5 Zone 3 Treadmill Workouts that Burn Fat

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5 Zone 3 Treadmill Workouts that Burn Fat | If you want to burn fat, strength your muscles, and increase your cardiovascular endurance, Zone 3 cardio is for you! "Zone 3" means you are exercising within 70% to 80% of your max heart rate. Think of this as moderate exercise that is challenging, but that you can sustain for about 30 minutes. Most people use cycling, jogging, or rowing for Zone 3 training, but you can do this on a treadmill too! Click for our fav fat burning treadmill workouts.

Zone 3 is one of the best heart rate training zones to work in if you want to build your endurance and burn fat. It develops your ability to run both faster and longer, and conditions your body to get comfortable being uncomfortable for longer periods of time. While zone 3 training sometimes comes under fire for being the “grey zone”, the physical and mental benefits can’t be denied. Here are five zone 3 treadmill workouts that will burn fat and keep you in shape.

What Is Zone 3 Training?

Zone 3 training, also known as tempo training or tempo pace, is the pace just above your endurance zone (where you can talk while you run), and below your threshold- the challenging pace that takes more effort and concentration. In the traditional heart rate training model there are five intensity zones that correlate with different ranges of your relative maximum heart rate. Zone 1 is the lowest intensity heart rate zone and zone 5 is the highest.

Zone 3 training is designed to help you run both farther and faster. It’s just hard enough on your body that it causes more breakdown during the training session and requires more time for complete recovery. In this zone, your body uses more fat for fuel and will burn more calories. It’s challenging but doable and is sustainable for longer distance races.

Zone 3 is when your heart beat reaches 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. It not only burns fat effectively, but strengthens your muscles and builds their endurance capabilities. It’s a great zone to train in for those who exercise to maintain good health and for those who want to burn fat. It’s also popular among endurance athletes like runners, cyclists, and triathletes. This zone is considered aerobic exercise, which should be done three to fives days per week to build strength, lose weight, and boost blood flow to your brain.

Zone 3 training sometimes gets a bad rap. The main issue occurs if you’re training in zone 3 when actually you planned to train in zone 2. Zone 2 is often perceived as slow and boring, but it’s necessary when you need to recover or need to do an easy day when preparing for a harder zone 4 day the next day. In some cases, people will increase their pace or speed and end up in zone 3 when they really should be working in zone 2. If they don’t properly recover, their zone 4 day will become zone 3 as well. They call this the “grey zone” or “zone 3 plateau”.

However, if you’re doing a tempo run or goal pace workout, zone 3 training is highly effective. Just make sure to run your recovery and easy runs actually easy so you can get the most benefits from each zone.

What Are the Benefits of Zone 3 Training?

  1. Burns fat and helps you lose weight
  2. Strengthens muscles and builds their endurance capabilities
  3. Develops your ability to run simultaneously farther and faster
  4. Helps strengthen your mental toughness
  5. Conditions the body to get comfortable being uncomfortable for long periods
  6. Improves VO2max
  7. Requires more aerobic and anaerobic power

5 Zone 3 Treadmill Workouts

1. 45 Minute Tempo Run on Treadmill by Run 

This 20 Minute tempo run starts at moderate effort, and increases intensity by adding a one-minute hill interval every five minutes, and increasing the pace for each five-minute segment.

Warm Up (15 Minutes)
You’ll increase the speed for each 3% interval until you settle into a pace that’s challenging but sustainable

5 Min Easy Jog
30 seconds at 3% incline + 30 second jog at 0% incline
Repeat second step five times, increasing speed for each interval

Main Set (25 Minutes)
Complete the first set in the speed you achieved in the warmup. Increase speed by 0.1-0.3 mph on each subsequent set so the final set is quite challenging

4 Min at 0% + 1 Minute Recovery Jog at 3%
Repeat five times, increasing speed by 0.1-0.3 mph on each subsequent set

Cool Down (5 Minutes)
Finish with an easy 5 minute jog

2. Wave Tempo by Polar 

Wave tempo runs are great because they can be more fun than a traditional tempo run, and they physically challenge your body just past what your threshold is then give it the chance to recover while still working hard. This workout will help your body become more efficient when running at faster paces.

10 minute warm up at a conversational pace
5 minutes at 7/10 effort (half-marathon goal pace)
5 minutes at 8.5/10 effort (10K goal pace)
5 minutes at 7/10 effort
5 minutes at 8.5/10 effort
10 minute cool down walking or running

3. Tempo Run by Women’s Running x 2

Beginner Treadmill Training Plan
This tempo run is part of a training plan designed for runners who are new to speed work and tempo runs, but who can already run for 20 minutes or more without stopping.

5 minute brisk walk
5 minutes at 3/10 effort
5 minutes at 5/10 effort
1 minute at 7/10 effort
3 minutes at 3/10 effort
5 minute jog/brisk walk

10K Treadmill Training Plan
This tempo run is part of a training plan for those looking to improve their 10K time.

10 minutes easy run/warm up at 0% incline
Increase the incline slightly every two minutes for 10 minutes
Decrease the incline slightly every one minute for 5 minutes
5 minutes easy run at 0% incline

4. Magic 8 Tempo Workout by Runner’s World 

3 minutes walking warm up
2 minutes run at an easy effort (zone 2)
8 minutes run at tempo effort (zone 3)
2 minutes easy jog
5 minutes run at easy effort (zone 2)
3 minutes walking cool down
Repeat two to three times

Try these zone 3 treadmill workouts to burn fat and get your heart rate pumping!

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5 Zone 3 Treadmill Workouts that Burn Fat | If you want to burn fat, strength your muscles, and increase your cardiovascular endurance, Zone 3 cardio is for you! "Zone 3" means you are exercising within 70% to 80% of your max heart rate. Think of this as moderate exercise that is challenging, but that you can sustain for about 30 minutes. Most people use cycling, jogging, or rowing for Zone 3 training, but you can do this on a treadmill too! Click for our fav fat burning treadmill workouts.

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