Let’s be honest. It kinda sucks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy that some genius came up with the idea to make a human hamster wheel because it’s a savior when you are training for an important race and live in a really hot or really cold climate. But, at the same time, it’s kinda the worst.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot more time on the treadmill than I have in a long time — but that’s okay. I’m getting in my workouts and I’m starting to see improvements, so that’s good motivation to keep it up.
So with that! I’m sharing the few things that have helped me survive my recent treadmill running adventures (I’m talking some long runs, like 10 miles… like you set the max time and finish that workout, and start over. That’s a long time in treadmill minutes.).
1. Make a plan
So this is hard, especially if you are doing some treadmill running because the weather isn’t favorable, but I generally take a look at the week’s forecast on Sunday and think about what days might have to be done on the treadmill. That way, I can build myself up mentally all week and think about how it’s going to be a treadmill run and if things change like a heatwave up to 0*, it’s a pleasant surprise to run outside!
2. Find a good podcast
I’ve traditionally listened to music on the treadmill, which is fine, but I feel that it doesn’t keep my mind intrigued enough over the miles… a wandering mind on the treadmill = a mind that keeps telling you how terrible it is. I’m currently in love with 2 Dope Queens and I probably look like a complete nut job when I’m running because I laugh the entire time. They feature different up-and-coming comedians on the show, and it’s so entertaining that I can forget that I’m running on the treadmill for a little bit.
3. …and some good headphones
I used to have the JBL Reflect Mini BT headphones which I LOVED. They fit great in my ear, had great sound and didn’t budge. But, they completely died on me after only using them maybe 10 times? and I’m in the process of finding a replacement… so I’ve been using corded headphones.
One day, I literally dropkicked my cell phone because I hit the cord with my hand and it flew off the shelf, unhooked itself from my headphones and landed just right for me to kick it into the windows. Miraculously it didn’t break (thank you LifeProof case) but reminded me that yes, I need some Bluetooth headphones.
4. Add in some hills
I think a really great distraction is messing with the incline. I generally like to run at a 1 incline just to make it a little bit more calibrated with outdoor running. But as a “treat,” I’ll switch up the 1 incline with a 0 incline every 10 minutes. I figure since I’m running such a consistent pace, that makes up for any “hills” that I’m missing out on.
And then if I’m really starting to fade out mentally, I’ll build in a hill where I increase the incline about .5 every 10 seconds and go as high as I can without having to change the speed. Generally this keeps me distracted for a few minutes, which is like an eternity in treadmill time.
5. Switch things up
I think it’s important to recognize that treadmill running is a lot different than running outside. It’s as much of a mental exercise as it is physical; and for me to survive, I definitely need to switch it up. I might change up the pace (speedwork) or even add in a few walking breaks just so that I can get the break that I need. And it’s okay. It took me awhile to be okay with walking breaks because for some reason it made me feel like I was failing, but I would rather take a little walking break to get my mind right than to quit the workout early.
Do you run on the treadmill? How often?
What are your tips to survive your treadmill running workouts?
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