Treadmill running can be a bore, but follow my treadmill running tips to make those mile fly by fast! Here are my 5 Ways to Make Treadmill Running Easier
I have two confessions to make…
First… I have been running on the treadmill a lot lately. Between being out of town almost every weekend, holiday chaos festivities AND dead of Winter cold, the treadmill has been my only option for many runs.
Second… I have a sincere LOVE – HATE relationship with the treadmill. I LOVE having the option to run on it when time is cramped or weather conditions aren’t ideal, but I HATE NOT running outside. It’s not that I hate running on the treadmill, it’s that I hate not spending that time in fresh air.
And with Winter sticking around… oh… for the next few months or so, it looks like I have plenty more treadmill runs in my future. Even in Spring and Summer, I occasionally have to choose to run on the belt when allergy, asthma and time restrictions keep me inside.
Over the years I picked up a few ways to keep the treadmill a little more entertaining. It’s still not like being in the great outdoors, but I believe these ideas can go a long way to making your time on the belt not so bad.
5 Ways To Make Treadmill Running Easier
1. Get Speedy! Running one constant speed can seem very monotonous. Try speed work or intervals on the treadmill to push your time and keep your legs interested.
Start with running a half mile at your warm-up speed. For me this is anywhere from 5.8 to 6.0 on the speed setting. After a half mile increasing your speed to just slighter faster than “comfortable.” Push yourself some. For me this is 6.5 to 6.6. Run at the near sprint pace for a quarter of a mile. Go back to your warm-up pace and keep repeating during your workout.
the time go by faster and you are teaching your legs to run faster! As you improve, you can increase the time you are running fast and decrease your recovery time.
2. Find a Distraction. I am so lucky to have my own treadmill with a TV in front of it, so I always save my favorite show on the DVR for running time. But if I’m going to be at a gym without a TV I try to download a book on tape, interesting podcast or a musical on my ipod. I find the stories are more distracting than just music.
3. Break up Your Run with Circuits. If you just can’t imagine spending 30+ minutes on a treadmill, try breaking the run up with circuits. Set up a mat and hand weights next to the treadmill and have a routine ready. Plan to do a series of squats, deadlifts, arm curls, planks or crunches after every mile. Stay off the treadmill for a couple of minutes doing these other exercises to break up to monotony.
Your other exercises will even be more beneficial to you because you will be doing them while your heart rate is already up. This is a great way to get in a full body workout and plenty of miles!
4. Cover the screen. If you are in for a long, constant speed treadmill run, cover the clock on treadmill. There is nothing worse than watching miles and time slowly click while you are trying to get in a long run inside. I’ve run as much as 13 miles on a treadmill and on those longer distances it’s best to focus on your breathing and form, not the clock.
5. Play with the incline. Use the incline to keep your mind and legs engaged in your run. I like to increase the incline every tenth or quarter of a mile until I can really feel the burn and then gradually decrease the incline until you are running flat and can recover. You will stay engaged in the run and you will burn more calories.
Questions for you…
What is your longest treadmill run?
13 miles. During one of my long training runs for the marathon the heat got to me and I had to stop. To get in the rest of the miles for the day I moved the run indoors. I still can’t believe I did that! I have run up to 8 miles many times.
How cold does it have to be for you to run indoors?
Depends on whether it’s windy or cloudy! If it’s sunny with no wind I don’t mind running in the mid-30’s, otherwise I’d rather run indoors.
How do YOU keep treadmill running interesting?