7 Tips to Beat Boredom on the Treadmill

Posted: May 15, 2011 in Motivation, Training
Tags: , ,

Running outdoors can be challenging but rewarding, with perks ranging from scenic landscapes to the primal excitement of exploring the world around you on foot. But the weather can put a wrench in your plans with rain, sleet, snow and extreme heat or cold. Many runners dread treadmills — let’s face it, the monotony of running in place can be far from thrilling. But treadmills can be an asset in your running program, helping you to get in a workout when the weather would otherwise have you bouncing off the walls or stuffing your face inside.

Here are 7 tips to stay sane and focused on the treadmill, and continue making progress in your running:

  1. Listen to music. Tune out the sound of your breathing and give yourself something to focus on other than the wall with some upbeat running tunes. Create your own workout mix to keep you pumped while you run.
  2. Do circuit training. The treadmill offers an ideal place to do the running portion of circuit training because you can have your weights or yoga mat nearby to jump right into your strength training intervals. Circuit training also breaks up the monotony of treadmill running by giving you other activities to do between short bursts of running.
  3. Adjust the incline. Make your treadmill run a game and add variety by running for a set distance at different incline levels. Run half of a mile at 2.0 incline, for instance, one mile at 1.0, half mile at 3.0 and finish fast, with no incline.
  4. Do intervals. Take advantage of the treadmill’s ability to tell exactly how far and fast you are running by doing intervals. Run repeats at about 85-percent effort level, alternating with equally timed periods of walking.
  5. Change the scenery. Try a different gym or even a different treadmill than your usual one at the gym to change up your limited scenery a bit. If your treadmill is at home, position it to face out a window or in front of a TV so you have something to watch while you run.
  6. Challenge yourself. Fire up your competitive spirit and try to go further or faster than your last treadmill run. Set a goal pace for each mile to break down your run into manageable sections.
  7. Record your results. Knowing that you’ll have to post your results will help you stay motivated to get your run done. If you share your results on running sites (like Dailymile or Nike+) and or social networks, you’ll have extra motivation to keep movin forward on the treadmill and in your training program.

Related posts: Burn Fat with Circuit Training, How to Get Faster with Interval Training


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