If you know me, you’ve no doubt heard me talk about the Evil Twin treadmill workout. Usually I’m saying something like, ‘God damn that Evil Twin workout, my legs are so friggin’ sore today,’ followed by, ‘ohmigod, the Evil Twin workout is the greatest treadmill workout of all time, you have to try it!’
The Evil Twin treadmill workout was developed by David Siik, the brain behind Equinox’s Precision Running program. A series of precisely calculated intervals, Evil Twin was designed to be the most effective treadmill workout for strengthening your running and providing the greatest fat burn—without putting too much stress on your body.
I’ve been Evil Twinning it once a week for about a year. Since I started, my long-distance running speed has increased dramatically—I’m now running a 7:40 for 12+ miles whereas before I was hovering in the 8:30 range for 10-ish miles. My fastest speed for one mile dropped from a 6:48 to a 6:37. My endurance is through the roof, and I can recover my breath faster than ever. Actually, the definition of “recovery” has changed in and of itself—once you try Evil Twin you’ll understand why.
Listen, treadmill running sucks. But this workout doesn’t. It’s all 60-, 45- and 30-second intervals, so it goes by extremely fast. Calorie burn is way more than what you’d see on a regular old run, and, when it’s over, you feel like a total badass. Read on for a description of the Evil Twin treadmill workout and how I like to rock it…
THE EVIL TWIN TREADMILL WORKOUT
First, when I started doing this workout, it was super helpful to have a printed worksheet with my speeds and intervals listed out in plain view. Because I love you, I’ve created a worksheet for you to download and print off before jumping on the treadmill.
First thing you gotta do is calculate your personal best—the fastest speed at which you can run for a full minute. Calculate your personal best and then fill in the worksheet with your interval speeds.
As laid out by Siik, the Evil Twin treadmill workout can be completed in under 30-minutes (depending on your speed, of course). I like to get a full 5-miles in, so when I do Evil Twin, I start with a 1-mile warmup. I pace myself to run that mile in about 7:30, running .25 miles at 7.5, and then increasing my speed by .5 MPH every .25 miles, finishing the last .25 mile at a pace of 9.0 MPH. Then I drop my pace back down to 7.5—my recovery pace—until the clock says 9-minutes. Then it’s time to get it on.
Your first speed interval will be 1.8 MPH less than your personal best (PB). Run at that pace for 1-minute—this is your “nice twin.” Recover for a minute before jumping into the “evil twin,” running that same pace for 1-minute…at a 5% incline. Recover for a minute. Note that the 2nd and 3rd evil twin sets are done in shorter intervals, but always with a 1-minute recovery period afterwards. Note that the recovery time between segments is 2-minutes.
A note about recovery: I try to keep my recovery pace the same as my long distance running pace: about 7.5 MPH. However, you may need to explore this to find a pace that’s right for you. If you need to slow it way down—even to a walk—that’s fine! If you keep up with this workout, you’ll notice that you can increase your recovery speed the same way that you can increase your interval speed!
Same format at segment one, but as we increase our speed, we slightly decrease our incline to 4%.
After the second segment, you’ll be ready for that leisurely 2-minute recovery period before moving on to the…
…LAST SET, KILLER SET!
Buh bye twin sets! This segment is just straight-up evil. It goes by fast, though, because your’e just banging out one uphill evil set after another—no more flat sprints, just baddassery.
After this segment, the workout is technically over—but come on, finish up that 5 miler. I usually stay at my PB, but reduce the incline back to 0% to finish up the full 5 miles. I also usually only have about .15 miles to run, though. You do you, boo. Drop that pace to whatever you need to get the full distance in. And then leave a comment on this post to tell me how much you hate-slash-love me <3
Oh, and you’re welcome…