Incline Interval Run

Nearly every morning as Ryan and I walk to the gym, we ask each other what our workout plans are that day. On Tuesday and Thursday, I always say “just cardio,” which prompts him to ask me what specific cardio workout I have in mind.

My answer is almost always the same. “I’m not sure yet. We’ll see how I’m feeling.”

Though I love having a plan as I walk into the gym, I am also a fan of not having a plan and doing whatever workout I want to do based on how I’m feeling that day. This can backfire on me because I’ll slack off sometimes if I’m feeling mentally out of it, but it can also work really well and make me complete a really challenging workout when I’m feeling more energetic.

Like today!

After 20 minutes on the elliptical beside Ryan, we parted ways and I hopped on the treadmill, dug through my little wristlet of go-to workouts and selected and incline run workout that I ripped out of a SELF magazine back in September.

interval workout 002

I tweaked the incline run workout a bit and ended up completing this 30-minute workout:


Minutes Speed Incline
5 6.5 1
1 3.5 5
1 6.5 5
1 3.5 6
1 6.5 6
1 3.5 7
1 6.3 7
1 3.5 8
1 5.9 8
1 3.5 9
1 5.7 9
1 3.0 10
1 5.5 10
1 3.0 11
1 5.3 11
1 3.0 12
1 5.1 12
1 3.0 13
1 4.9 13
1 3.0 14
1 4.7 14
1 3.0 15
1 4.5 15
3 3 7

As I started this workout, I figured it wouldn’t be too challenging. Well, I was wrong.

Once the incline got up to level 13 I was seriously huffin’ and puffin’. My chest was tight and I was working hard. I haven’t really pushed myself in the gym in a few weeks so it felt good to kick my own butt a little bit. I walked home from the gym feeling like I got in a great workout. Score!


After a super sweaty incline interval run, nothing sounded better to me this morning than a cold, creamy smoothie.

interval workout 006

In today’s mix:

  • 1 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 handful fresh spinach

interval workout 004

I slurped this baby down in 2.5 seconds flat.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go!


  1. says

    I love running because its such a mental sport. You have to push yourself, even when you have a plan. Im definitely guilty of slacking off, especially with intervals! They kick my butt every time but completing them feels SO good!


  2. says

    I’m wondering if Ryan could have a little chat with my BF Mark on how awesome it is to go to the gym with your significant other. haha. i’ve been trying to get him to go with me forever!!!


  3. says

    I really need to start working out with my fiance. He is in great shape and I think it would motivate me. 🙂

    Very good looking smoothie!


  4. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    I like your method but I need to have a plan when I go to the gym, or else I feel like I spend so much time deciding on what to do!


  5. says

    I LOVE when I get a good workout like that–especially when I really have to push myself trhough. It feels like such an accomplishment! Best feeling ever! 🙂


  6. says

    Looks like a great work out! I love the workouts in SELF, Shape, Fitness and Health. BTW, you have officially gotten me smoothie obsessed. I had another one for dinner last night and all I can think about at work is what kind I’ll make when I get home. Thanks for inspiring me!! That Xanthan Gum is amaaazing.


  7. Mimi says

    Hi, I’m Mimi from the Philippines. I just like to say that your blog is my inspiration on how to live a healthier lifestyle. Here in Asia, especially in my country we have only few choices for healthy foods. In the groceries, you will rarely find fat-free/ light or reduced- fat foods! I envy how you have a lot of choices in the States. And the open spaces you have like parks, mountain trails and public beach, it’s just plain awesome. Reading your blog is a breather for me who lives in a high density and very urbanized metropolitan. It amazes me how you can juggle your time efficiently. I hope to emulate your healthy lifestyle using the available resources in my country!:))


  8. says

    I think switching speeds and inclines every minute would be so much paying attention to/playing with the treadmill! That looks like a great cardio workout though- I just think it’d personally drive me crazy!


  9. Liz says

    I love all your treadmill workouts, they keep it interesting! I keep them on notecards and take them with me to the gym. I’ve totally been digging interval treadmill workouts, I did one yesterday that I think you’d love- warm up 5 minutes at an easy pace, then run 3 minute intervals all at speed 6.2. Start 3 min. at 1% incline, then 3 min. at 2% incline, then 3 back at 1%, then 3 at 3%, 3 back at 1%, 3 at 4%, 3 back at 1%, and so on until you hit 7 on the incline then cool down for 5. It was sweaty!!


  10. Sarah says

    Sounds like a great workout. Is it proper to hold on to the treadmill while walking on an incline or are you not supposed to?


  11. Stephanie says

    Hey Julie what brand/kind of cocoa powder do you use for all your recipes like the smoothies and overnight oats?
    I just attempted overnight oats for the first time last night and was sooo excited to eat them this morning and it was gross! My cocoa powder was not good at all I couldnt eat more then one bite. i used a brand from the health food store called Ahlaska bakers cocoa


  12. Laurel says

    Whenever I run on the treadmill, I always worry about getting the miles in and upping my speed. I think this sounds like a great work out! I am going to try it soon – thanks!


  13. says

    What a great workout! I definitely need a plan if I’m going to the gym. I feel like I’m wasting time if I just walk around looking for something to do. 🙂


  14. says

    Congrats on kicking your own butt! hehe…actually I did the same thing myself this morning on the treadmill too! But I went the opposite approach and kept the incline the same but upped the speed. But hills are a great way to work those quads/butt and get you panting in no time. It always surprises me too, because like you said you look at the workout and don’t think it will be all that difficult, but then you get into it and you’re like…okay, I was dead wrong! And that smoothie looks yummy. 🙂


  15. Shayla says

    I have to try one of your smoothies, they look delish!! Do you keep your smoothies around a certain amount calories? I was wondering how many yours have? Thanks!


  16. Sarah M says

    I totally printed that interval set out the 1st time you published it, and its the “one” I use when I need a huge butt-kickin!


  17. says

    I need to start preplanning my workouts. I always go to the gym and wing it which I think is adding to why I see no progress. I’m going to start pulling pages from magazines too, it’s a great idea.


  18. Marianne says

    Hi there. A few years ago I tore this same workout out of Self magazine. I’ve saved it all these years and it has been one of my favorite Kick butt go to cardio workouts. Last year, I left this page at the gym and it was gone. I was so upset. I’ve always wanted to find this workout again but haven’t taken the time to search it out online. Tonight, I did and lo and behold here you are with my favorite workout. Thank you Thank you!


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