Treadmill Training Tips

I bought my treadmill five years ago.

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?

2 thoughts on “Treadmill Training Tips

  1. I love the tip about mixing it up for the long run with incline and speed. While I don’t mind the treadmill, I don’t own one but I have done a couple long runs on them.

  2. I don’t mind the treadmill when it comes to marathon training. With the less than awesome winter we experienced, I got up to 18 for one of my long runs on the Devil’s Wheel. There were also 60ish mile stretches entirely done inside.

    How I survived:
    1. I ran with purpose. Each workout, even just getting miles in, had a plan. Every ten minutes meant varying the speed. Long runs turned into progression runs. Tempo and interval runs, check.

    2. Distraction. My normal go-to viewing was the morning news. Commercial breaks were spent looking outside or drinking tailwind or counting minutes alternating with counting mileage. Longer runs meant plunking an iPad on the shelf and queuing up shows that don’t quite align with my husband’s taste in viewing (Dominic monaghan’s wild things for example). It was helpful to find some longer, hour long episodic shows to make the time go by faster.

    3. The power of experimentation. Want to switch up your pace? Try a new stride or cadence? It’s a lot easier to do that on the treadmill than wearing yourself out several miles from home and realizing you’ve gotta make it back after you’ve tuckered yourself out. Or a lot easier to find a bathroom when you’re trying out a new fuel and it doesn’t work out.

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