Treadmill Tips for Beating Boredom

Hi! I’m still soaking up the sun in Florida. I thought I’d write a post about treadmills though.

As I’ve said before, we had an incredibly mild winter in New Jersey this year. We got lucky and were to run outside pretty much the whole winter. Usually though, January through March means indoor running for most northeasterners. Even if you live in a warmer climate, there are times when running inside makes more sense. Unlike a lot of runners, I don’t hate the treadmill. It’s great when the weather is too cold, too hot (I trained for my first half in July and August and the treadmill was the only way to get through it some days), or too dark out to run. Sure, it’s not as thrilling as running outside, but it’s great for speed work, and you really can make it enjoyable. Here are some tips that work for me.

1. Music! That one is kind of a duh but try this, make a playlist of your favorite workout songs, but only allow yourself to listen to them on the treadmill. Skip em when they come on shuffle, and they’ll be like a little treat when you hear them.

2. No Music! In direct contradiction to number 1, I sometimes enjoy most the runs where I don’t listen to music. Especially on my early morning runs, I like the peace and quiet of just my breathing and the treadmill. When I don’t have music I’ll usually bring something else to distract me which leads to…

3.Books! You wouldn’t think books and running go together, but they really do. I discovered this trick in college actually when I didn’t have time for both running and studying, so I’d do both. Now, I just read for fun when I’m there, but studies show that your brain learns better when you’re active, so maybe I was on to something. This one can be a little tricky. I find it’s much easier to read a Kindle or other eReader while running on the treadmill than an actual book. I like to make the font larger than normal so I can read despite all the bouncing around. It takes a little practice, and you should make sure you’re comfortable with the treadmill first so you don’t trip and hurt yourself, but getting lost in a good book really makes the time fly.

4. TV! Of course, some days you just crave the distraction of TV. While training for my first half I found the Netflix app on my phone and was totally hooked. The screen was super tiny, but it works, and I actually got through the first TWO seasons of Dexter while putting all those miles under my feet.

Run. Or he’ll get ya.

5. Pandora! One of my favorite ways to get through a treadmill workout is to play with the speed. I find that if I’m constantly adjusting the speed, I pay less attention to the clock and time flies. My favorite game to play is pick a Pandora station, example Lady Gaga, run at your regular pace for all the non-Gaga songs but when she comes on, kick up the speed for the length of the song. You can do this with other artists likely to come up often on that station like Britney Spears too. This works without Pandora also. For example, you could sprint to the choruses of all the songs on your iPod or something like that.

Run. Or she’ll get ya. That’s even scarier.


So, you can see the treadmill really doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. Next time you’re stuck in the great indoors, make the most of it.


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