It’s been a bit chilly outside here lately and I’ve been putting down a lot of indoor miles…and yes, I do like it! I never feel bad about staying indoors to run. Sometimes, it’s just what I feel like doing. Sometimes it’s not safe to run outside. It’s too dark, too icy, too hot, too cold. Sometimes (like now, if you’re in the northeast) you just don’t WANT to deal with the windburn that accompanies outdoor running. There are countless reasons why someone might prefer to stay indoors for a run. Because I constantly proclaim my love for the treadmill, a couple people have asked me for tips on enjoying indoor running.
A rockin’ playlist. It has to be REALLY good. So good that you find yourself looking forward to running just so you can listen to it. Download some new songs and don’t let yourself push play until you’re on the treadmill. Another option? An I-can’t-put-it-down audio book or podcast.
Incorporate speedwork or intervals. Long, slow runs on the treadmill aren’t my favorite. But intervals? YES. Changing up the pace makes time fly. There’s not much time to focus on anything else. You’re watching the time or mileage but only because you’re tracking the intervals. Which brings me to #3…
Cover the time. If you’re running long intervals or have to do an easy or tempo run on the treadmill, use a towel to cover up the time/mileage. “Zone out” like you would outdoors. Watching each second tick off is torture.
People watch. If you’re at a gym, find a treadmill in a busy area if possible. More action = more people-watching = more of a distraction. I like to find one near the free weight area of my gym because I can get ideas for new movements and different workouts from other gym-goers. If you have access to a TV or iPad, a show or movie can always boost your mood and help avoid boredom. Just make sure you’re still paying attention to your workout and how you’re feeling – if I have a tough training workout I’ll skip the TV.
Bring a friend. The best thing about treadmill running is that you can run with friends regardless of pace. Have a speedy friend you just can’t keep up with outdoors? Plan a treadmill date. Having a friend to chat with is way more entertaining. Sometimes friends and I will start games of “I Spy” circa car trips when you were 9. Whatever works, right?
Change your attitude. Stop calling it the “dreadmill”. Stop talking about how much you hate it or how much you’re dreading the workout. Think about how it will help you run a more consistent pace (no more staring at your Garmin!), how you can easily add hill training into your workout (or remove it, if need be!), or how you don’t have to worry about the weather AT ALL. Plus, it will certainly help you build your mental strength, which will come in handy during your next “is this almost over?!” race.
Some of my favorite treadmill workouts:
As for my updates, I’m just enjoying my Sunday! Brendan and I started the morning by cooking some scrambled eggs (while listening to Billy Joel’s “Last Play at Shea” concert!) and sipping some coffee (well, I did…he’s a coffee-hater. I know, WTF). Now that football season is over it’s been so wonderful starting our mornings together. During the season he’s out the door before 6AM – even on weekends!
He found a website that lists every term in “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and explains what each means. He decided to quiz me on the historical significance of them all and I surprisingly did better than I thought! #EducationalSundays
That’s all I’ve got for now!
Are you a treadmill lover or hater? What’s been your longest indoor run? (Mine = 9 miles.) Favorite running workout? Favorite Billy Joel song?!