“No Excuse” Holiday Training Sessions

With Christmas week now upon us we know the days are only getting busier and longer - there are projects at work to tie up, last minute gifts to buy and wrap and travel plans to finalize. Although many of us may be heading out of town, potentially to cities and towns where ALL that exists is the small local gym, without group fitness classes of course, that’s no reason to throw in the towel and “forget fitness” for a few indulgent days.

Now, while we know solo treadmill workouts aren’t NEARLY as much fun as a MHRC class, they are still effective and a great way to squeeze in a hard effort or two when you’re pressed for time and resources (in a pinch you can take these runs outside!). To keep your inspiration a mile high, as well as do the hard work for you!, we’ve outlined a five awesome treadmill workouts created by MHRC Founder & President Debora Warner that you can save to your phone or iPad and take on the road with you. With so many choices, there is something for everyone here. And remember, the only workout you’ll ever regret is the one you didn’t do.

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are a great way to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes and train outside of your comfort zone. Dust off the incline button and try a 5% incline for 3 minutes followed by a two-minute easy recovery at a 1% incline. Repeat six times.


This is a classic. With a one-to-one ratio of work to recovery, you're sprinting as much as you're recovering. Sprint for 30 seconds, then jog for 30. Sprint for 60 seconds, then jog for 60. Sprint for 90, then jog for 90. Got it? Sandwich a two-minute walk in between the first set of 30-60-90-60-30 and start it all over again!

Progressive Twos

Run at threshold (88% maximum heart rate) for two minutes, followed by a two-minute easy recovery. Repeat six times but increase your speed by 0.2 MPH each time. You should be breathless by the last one.


Training for a race? Half marathon or full? Complete 70% of the distance at your target pace (if you're planning to run 10 miles, run 7 of them at your target pace). You can push yourself at the beginning, during the middle or during the end, but make sure to get your target pace in for 70% of the run (for me, target pace is threshold, which is 88% of my maximum heart rate).

Descending Fartlek

This is a favorite! Six minute push, three minute recovery, five minute push, two-and-a-half minute recovery, four minute push, two minute recovery, three minute push, one-and-a-half minute recovery, two minute push, one minute recovery, one minute push, thirty second recovery, thirty seconds ALL OUT! Walk for two minutes. Since recovery is always half of the “work,” as the intervals get shorter, your recovery speed will increase.