3. Reading books and magazines – Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my magazines. I know this distractor works for some people, but I’m kinda of the mind that if I’m able to enjoy a book or magazine while doing cardio, I’m probably not working hard enough. On the other hand, if your intention is to do a lower-intensity workout, it could totally work.
4. Watching TV shows like Wipeout where the competitors have to run through obstacle courses while trying not to get hit by inflatable beams, balls, slime, etc. This is because when they fall, I very nearly fall too.
9 better ways to stay entertained on the treadmill
Aside from constantly changing up the intensity, duration, and style of run that I’m doing, these are my slightly more creative tricks for keeping things interesting.
1. Load up a new playlist
I may sound like Captain Obvious with this one, but it’s amazing what a fresh new list of tunes can do for your workouts. I Shazaam songs from the radio constantly and download them all every couple of weeks. This helps to keep my playlists fresh and motivating.
2. Listen to a podcast
Although I prefer upbeat music for running, sometimes I’ll switch to podcasts. If they’re on a really interesting topic, they help to make the time fly by. Some of my favourites are:
3. Do a treadmill fartlek
Get your mind out of the gutter – this has nothing to do with passing gas! The word ‘fartlek’ means ‘speed play’ in Swedish, and a fartlek run is one where you incorporate periods of hard speed with periods of easier running. Unlike intervals, it’s not structured. That means that you choose when you’re going to go fast and slow down. For example, outdoors this might mean running hard until you see a red car. Then you’d slow down when you see a white car, and amp things back up when you see another red car.
In an indoor environment, a fartlek run could mean running hard until someone new walks on to the cardio deck, and slowing down when someone leaves. If the gym is quiet but you have a TV in front of you, try running hard for 1 commercial and slowing down for the next. Or, run fast when a woman appears on the screen and slow down when a guy enters, or vice versa. This style of training has an element of unpredictability, so fartlek runs will keep your body guessing.
4. Plan the recipes you’re going to make on the weekend
This one is obviously more fun if you’re a foodie! And yes, I do think about food on the treadmill sometimes. Don’t you?
5. Listen for trigger words.
Sort of like the treadmill fartlek, pick a word that comes up in some of the songs on your playlist. Every time you hear it, sprint for 1 minute (or whatever interval you want to sprint for), then slow down. Alternatively, every time you hear the word, increase the incline on your treadmill, and don’t take it back down until the end of the song.
6. Play mind games.
The same games you play in the car on long drives work well on the treddy. Try these ones:
7. Ask yourself some ‘in a perfect world’ questions, like…
8. Watch Steven and Chris…
…or any other show that has fashion segments and think of ways to use your current wardrobe to create similar outfits.
9. Race the person next to you…
… and if they stop before you do, you win!
So tell me…