By Dan Chabert
Do You Want to Look Forward to Your Treadmill Run? Try These Tips!
Even if you absolutely love running, hitting the treadmill can be straight-up boring. You’re literally going nowhere, and there are only so many interesting settings available to try out. Even if you’re reaching goals and improving, it’s hard to get excited when there’s no finish line in sight. Treadmill runs can be fun, though. Here are 11 tips that will have you looking forward to your next treadmill run.
1. Step off the treadmill.
One simple reason you’re dreading your treadmill run could be that you’re doing it too often. There’s a reason why weightlifters have leg day and chest and shoulders day, etc. Your muscles and your body crave variety. The same goes for your cardio workout. If all you do is hit the treadmill, you’re not really challenging your body. You’re going to enjoy the treadmill a lot more when you switch things up by hitting other machines on other days like the elliptical and biking and rowing machines.
2. Mix it up.
Who said you had to just run on the treadmill? Try out skipping, galloping, butt kicks, and high knees. You’ll be amazed at how time flies when you switch things up just a little bit.
Plenty of people listen to music to get them pumped up, but have you tried RockMyRun yet? RockMyRun is an app that adjusts thousands of playlists to your movement by BPM (beats per minute). You get to listen to music that suits whatever genre you’re feeling, and it also propels you forward with its rhythm.
4. Get distracted
Sometimes it’s hard to keep going when all you can do is watch time slowly passing by on the screen in front of you. Schedule your treadmill time so that your favorite show is on, or bring a tablet to watch whatever you want. Check out a podcast – there are countless free ones on any topic you could imagine. Motivational speeches might be corny, but with Arnold Schwarzenegger in your ear, you’re sure to run faster and harder.
5. Keep a running diary
Set daily, weekly, and even monthly and yearly running goals. When you have something to work towards, you’re going to run better, and the treadmill is going to seem a lot less boring.
6. Start hard
Begin your treadmill run at a steep incline, as if you’re running up a really tough hill. Then, incrementally, lower the incline. By the time you reach flat ground, you’ll feel like you could run forever. Starting hard makes your run seem increasingly easy and enjoyable – because it is.
7. Interval train
Alternate between 30 seconds to 2 minutes of sprinting or running with jogging or walking. You could also simply run for one song, walk for the next. Switching things up makes time fly, and it also gives you a great cardio workout that’s much better for you than plain old jogging.
8. Race someone
Find a friend and bring them to the gym with you. This friend should be about as in shape as you are, so you can challenge each other to run better times. Having someone there with you toughing it out makes it seem less terrible, and it’s also a welcome distraction when you can take breaks to walk and catch up on each other’s lives and the latest gossip.
9. Cover up the screen
Treadmill running can be a really Zen experience. If you’re in the right mindset, you can sink into something that is very much like meditating, if not the exact same thing. This is when you need to get rid of all distractions. Instead of listening to music or watching a show, cover up the screen in front of you with your towel. Don’t focus on how fast you’re running or how much time you’ve been running. When you can get into this zone, time really flies and you can escape everyday stresses for a while.
10. Run harder and shorten your workout
Sometimes, the easiest way to get through a treadmill run is to nip it in the bud. If you’re really pushing yourself, ten to twenty minutes can be worth just as much as thirty or forty. Speed up your workout and get the most out of it by pushing yourself like you’ve never pushed yourself before. Your legs should feel like jelly when you’re finished.
11. Quit the treadmill.
If none of these tips are working for you and you’re going to dread the treadmill for your entire life, the solution’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Quit using the treadmill. No one ever said you had to be a master runner or hit the treadmill every time you go to the gym. Find cardio that works for you – there are plenty of other options out there.
Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Dan is an entrepreneur, husband and ultramarathon distance runner. He spends most of his time on runnerclick.com and he has been featured on runnerblogs all over the world.