Killer Treadmill Workout: The Progressive/Degressive Run

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One of my favorite treadmill workouts is a progressive/degressive run. It’s a simple workout that doesn’t require watching the clock or mileage too closely. It helps the time go by more quickly and provides a great workout. I was dripping when I finished this run. And I mean, people were staring dripping.

All you need to do: increase your speed at every mile. This workout is easy to adjust to your fitness level and how you’re feeling because you can choose how much to increase the speed–just one bump up or you can go for more. And the best part is that you get a progressive down speed too on the degression mile. Knowing I get to slow down for the last mile helps me stick through the tough parts! And it helps your body gradually cool down too.


The Progressive & Degressive Treadmill Workout!

I was aiming for a 5 mile progression with a 1 mile degression. Here’s how I did it!

  • I set the incline at 1.0 and started at 7:40 pace for the first mile. I increased my speed by one “bump” at each mile for the first four miles.
  • Once I hit four miles, I increased the pace at every quarter mile so my speed starting increasing quickly until I hit 5 miles. I also bumped the incline up to 1.5 at this point.
  • Once I hit 5 miles, I finished with a degression mile where I gradually slowed my pace by decreasing speed at every quarter mile. I left the incline at 1.5 but you could drop it for your degression.
  • I finished with an easy jog without any incline for 1/4 mile to shake out any kinks in my legs.

Note: I recommend starting at a pace that’s slightly faster than your easy pace so that by the time you get to your last increase you are running well out of your comfort zone. And if you don’t want to do 6 miles, you can easily shorten this workout, but try to increase your speed by a couple extra bumps each time or increase speed more frequently, perhaps every 1/2 mile.

Let me know if you try it! Or let me know if you have any questions! It’s really one of my favorite treadmill workouts and given how dang cold it is here already, I have a feeling I’ll be on the treadmill a lot!

If you need a running playlist, you can find my hard running playlist on Spotify. It’s great for this workout!

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    5 responses to “Killer Treadmill Workout: The Progressive/Degressive Run”

    1. I just started sweating reading that. I always do intervals bc I get so so bored on the treadmill. But I do something similar to you too, where I bump it up every quarter mile. It really does kick your booty!

    2. I’m dreading the cold weather bringing me inside and this sounds like a really great way to keep my attention span on the treadmill! Thank you for the great idea. I’ll be incorporating this soon.

    3. I do this too, but I only run 3 mi. max. so I end up warming up for about .5 mi. then increasing the speed .1 every .1 mi. Then about midway thru I start decreasing back down in the same way. It does help the monotony that is the treadmill… that being said, I’m having a really hard time motivating myself to run indoors this winter – I MUCH prefer running outside; however, I live in Iowa so that’s gonna be awhile!

    4. Progressive runs are my favorite type of run to do on the treadmill! They really make the time fly and can be adapted for easy days, tempo runs, and long runs. I’m going to give your workout a try next time I’m running on the treadmill…which is soon because the weather has been cold and windy in Indiana.

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