If you’re like me, you probably don’t like running on the treadmill. When you’re use to running outdoors, it’s hard to run in place. Funny thing is when I started running it was on the treadmill. It was the only place I would run and I didn’t mind it. Now I dread hopping on the thing but it’s a necessary evil for me during the winter. When it’s dark outside or the weather is too cold or snowy, that’s just where you’ll find me.
Over the years, I’ve discovered a few ways to push through those tedious treadmill runs. From beginners to experienced runners, here are some things you can try:
Starting slow is the key when it comes to beginning runners. I would listen to music or watch television and use them as distractions to get me through short periods of running. For example, I would walk at a 3.5 mph pace during the verse of a song and then run at a 5 mph pace during the chorus or I would walk at the same pace during whatever show I was watching and then run during the commercial breaks. I would continue to do this until the show went off – 30 or 60 minutes. Over time I would reverse the pattern and run during the verse or show and walk during the chorus or commercials. Using music or a television program is a great way to set small running goals that you can build upon over time. And as you become stronger, you can gradually increase the run pace.
The treadmill can be great for tempo and speed workouts. Lately when I run on the treadmill, I do a two mile warm up at a 6 mph pace. If it’s a tempo workout day, I run half a mile at a 7 mph pace with a .10 mile recovery walk. I repeat this for two miles. If it’s a speed workout day, I run a quarter mile at 7.5 mph pace with a .10 mile recovery walk. I repeat this for two miles, gradually increasing my run pace .10 mph each time. Whether it's a tempo or a speed workout day, I do a one mile cool down at a 6 mph pace. Sometimes to mix things up and to hit different leg muscles, I put the treadmill on a 15 incline and a 2 mph pace and walk backwards for 5 to 10 minutes. This really hits the quadriceps. I still like to watch television or listen to music because it gives me something to do during the workout.
How do you push through your treadmill workouts? Share your tips.