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 been running on the treadmill a lot lately. Between just having a lot going on and the epic winter that seems to have settled on us, the treadmill has been my best option for running more days than not. Even on the mild days our parks have been a little swampy with all the ice and snow we've seen this year. Plus my asthma doesn't do well on cold weather, so it's often just a better idea for me to avoid it.
I used to dread running on the treadmill, but lately I've actually come to appreciate it and enjoy the time. Sure... running outside will always be a better for a thousand reasons, but it's not always an option. Real life means some days you will need it. Once during my Chicago Marathon training we had monsoon flooding rains with storms on my only option for a long run day and I ran 13 miles ON THE TREADMILL. I certainly grew to appreciate the machine that day. Now while I'm not running that far these days, I do believe the treadmill can actually be a great training tool (talk about nailing your tempo runs!) and is a real blessing on those sub-0 mornings. I really think not hating the 'mill is all about perspective. You have to appreciate it for what it can do for you... not what it can't.
Since this winter has been awful for everyone, I thought I'd share some of my treadmill running tips and a few simple steps to make running inside less of a chore. I hope these help you too!
5 Steps to Make Treadmill Running Less Daunting
Running one constant speed can seem very monotonous. The treadmill is actual a great place to test out new, faster speeds on your legs. Try speed work or intervals on the treadmill to push your time and keep your legs interested. You might be surprised at the paces you can hit.
For example... 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 increase your speed to just slighter faster than “comfortable.” Push yourself some. For me this is 6.6- 7.0. 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. You can also just follow my Let's Get Speedy Treadmill Workout.
This makes 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.
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. I've started finding a really good Netflix TV show that only I want to watch and save it just for my treadmill running time. I find that gives me something to look forward to other than running. 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. The key is to find a distraction that works for you.
Break up Your Run with Circuits
If you just can’t imagine spending 30 plus 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!
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 long distances on a treadmill and learned it’s best to focus on your breathing and form, not the clock.
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. If you need more specific guidelines follow my treadmill incline workout. You will stay engaged in the run and it will make your legs stronger.
You can also consider doing more formal treadmill workout to make the miles fly by faster. If you need some ideas check out my 20 Treadmill Workouts for Runners!
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Do you run on the treadmill?
Do you have any tips to make treadmill running easier?