If you’re like me and are loathing the treadmill lately, try some of these ideas to help you get the most out of your next treadmill run!
I’ve only run outside a handful of times since hamstring tendinitis took me out back in December. But since I’ve been outside more lately, particularly when it was in the 70s and sunny just days ago, it made getting back on the treadmill that much more disheartening. My latest run on the treadmill was such a sufferfest that I almost quit at two miles despite having four on my schedule.
I thought of all the Boston runners and the misery many of them felt on Monday and embraced the suck. I went through my whole toolkit of ideas to make my run suck less and I eventually ran four measly miles. But not without some choice words along the way.
This run, though. It got me thinking. How do you survive a run you’d rather not do? Do you throw in the towel and pick it up another day? Do you distract yourself? Or do you just embrace the suck and make it happen? If you’re like me and are loathing the treadmill lately, maybe some of my tools can help you on your next treadmill run.
9 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Next Treadmill Run
Manipulating speed is the obvious choice when it comes to treadmill running. It’s easy to get in a funk — either too slow or too fast — when running on the belt, so varying your speed can help keep your legs and your mind occupied.
If you’ve already tried changing your speed, try using the incline feature on your treadmill and do some hill work. Hills are great for so many reasons and of course one of those reasons is to cure boredom. Try my hill repeat treadmill workout for variety!
Feel like you’re in a slump? It could be because you’re bored orrrrrrrr it could be because you’re under-fueled. It might seem like an easier workout because you’re at home, watching TV. But running is still running regardless of where it happens. If your glycogen stores are low or already depleted, you’re going to have a sucky run. Take a snack with you next time you plan on running on the treadmill. If you feel like you can’t take another step, see if snacking helps!
Another key component to treadmill running is making sure you’re well hydrated. As I mentioned, running is still running regardless of where it takes place or what’s going on around you. Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about fuel and hydration. In fact, because you’re indoors, you likely need to worry about it a little more. Running indoors presents a different set of challenges because instead of having a little natural wind to cool you down, you might be in a room with somewhat stagnant air flow. You might be sweating more than if you were running outside in the elements. So stay on top of your game and stay hydrated. Stay hydrated with SOS Rehydrate and save 20% using code RACHEL18!
5. Watch TV
Sometimes a great show or movie can really help keep you focused and pass the time during a particularly difficult treadmill run. For me, the hard part is choosing something to keep my attention for an hour or so. Sometimes flipping channels can help, too! My advice? Choose a movie or show that will really motivate you. Sports movies tend to do the trick for me.
6. Listen to an audiobook
I find it too difficult to read while running, but I do enjoy books. Audiobooks (and podcasts!) are a great option for distance running and can be particularly helpful on the treadmill.
7. Turn up the tunes
There are times that both TV and audiobooks have failed me. Either I can’t get into a groove, I’m bored, or I’m just not into whatever it is I’m watching or listening to. When that happens I know I need to bring in the big dogs. I turn off the TV, I turn up the volume, and I turn on music usually reserved for race day. It works every time.
8. Open the windows
Remember the whole staying hydrated thing? If you can, open the windows when you’re on the treadmill. Getting some much needed airflow certainly helps not only cool you down but also gives your brain some fresh oxygen to use to think. Plus the cool breeze might just help you pick up the pace a bit!
9. Phone a friend
When all else fails, phone a friend! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made phone calls while running. Granted, they’re usually on 17, 18, 19 mile training runs, but there’s nothing wrong with calling someone to chat you through a 50-minute treadmill workout!
Some days running just isn’t in the cards. And that’s applicable both on and off the ‘mill. If you’ve tried everything and even a friend can’t get you through the workout, call it a day and try again tomorrow. No reason to suffer if your mind just isn’t into it. There will be better days and better runs!
What’s one trick you use to help keep yourself motivated on the treadmill?
What’s your favorite movie or show to watch, or musician to listen to, on the treadmill?
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