Building Cardio Endurance On Your Home Treadmill

What is more important than athletic skill? Endurance, which is something that anyone can build no matter what level they are beginning at. Stamina is an important part of improving overall ability, as well as increasing results from regular physical activity. But how do you build it when you have nothing but a treadmill at home?

Don’t worry, it is pretty simple. Just try these four helpful cardio building tips.

Try HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training has been lauded for years as a way to gain greater aerobic returns using shorter activity bursts. For those who have difficulty maintaining a higher heart or respiratory rate, it also provides a good baseline for building up over time to longer stretches of exercise.

In addition to these benefits, researchers are also seeing a positive impact on mitochondria development and oxygen production/distribution (also known as your VO2max).

To begin HIIT training on your treadmill, simply start off using the same process you would for developing a running routine. However, with a small adjustment: fast-walk three minutes, run at the highest speed you can maintain for one minute, run at a lower intensity for one minute (to bring your heart rate down), then repeat three times. As you build endurance you can increase the number of burst cycles until you reach your desired workout length.

Try Polarized Training

Similar to HIIT, polarized training is about varying your workout by intensity for shorter blocks of time. However, polarized training has fewer bursts and longer stretches, based on intensity only. Here is how it works:

  • 80% of workout – Do it at a very easy but sustained pace
  • 20% of workout – Do it at a very intense but sustained pace

So if you were to do a 60 minute workout every day, you would be doing 48 minutes of that workout without straining yourself, and 12 minutes really pushing yourself. The trick is to make the easy part challenging enough to keep your heart rate up while not exhausting yourself completely. But you should be making that 20% as intense as possible, reaching your target max and maintaining it through the duration.

Try High Incline Training

If the above methods are a little much for you at the start of your cardio training, you can go a simpler route. Simply ramp up your incline on the treadmill so you are walking or running uphill. Not only does this help you to build endurance but it works various muscles that aren’t targeted by a flat surface, and increases the amount of calorie burn attained in each workout by as much as five times the average.

Try a Little Every Day

The most important tip is just to keep going every day. Even if you are just increasing your speed by a fraction with each workout, you are making progress over time. Little changes and improvements add up, and you will be amazed by where you are in just a few months time.