Treadmill Survival 101

13 May

I don’t know why, but I’m in a really good mood today.  No particular reason and I’m really hoping that nothing happens to mess it up.  It’s nice to be in a good mood.

Maybe it was the oatmeal, almond butter and banana I had for breakfast:

Or the chicken stir-fry for lunch:

Or picking up my race packet for Marty’s Run 5k:

Or maybe the Yogaberry I’m munching on right now:

Either way, I like it, and I want to stay in a good mood.

Here in Florida, it’s getting to that time of year where running outdoors becomes torturous (at best).  While I despise running on the treadmill, I hate it a little bit less than humidity (and bugs, can’t forget the Florida bugs).  Problem is: it takes me a little while to build up my treadmill tolerance.  When I don’t run on the treadmill for a long time, the hatred thickens.  I remember how boring it is, and I consider running outside again.  But running outside is miserrrrrrable.  It’s a Catch-22.  I can’t win.

Instead of diving in head first to the treadmill this year, I think I’m going to wade in and see if that approach works better.  Throughout the summer, I still like to do one run a week outdoors, but that leaves 2-3 runs a week on the treadmill (stab me in the eyeball please).  For the remainder of May, my goal is to do one run per week on the torture track, with the others outside (with copious amounts of bug spray).  For instance, I thought I was going to fall off the treadmill and die of boredom during my 3.0 miles in 34:30.  While it wasn’t what I would consider to be a bad run, it still had much to be desired. Come June, I’ll do two runs a week for the first two weeks, then from there on out: most of the runs on the treadmill.  And then comes the boredom.  Here’s my tips for beating boredom on the treadmill:

  • Music: You all know I love my playlists.  Whenever I’m fighting boredom or having motivation issues, I always combat it with a new playlist.  Try putting your old school summer favorites on it.  My current picks: “Ice, Ice Baby” (Glee Cast Version) or Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”.
  • If you don’t like music, hit the treadmill during your favorite TV show.  I once managed to get an entire hour of running in on the treadmill by watching an episode of NCIS.  That, my friends, is an absolute miracle considering my (lack of an) attention span.
  • Pick a routine: intervals, speed work, hills, whatever.  Setting the treadmill on 1.0 incline and 6.0 mph and going is really boring (nor is it doing you any favors).  Speed up, slow down, increase and decrease the incline, whatever you do, make it interesting!
  • Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks.  Last night, I busted out the speed thinking I was Super Woman, and quickly realized that I am not that fast.  I took a few quick walk breaks, and it made all the difference for me both mentally and physically. 
  • If all else fails, go to a crowded gym and people watch!  Surely there’s got to be some interesting characters to focus on. 

The art of distraction is key for me on the treadmill.  Hope my tips help!

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8 Responses to “Treadmill Survival 101”

  1. hundredtenpounds May 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    It’s funny…When I first started running, it was all on the treadmill. I was training for my first 5k and I felt really confident in my abilities until I met up with my personal trainer for a run outside. I was slow, winded, felt like my heart was going to explode, and miserable! He explained why treadmills are easier and I vowed to try running outside whenever I could. Since then, I CANNOT run on a treadmill. I’ve been ruined for life and will always be an outside runner. ;)

    • mrsdevonk May 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

      We can be a gang! Outside Runners 4 Life!

  2. balanceformere May 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    We are buying a treadmill very soon so these mind-games are great.

    • mrsdevonk May 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

      As much as I hate treadmills.. I kinda want one of my own..

  3. ashlee May 14, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    love your tips! i have a hard time on the treadmill, but i focus on 30 minutes of HIIT, and it gets me through. i lose some mileage in the summer, but that’s ok because i get my speed up.

  4. Melanie May 14, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    I have never run on a treadmill. That being said I give up running every summer because it is way too hot. I started P90X Sunday and plan on joining the gym when the new open opens by my house.

    • mrsdevonk May 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

      Do yourself a favor and don’t ever try it ;)

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