a shot and if you need more assistance then be sure to get your hands on my Treadmill Trainer iPod running workouts as they provide you with my auditory coaching right over your headphones for the best interval running workouts ever!

Author's Bio: 

Fitness Expert, Yuri Elkaim helps millions of busy health conscious individuals lose fat while bettering their running performance with just 2 interval training runs per week. Watch his new You Tube Video for a complete guided interval training workout! And as a special bonus, you'll receive a FREE special offer to receive one of Yuri’s FREE Treadmill Trainer™ iPod running workouts to help you get fit and running faster with just 2 short runs per week!