Does running on a treadmill bore you to tears? Do you want to find a quick and easy way to finally make running on a treadmill something you actually enjoy and look forward to? Read on to find out how...
Unless you’re a professional runner, running on a treadmill is very possibly one of the most boring things you can do.
There, I said it.
It doesn’t mean I’m against it and I’m certainly not saying you should stop but I do recognize that treadmill running can be mind-numbingly boring.
You have nowhere to go and unless you can really zone out you’re often stuck watching the clock until your mind says ‘enough’ but, and this is the important part, it doesn’t have to be that way, there is a way to make treadmill running fun, enjoyable and something you look forward to and in this article, I am going to tell you my top tips for beating the boredom when running on a treadmill.
Listen to Music
We’ll start with a simple one, and something most people already do, listen to music. Treadmill running, whilst listening to music, can be a great way to keep your energy high and motivation levels up but what you may not know is just how important the type of music can be to your energy and concentration when running.
It’s not always as straightforward as just pressing play and by building the right type of running playlist you can help yourself to go for longer. The main thing to think about when building a running playlist is the RPM of the music, as a faster beat can help you when running, but also the type of track. Go for something more upbeat and high tempo, a song that you really love and always makes you dance and you’ll soon find yourself more energized than ever as you move through your session.
When you run outside part of what keeps it so interesting is the mixed terrain and the variations in incline, so it makes sense that using the inclines on a treadmill can have the same impact. Try playing with greater incline variations as you run to mimic running outside and to keep it more interesting. By combining this with intervals or speed work you will soon start to pass the time much quicker than you thought and the sessions will become much more enjoyable.
Visualize Your Racecourse
If you listen to any top runner, one thing that is consistent throughout their training is the focused use of visualization as a training tool. It can take many forms but to truly be successful the athlete should go deep into their mind to visualize themselves not only running the course but thinking about every small detail they will encounter on the day. The conditions, the temperature, the weather, the sights they will see, and perhaps most importantly, visualizing how the race feels as they begin to hit the wall and really struggle.
You may or may not be a top-level runner but visualizing a course is a great way to distract your mind. It may only be a 5k in your local park but by visualizing yourself running, and completing the course, you can both mentally and physically prepare yourself for the next time you run as your mind distracts you from what your body is doing.
Watching TV as you run is a fantastic way to keep your mind focussed on something else. Whether on a tablet, phone, or built-in screen, enjoying your favorite show as you run is a great way to keep yourself running as time goes by. Just be sure to pick something with a good story so that you actually remain focused and of course, be careful that you don’t become so fixated, you fall off the treadmill.
Change Up Your Scenery
Every so often try changing up your running environment, if you use the treadmill at the gym it could mean positioning yourself on a different treadmill to normal (we all have our favorites) and engaging in people watching to pass the time, and if you have a treadmill at home, it can be the same.
By moving your treadmill to look out of your window or over your yard you might soon find yourself enjoying the local wildlife or watching the passing traffic instead of watching the clock and focusing on how much time you have left of your routine.
Try a Class
In recent years there has been an increase in instructor-led, treadmill based classes, and with it comes an opportunity to enjoy your runs. There are many different programs available, some are group-based, some are solo sessions and others may also make use of weights or different forms of exercise, but the main thing is almost all will include a killer soundtrack and something else to focus your mind and efforts on, helping you to zone out from the boring monotonous treadmill running experience and instead be transformed into a high energy class environment.
Trying one of these interactive sessions could be the perfect way to spice up your treadmill runs and bring a whole new level of enjoyment to your training sessions.
Running on a treadmill can be extremely boring, but it doesn’t have to be and by using any of the top tips included in this article you can soon start to find new and exciting ways to keep you focused on the fun whilst you run. Whether using a class environment to keep you motivated or carefully curating a killer playlist to keep your energy levels high, all of the methods named above can help you to successfully beat the boredom when running on a treadmill and whilst it may not be immediately apparent, you will also have a knock-on effect on your performance and fitness levels.
You’d be surprised how much of an impact visualizing your course, whilst increasing the incline and incorporating speed intervals can have on your overall results giving you the best of both worlds as you positively impact your mental and your physical health.
The key going forward is to stay committed and keep working at it, as over time, the less you enjoy something, the more likely you are to stop. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you give the top tips a try, and enjoy more fun, exciting and memorable treadmill runs.