5 Ways to beat boredom on the treadmill

by: Kelly Leighton
January 22, 2014

Quite frankly, this winter weather sucks.

I typically don’t mind running in the cold or snow (thanks to my yaxtrax). But this winter, the weather has not made outdoor running particularly easy or enjoyable. I’m talking single-digit temperatures coupled with wind gusts of 20 mph+, oh and snow and ice.

Front st-kelly-winter

Although I got off easy last winter and avoided the treadmill, this year I haven’t been so fortunate. After ice-skating/slowly jogging a mile last Wednesday morning, I gave up and headed to the gym for the treadmill for the first time in nearly two years. And I was forced to do both my weekend runs there too.

I don’t love it by any means, but I am trying to make the best of the situation.┬áHere are some ways I try to beat treadmill boredom:

1. Make a new playlist. If I know I am going to be on the treadmill for 60 minutes, I try to make a playlist that length and put all my favorite workout songs on it to help motivate me. Sometimes, I even treat myself to a new song or two from iTunes. Or put your playlist on random, and every time your favorite artist comes on, pick up the pace for that song.

2. Play around with the settings. In my opinion, speedwork is so much easier on the treadmill. I find miles go so much quicker if I break it up into 200s, 400s or 800s and mix up the speed. It’s also “fun” to add incline in to stimulate hills, especially if you’re like me and routinely stick to the same (flat) course.

3. Bring a friend. Misery loves company! I know when I run with a friend outside, the miles fly by. Catching up and gossiping can help ease the pain of running in place.

4. Television. I’m not a huge TV person, but I find if something interesting is on, I can distract myself with the TV. For example, I was lucky enough to watch nearly four episodes of Friends on Sunday morning. Thanks TBS. (For the record, Ross slept with the copy shop girl while he and Rachel were on a “break.” Drama ensued!) If your gym has wifi, you have an iPad and Netflix, you can easily watch movies or seasons of shows.

5. Visualize. This has been hugely helpful for me. If I still have two miles on my run left, I imagine I am two miles away from my house, and as I continue, I picture all the landmarks I am so familiar with. “You can do this, its like you’re right by the bank and just need to make it home!” Another tactic of my pretending is to imagine myself at my next race and pretend I am there and killing the race. Once you get lost in la-la land on the treadmill, its easy to stay there.

Looks like I’ll be back on the DREADmill this week. Thanks weather. Is it spring yet?

How do you beat treadmill boredom?

Categories: Fitness, Running


2 thoughts on “5 Ways to beat boredom on the treadmill

  1. Jason Carst on said:

    If possible, it is very helpful to put the treadmill by a window to look out at the world. You would be amazed at how intersting birds are when there’s nothing else to look at.

  2. kelly on said:

    Haha, thanks for the tip! I am sure it beats watching the news.

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