Treadmills often get a bad rap, but there are a lot of benefits to the treadmill especially if you are a runner in training these are 6 ways to beat treadmill boredom and make the Treadmill FUN! Yes, I said fun and treadmill in the same sentence! I ran 16 miles on the treadmill today for my marathon training and used 2 or 3 of the methods below to get through it and actually really enjoy it!
1. Put on a Movie (Or binge watch a series!)
This is probably one of the top ways most peoples would say they make the treadmill fun! I love to watch TV when I run and not feel guilty about being a couch potato. It is a great time to watch a fun movie or get caught up on that new TV series without feeling too bad about watching TV for an hour or more. If I can get into a good rhythm on the treadmill I can watch TV for hours and run. I also love watching action movies and when the scenes get intense, I increase my speed along with it until the chase or fight scene is over. It really does make it fun! My trusty iPad and I have spent lots of time together on the treadmill I use the Netflix app or the free ABC and NBC players too. What is your favorite new TV series?
2. Random Commercial Speed work
Sometimes its fun to run on the treadmill and just zone out to a TV show (as stated above) or watch the nightly news or that new show you DVR’d. Instead of skipping the commercials, watch a 30-60 minute TV program and increase your speed so that you’re running hard (about 80 percent of your maximum) during the commercials. When the show returns, slow your pace to an easy jog. It will make the show enjoyable and your workout fly by without thinking too hard. When the commercials come on, increase that speed and JUST RUN!
3. Pretend you’re Hiking
Some treadmills have preprogrammed hiking trails, but if yours doesn’t, try this: Walk or run on a flat belt. Increase the incline every minute until it reaches 5 percent, and stay for three or four minutes. Next, lower and raise the belt every two or so minutes until you’ve been exercising for 25 minutes. Gradually lower the belt and decrease your speed over five minutes to cool down. Repeat if necessary.
4. Bring a Friend (Or call one!)
If you are able to go to the gym with a friend, then chat while you each walk, jog or run on a treadmill. This amazing lady Rachelle and I are great running buddies and run together often outside and on the treadmill. She is a lot faster than me and I love that we can still run together right next to each other and still get the workout in that we each need. I have also been known to call my sister or my mom on a long treadmill run and just talk. (They are great to put up with me breathing into the phone as we chat!) I love sharing my run with them and good friends and it makes it fly by!
5. Download an Awesome New Playlist
Music is a great way to pump you up for your workout, but it can be easy to get in a rut of listening to the same music over and over again. Create a special playlist just for when you work out to keep you from getting bored of the same music.
5a. Listen to a Podcast or Audio Book
I recently got a subscription to Audible.com and love the new books I have downloaded there. I have a hard time sitting and reading (although I love to read books, its more of a time crunch thing for me lately) so I love multitasking and “reading” while I run. I am currently listening to the “Mortal Instruments” City of Bones right now. I also love the Podcast called SERIAL by This American Life. If you haven’t got on the band wagon of it yet, go listen now…..And its free!
6. Set a Goal
If a marathon or half marathon isn’t on your current to do list, that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals! You can set small goals, like running one mile without stopping, or competing in a 5K. Whether you sign up for a race to train for, or just complete the distance on the treadmill, training for a certain goal makes every minute you spend running feel like an accomplishment. No matter how big (or small) your goal is, it will give you something to strive for and provide great motivation. And please be proud if you ever finish a long treadmill run! They can be tough! You will feel amazing when you do!
I’ve included this simple Long Treadmill workout that I have posted on my Instagram HERE before for any of you half and full marathoners that need a little guidance to help your next long treadmill run! Hope you enjoy!
So until you can run outside again, try to enjoy that treadmill a little more! I hope this can help you put a bit of spark into your treadmill experience! Out of these 6 ways to make the treadmill more fun, which ones do you think would work well for you?
by Heather Jenson
Faith. Family. Fun. Fitness.