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?
Race day is almost here! You’ve put in the hours, trained your heart out, made countless sacrifices and are hopefully feeling fit, strong and confident. If this is your first triathlon or Ironman event and you are like me you are feeling a bit excited and slightly nervous.
While proper training and preparation is key to getting you to the starting line, your ability to stay calm and focused on race day will ultimately define your outcome. Here are my 5 best tips to help you finish your first triathlon strong and confident.
Visualize Your Success
Just as logging the miles and putting in the training efforts is key to competing in any triathlon race, you also need to train your brain for the ride. Find some time to go to your quiet place and “meditate” about the event. Visualize the entire race from start to finish walking yourself through the swim, bike, run and each transition in between. Focus on each discipline in your mind and picture what it will feel like on race morning.
When I was part of a talented swim team in high school, our highly decorated coach taught me the importance of visualization practice. We had a meditative “relaxation” practice with the workout before every big swim meet. We would lie down in a quiet dark room and visualize our next race. It may sound strange to some, but it really helped to picture myself strong and successful as I was racing.
It is important to also mentally prepare for what could go wrong. Preparing for potential pitfalls (like loosing your goggles or getting a flat tire) and how to deal with them before they happen, will be key to keeping your cool if an error occurs. Quickly managing challenges throughout your race can play a key role in your success. Developing a strategy to overcome obstacles can be a very important tool in your bag of tricks.
Doubt Your Doubts
Everyone’s going to have highs and lows when they race. If you start feeling a little fatigued during your race, try and reduce your speed until you feel good again. In those moments, tell yourself to just keep going. You’ve trained hard, you’ve put the effort in and it will pay off. Do not get down on yourself if you need to slow your effort for a moment to see the big picture—finishing the race. Practice a positive state of mind and don’t let the doubts affect you physically.
Roll With The Punches
You could be perfectly prepared and trained and something could go wrong the week of the race, the day before, or even right before the start. What if the weather is extreme? What if there is a delay at the start? What if you get sick or injured?
In the case of my first Ironman 70.3, I came down with strep throat and a sinus infection two days before the race. I was devastated. I had never trained harder for anything in my life and as fate would have it, I was sick and frustrated with little recovery time until race day. I made a doctors appointment and got an antibiotic shot to help ward off the infection that was taking over my body. I discussed the situation with my doctor and she told me to rest, drink plenty of liquids and if I felt good enough to compete on race morning that it was up to me to go for it. Although I was still pretty sick the morning of the race I knew I would be kicking myself if I didn’t at least try to go accomplish the goal I had worked so hard for.
The weather was also fairly extreme on race day with a cold swim and a hot run with temperatures close to 90°F at the finish line. It was tricky to keep calm while timing my nutrition with the medicine prescribed by my doctor. I needed to remember that I didn’t feel well enough to push my limits as I normally would when I race, but I knew I could deal with how I felt each moment and take it one hour at a time, one mile at a time, or even one minute at a time. My preparation and positive attitude helped me finish with a respectable time despite the challenges at hand. My family and I were grateful that my body held up with all it had to deal with.
Remember To Smile! (And It’s Ok To Cry)
As I was approaching the last 6 miles of the run that day, I was really feeling it. The fatigue was setting in, the sun was blazing hot, and the course was brutal and hilly. I was sick and as much as I love running, I was ready to stop. Then I saw my family standing by the next aid station. My husband, my 3 little kids (7, 3 and 9 months) and my mom all there cheering me on. A huge smile came across my face. Then the tears set in. I was so fatigued and sick I just wanted to stop. I ran to them and stopped for a brief moment to hug my 3-year-old son who repeatedly cheered, “Go mommy!” I told them how sick and tired I was. They kept cheering and smiling and reassured me that I could finish and that I was almost done.
I cried a few more tears, and then told myself to “SMILE”, “buck it up” and “keep moving forward”, three of my mantras. From that point on I continued to smile as much as I could. The last 6 miles were very hard but also some of the most rewarding and most memorable miles of the entire race for me. My mood lightened, I remembered why I was out there and the smile from my children stayed on my face as I crossed the finish line.
That brings me to my last tip, find a reason to be happy and use it to your advantage. For me, during those last 6 miles, it was my children. Find your own “happy place”. Make no mistake, triathlons are tough and not every moment will leave you with a smile. But remember why you’re doing it and stick with it! This especially applies to race day. However hard you push it, remember it will be all over soon and to savor the experience
by Heather Jenson
Faith. Family. Fun. Fitness.