If you’ve spent more than 3.72 minutes on a treadmill, you know the struggle. Those 3.72 minutes feel like ages. If you like to read (how?? My eyes can’t focus on the words!) or have a TV, count your blessings. Here are some tips for the rest of us resigned to staring at the display or a wall for all those miles.
1. Watch the calories instead of the miles.
Because honestly, it’s impossible not to watch the display.
I’m so serious. At least on mine, I switch the display from distance & total time to show avg. pace & current pace. This also switches to calories burned. Now I know that calorie counts on fitness machines aren’t accurate but let me tell you: I am sure as hell not slowing down before I get to that next 50 or 100 calorie mark.
Watching those flaming calories add up is far more motivating than begging the mile decimals to move faster. Plus, I don’t mind watching that avg. pace metric to see if I can nudge it down.
2. Cover the display.
I’m not sold on this simple one. It makes me more anxious not to know. But that fancy machine tells me my exact pace and I know how much farther I have to go… so I also know about how much longer I have. I’ll keep the display covered until “x” number of songs have finished, estimating that each song is about 3-4 minutes. Yes, that’s some math on the treadmill. It’s a mental challenge more than anything.
3. Step off for strength.
Lately I’ve used this for longer runs. Six treadmill miles might as well be 16. Pause the machine at every mile and step off for some squats, lunges, plank, fill-in-the-blank. As you start again in time, this is a great way to push through each mile and break up the run.
4. Switch up the workout.
Here’s the cherry on the ice cream that is this post. The treadmill is perfect – perfect I say – for interval workouts that eradicate the monotony. I’ve scoured Pinterest for treadmill workouts, experimented and adjusted (I’m sorry, the workouts with 20 lines of intervals are hard to follow while running. And most speed workouts are way to fast for me), and am finally happy with these.
↑ This kiiilllssss me. I’m determined to use my treadmill winter running to improve my hills. Excuse me, 12% incline? Oh yes. It hurts. I huff and gasp and curse the paper that says I have to do it. Talk about working the hips and bum. Then I 100% enjoy the leg stretcher of Set 4. And by the way, upping that incline burns more than a few extra calories. Workout success.
I have fun on sets 1 and 2. Solid speed for me, fair amount of work, nice “wind” in my face… but not dying yet. Sets 3 and 4 are nearly dying; 15 seconds on the side rail is the only savior. Still, it feels great to full-out RUN! With a longer warm up and cool down, I usually finish this around 4 miles. Perfect mid-week workout.