Treadmill Tips and Tricks


With all of the snow and cold weather, I have been seeing a lot of comments from people who are stuck doing their run training on a treadmill.  And many of those people are struggling with getting in longer runs on the treadmill.  I even saw someone say that they struggle with getting in even a mile before they get bored.

I have learned to love my treadmill, so here are some tips and tricks that I have learned to get me through.

Cover the display

You know the saying that a watched pot never boils?  Well, watching the miles tick away on the treadmill display makes it feel like your workout is never going to end.  Watching the clock is never good for anyone.  So cover up the screen with a towel.  Don’t worry, you’re not going to accidentally run way too many miles.  Move the towel every so often to check where you are in the workout and you’ll realize that the time is flying by.

Play with the settings

Running intervals on a treadmill helps pass the time.  My coach currently has me doing some faster miles in the middle of my long runs.  It breaks up the workout, which helps with the monotony.  So consider adding some additional speed.  And what about the incline?  Adding some incline work can change up way you’re using your muscles.  I’m not saying you should be running at 9%, but maybe bump up a half percent or a full percent for a bit during your workout.

Distract yourself

I’m lucky.  I own my own treadmill, so I have it located where I can watch tv while I run.  One thing that I like to do is that if I have a big workout that I’m dreading, I make sure that I have something I really want to watch.  Maybe that’s a movie, maybe it’s a tv show that I have waited to watch until my workout.  I know some people take iPads to the gym with them and watch that way.  Just be sure you don’t knock your iPad onto the floor.

When I used to go to the gym, I would let myself watch total trash tv while running.  Keeping up with the Kardashians style shows.  There’s always something trashy on somewhere.

If you don’t have (or don’t want) the tv option, consider podcasts or audiobooks.  Music is great, but songs are so short that I start to think about how much time is passing.  “Well, that was two more songs, so I have to be at least another mile in.  Wait, I’m not?”  But something longer, especially listening to a story, really helps.  Podcasts are in right now, and there are a ton of great ones out there.  If there’s a subject you like, there’s probably a podcast about it.  And they’re free!  I also really like audiobooks.  I can rent them from my library, but an Audible subscription isn’t bad either, especially when you think about how long an audiobook is.  Having a book read to you can easily take 8-10 hours, so that’s a number of solid workouts covered.  Or just get the Harry Potter books in audio form.  Those last forever.

These are some really simple tips, but they’re what gets me through a long treadmill run.  I did ten miles earlier this week, and will probably have a longer run coming up soon.  Would I love to be outside?  Yes.  But it’s all going to depend on weather.  I’d rather stay safe and run inside than risk falling and injuring myself right before a race.

Now… what should I watch next?

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