I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Northeast, we have been slammed with a brutal winter -- and it doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon! I am not a natural treadmill runner. In fact, for much of January, I moaned, complained, and dreaded my training runs indoors.
But now, after more miles logged inside this year than in probably the last five years combined, I’m happy to report the treadmill and I have come to a truce. If you’re still struggling with getting your miles done on the mill, try these 5 boredom-busting treadmill tips!
1. Find a treadmill workout plan to follow. There is no shortage of treadmill workouts out there for you. First stop: Pinterest, or your favorite running website or blogger. Even if a plan that catches your eye has specific times or paces written into it, it doesn’t mean you can’t adjust for your level of fitness. The best plans to try are speed intervals, pyramid runs, or really anything that forces you to adjust the speed or resistance at different points of the run. You’re not only challenging your body, you’re also using your brain, and that extra mental stimulation can help the time pass more quickly.
2. Don’t be afraid to break up your run. Yes, even your long runs. Think back to a long run you did outdoors (you know, in the far, hazy, distant past when there was sunshine and temperatures above 20 degrees). I’m guessing you stopped from time to time for a water break, to tie your shoelace, to use the bathroom, or to stretch out a niggling muscle. You didn’t ruin your fitness with a few short breaks outdoors, and you won’t on a treadmill either. Try breaking the run into thirds, then doing a plank, or a wall sit between each third. Or just go and refill your water bottle. Sometimes a change of scenery, and knowing you have a shorter time before you can get off the treadmill makes it more bearable.
3. Watch TV while you run. This one, I’m pretty sure, is a no-brainer. The reason I’m including it is because I had no idea what a difference a little TV monitor could make! It has only been in the past few weeks, when I switched gyms to one where the cardio machines all have personal TVs, that I realized what I’d been missing out on. Don’t have a TV available? Take your iPad, or even download an audio book onto your phone or iPod. Keep yourself engrossed in something other than the treadmill.
4. Run with a friend. On separate treadmills (it’s much safer that way). Now, I’m not suggesting you start up a long, loud conversation with your running buddy, guaranteeing you’ll annoy everyone within earshot. Just having a friend next to you can make it a little more congenial, and if you’re up for some friendly competition, you can even challenge each other to a race for a certain distance, or to try the same workout together.
5. Play mind games. I’m not sure if anyone else does this, or if I’m outing myself as an odd duck, but when all else fails, I sometimes make up my own mind games to keep my thoughts off the time ticking away. You could try focusing on a long word on a poster and seeing how many words you can make out of it. Or try the alphabet game, where you run through the alphabet and try to name an animal starting with each letter (or a city, or an ice-cream flavor -- you get the idea). Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Okay, maybe this one is just me.
Now, I know there are lots of runners out there who don't mind the treadmill, or even love it. However, if you're like me, then you're officially over running indoors this winter.
Do you have your own tips to share of how to make the time fly by on a treadmill? Spill!
Image via www.metaphoricalplatypus.com/Flickr