What is the best workout plan to improve 1500 m on a treadmill?
Running on the treadmill is probably not the best because its just not the same as actual running . This is mainly because over time you will have a weaker lower posterior chain (that's a fancy work for glutes, hamstrings and calves) due to the belt pulling your legs backward instead of these muscles, and you do not get to work a lot of your synergest (helper muscles) in your hips and ankles.
But not to despair! I understand that the treadmill is convenient, and easy to measure performances which are benefits. Just be sure to understand what the trade off is.
Ok with that out of the way the 1500m is a tough distance to train for as it includes mostly cardiac endurance but unlike a look to other longer runs it also has a serious speed component. I would break it down into a couple of main elements
Cardio training: You will obviously need to improve your cardiac output for this type of a distance so this is important. You can do this though longer duration 15 to 20 minute runs or High Intensity Interval Training 2 to 3 times a week. I would recommend the latter as this ties in with some elements you would be looking at developing that I'll explain later on, in particular your speed.
Speed training: try much shorter distances where the goal is to get used to a much longer stride length and a much higher cadence(that's step rate) then what you would do for the 1500m. I would suggest 200m or 400m. The focus here is on keeping your upper body stable while doing this so when you reduce the stride and cadence a little you are completely balanced and you'll find when you go back to the 1500m that your ground strike will be a lot more efficient. Get a couple of minutes rest between these so you can really focus on building speed, with ease. go for at least 5 set of 200m and then 5 sets of 400m
Interval training: you can then simple reduce the rest between these 200m and 400m runs to turn it into a High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) style session for the 400m at maximum possible intensity go for something around 1 minute rest and around 30 seconds rest for the 200m. do 5 to 7 sets of this and you will be feeling it for sure!
Weights and conditioning: To help with that all important stride length and balance, as well as conditioning of the muscles to withstand lactic acid build up you will need to complete a conditioning session also. A full body session two times a week would help with this focusing on exercises such as lunges, sumo squats, bent over rows, sit ups and bicycle sit ups will help.
Warm up: a full warm up including ballistic stretching is also recommended.
So a week for me would have something like the follwing:
- HITT session, followed by weights and conditioning one to two times a week.
- Speed session one to two times a week
- Longer run, 15 to 20 minutes, once a week
Though you would adjust your loading focusing on one of the main components every week.
Of course diet and sleep is as important but this would be a good start!