I’ll be honest, I am in the very beginning stages of learning to love the treadmill. In all reality I pretty much loathe it. For clarification purposes….. I L-O-A-T-H-E the treadmill! I try to trick my brain into liking it by calling it cute names like the happymill or the thrillmill but let’s face it, it’s still the dreadmilll.
I find the treadmill to be incredibly boring. It doesn’t matter if I watch TV or listen to music, I still find myself thinking that stabbing myself in the eye with a sharp object would be a less painful undertaking. My longest run I have ever done on a treadmill was 10 miles. That was TOUGH! Even the treadmill thought that I should have thrown in the towel as it turned itself off after 60 minutes. But I was training for my first half marathon and I was determined to get my long run in despite the snow storm that was brewing outside.
Now that it is Summer in Michigan, I am dealing with a whole different kind of weather debacle. Heat and humidity! I like running outside when it is warm but 80 degrees is my cut off point. Lately it has been in the 90’s and that is just not smart running weather. My choices are either to get up early in the morning to run (I already get up at 5am for work so that is not an option) or to enter into a truce with the treadmill. Obviously I have picked the latter option.
Knowing the tumultuous history the treadmill and I have had with each other, I knew that I needed to do something to dull the boredom of it and get me on the path of at least liking if not loving the treadmill.
Here are my 4 tried and true tactics to take the boredom out of running on the treadmill.
1. Race on the treadmill – Find an open treadmill next to a runner and race them. The person doesn’t even need to know that you are racing them but if you are competitive like I am, that will be enough to get you through your miles.
2. Speed Work – Speed work is very simple to do on the treadmill and it helps break up the run!
3. Hill work – Again another thing that is easy to do on the treadmill and it helps break up the monotony. The Nike Women’s half marathon is just about 4 months away and it is rumored to be hilly. The heat is a great opportunity for me to start training for hills!
4. Get in the zone – Pick a spot on the wall or some other stationary object in front of you and just get lost in your running. This is easier for me to do on the treadmill than outside as I tend to get distracted by the sounds and sights of the outside world and it is important to be aware of what is happening around you when you run outside. Running on a treadmill frees me of those responsibilities. I would like to think I look focused when I do this but I may just look possessed.
So what about you? Do you love or loathe the treadmill? What are some ways you beat the boredom of treadmill running?