1) Make a great playlist.
No matter what my mood, a great playlist can make any run more bearable. Personally I have a couple on my phone that I can alternate between, some being really upbeat to get me going and others that are more calm if I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Also, reward yourself for hitting running milestones or other achievements by buying new music! I like to buy new music and then only allow myself to listen to it on the treadmill, that way I have one more reason to look forward to my run!
2) Bring Entertainment.
Unlike running outdoors, when you run on the treadmill you can bring things with you. For example, an iPad or Kindle are great for watching a TV show or reading a book while you run or walk. These are perfect for steady runs where you just want to zone out on something else.
3) Vary your speed.
The BEST way to entertain yourself on the treadmill is to vary your speed. This gives you a bit of a challenge and paying attention to your intervals makes time fly. Try using a workout that you find online, like my 3 Mile HIIT running workout, or just start messing around with speed on your own. Go back and forth between high and low speed based on distance or time, or gradually build up throughout your run.
4) Make up stories in your head.
Okay, yes this one is a little more “out there” but it’s by far my favorite way to spend my time on the treadmill. If you’re ready to just settle in to a nice pace and zone out, then I recommend using your imagination (I do this outside as well). The other day I had a 3 mile run and ended up getting so distracted in my imagination that I ran an extra 0.2 before realizing it.
So what do I think about? Usually I’m the hero of some sort of story, for example: saving a kidnapped child, but being shot in the process so then I’m in the hospital and people are visiting me and of course the gorgeous doctor thinks I’m amazing and asks me out… and you see how this goes. It may seem weird, but it really kills time and you forgot you’re running!
So there you have it: four great ways to make the treadmill a little more bearable! Spend a little time running on the treadmill and before you know it, you’ll be ready for a race!