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How to Run on a Treadmill Without Dying of Boredom

Posted Oct 27 2011 1:05pm

Hi, friends!

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain and huge wind gusts outside of my bedroom window. The last long run of my training (8 miles) was on my agenda for this morning, so, obviously, I wasn’t psyched about the weather. While I don’t love running in the rain, I don’t mind it either .

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Breakfast

While I hoped and waited for the rain to stop (or at least lessen), I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of peanut butter and banana on a toasted Bagel Thin. I also drank a little bit of iced coffee with soy milk.

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After breakfast, I took for his morning walk and scoped out the weather situation. The rain wasn’t slowing down one bit, so I took my long run inside to the treadmill (because I’m a wuss).

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Workout

I arrived at the gym just as Live! with Regis and Kelly was about to start, so I hopped on a treadmill right in front of the TV and started my run. This morning’s episode was great. I definitely lucked out. It had Eva Longoria and Snooki as guests, and Regis even took off his shirt. I was quite entertained for the first 6.25 miles of my run. I spent the remaining 1.75 miles of my run watching The Nate Berkus Show . The time really fly by today. For real.

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Watching TV is a great way to keep me from getting bored on the treadmill, but I don’t always have the luxury of watching my favorite shows. Here are some other things that I do to prevent myself from dying of boredom on the treadmill:

  • Have a plan. I almost always use some sort of workout to guide my run on the treadmill. It keeps me on track and motivated, and usually the time flies by. Some of my favorite treadmill workouts are  45-Minute Treadmill Workout , Not a Boring Treadmill Workout , 3-Mile Challenge , and Melissa’s 3′s and 5′s Treadmill Challenge .
  • Try an interval workout. Instead of running at a constant pace, I mix up my run with easy and hard intervals. Changing up speeds and inclines keeps my workout interesting, and (bonus) interval workouts increase my caloric burn. Here are some of my favorite interval workouts .
  • Think entertainment. Watch a movie, create a new playlist on your iPod, listen to an audiobook, comedy podcast, or talk radio. Anything that keeps you entertained will help make your time on the treadmill less boring.
  • Schedule your workout around your favorite TV show. Most shows are 30 or 60 minutes, which is the perfect amount of time for a workout. I also like to pick up my pace during commercials. I’m just waiting for my show to come back on, so I might as well push it! 
  • Alternate the treadmill with another cardio machine. When I’m just not feeling the treadmill, I’ll break up my run by alternating my time with the elliptical or bike. For instance, if I want to run 5 miles, I’ll run 3 miles, use the elliptical for 15 minutes, and then finish on the treadmill with 2 miles. Spitting up the mileage makes it more manageable and helps my workout fly by.
  • Run with a friend. When Mal and I were training for our first marathon , we did a few runs side-by-side on the treadmill. It was motivating to have someone else to run with and we chatted quite a bit to help pass the time. It was also nice because we could run together at different paces.
  • Learn something new. I’m a huge fan of NPR (Car Talk is one of my favorites), so I often listen to the podcasts during my runs. I almost always learn something new, and it’s a great way to catch up with current events.
  • Let the music guide you. I often listen to the Lady Gaga station on Pandora when I run, so every time I hear one of her songs, I pick up the pace. Sometimes, I’ll even pick two artists if I really want a challenge (i.e. Lady Gaga + Katy Perry). I never know what’s going to play next, so it spices up the run!
  • Play number games. If you’re a weirdo like me, counting things while I’m on the treadmill helps me pass the time. Today, for instance, I counted how many guys with cut-off shirts walked into the gym. (Seven, if you’re wondering.) Here are some other number games I play on the treadmill .

And here are a few ways that I avoid runner’s burnout all together. During marathon training, it always seems to happen to me.

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Lunch

Today’s lunch was a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with mayo on toasted whole wheat bread. This sandwich was exactly what I wanted to eat today— warm melty cheese and tasted bread. Mmm! On the side, I had some roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

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I washed lunch down with a couple of bites of chocolate chip cookie dough. Dee-lish!

National Sandwich Day Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the National Sandwich Day Challenge ! Please vote for my delicious dessert sandwich !

Question of the Day

What do you think of treadmills? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? How do you prevent yourself from getting bored on them?

P.S. Here are some fun links for the pug lovers and for the runners .

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