Apparently, I bought my treadmill five years ago. And I have beaten the odds! My treadmill is not used for hanging clothes or stacking things. I run on it at least once a week, much more in the cold months. I use it for short runs, long runs (I’m not sure what my max is, but I’ve regularly done 10+ mile runs), speedwork, and hill work. While treadmill runs do get old after a while, there are ways to mix it up and keep them exciting.
First off, I need to distract my brain. I can’t just run and stare at the wall. That does not work for me. I cover up the screen so I can only see my pace (helpful when I’m running intervals), and then set my watch to beep so I know when to run/walk. I’m sure I could make the treadmill do this for me, but I haven’t bothered with the settings. Once I’m sure I’m not watching the time tick away, I put something good on the tv. I often save “good” tv shows to watch while on the treadmill, or I rent a movie for longer runs. Whatever it takes to keep my brain a bit distracted while I run.
I have the tv set a bit away from the treadmill. I know some people who use an iPad set on the treadmill display, but I can’t watch something that close. If you don’t have a tv available, consider watching something on a laptop placed on a tray table or whatever you may have laying around. Barring that, go for music, podcasts, or audio books. Whatever it takes.
Next, I generally try to mix it up a bit. Even if I just have a long run, I’ll play with the pace or the incline. Anything to change things up for my legs. If I were running outside, my pace wouldn’t be completely steady and the ground wouldn’t be completely flat, so the variety makes things at least a little bit more realistic.
Finally, if I need to, I break it up. If I have a 10 mile run, I might run 5, then stop and grab something to drink, stretch, then do the last 5 miles. We’re not talking a long break, but it’s something to look forward to as I work through the distance.
Any other treadmill runners out there?