5 Tricks to Stay Entertained on the Treadmill

It snowed about 6″ here yesterday and I didn’t feel like battling the icy, uneven (potential ankle-breaker), slippery sidewalks this far into Boston marathon training. Being only 7 weeks out, I’m in the heart of training, which means I’ve entered the paranoid-of-fluke-accidents phase.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So anyways, I’ve been hitting the treadmill (TM) more lately. Some TM runs are a breeze, I have a lot on my mind, and I just cruise through the miles. Others, I find myself counting the 0.1’s and every minute seems to drag on.

On runs like those, I’ve found ways to keep myself not-bored, and I figured I’d share them with you guys, so we could swap anti-boredom tricks.

1.) YouTube. From clips of movies, to episodes of Scrubs or Friends, to “Taylor Swift live in concert”, I’ve youtube’d a lot of visual/musical entertainment to keep my mind entertained.

2.) Sing. Okay, I confess I only use this trick when I’m the only one in my condo’s fitness center (I’m so polite). I literally sing along, out loud, to my pump-up jams. What?! Don’t tell me you haven’t felt inspired to sing along to music while running before!

3.) Play with speed. Not the drug kind. I’ve got multiple go-tos:

  • Every half mile: increase the speed 0.1 mph until I hit my mileage
  • Every mile: increase the mins/mile pace by 0:15 (e.g., 8:00 to 7:45 to 7:30, etc)
  • Every two miles: increase the mins/mile pace by 0:30 (e.g., 2 miles @ 8:00, 2 miles @ 7:30, etc)

4.) Plan my weekly menu. Weez and I love to cook, and I love to plan out our grocery shopping list. So I play the game of how-many-ingredients-can-I-remember while putting together the mental list. It’s quite the mental challenge.

5.) Pretend to be a supermodel. So this trick only lasts about 30 seconds, until I get bored again, but I like to pretend I’m a running model, focusing on perfect form, breathing relaxed and comfortably (pounding foot strikes and breathing like a horse does not constitute as sexy running). Repeat as often as possible.

Fellow TM runners: what tricks do you do to keep yourself entertained?

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Crystal says:

    Thanks for this! I ran on a treadmill for the first time in MONTHS and I was dying of boredom. I kept thinking if I ever want to slow time…. all I have to do is jump on a treadmill.

  2. Lisa says:

    Since I don’t own a treadmill and don’t belong to a gym, I only find myself on the treadmill when I travel for business. Just this past week, I ended up getting a fantastic 6 mile run on that dreaded thing – I don’t know what the magic was this particular time, but hoping to bottle it :)

  3. Holly KN says:

    Sometimes I play the “cover the display with a towel”, which isn’t really a game, but at least keeps me from obsessing over every tick. Sometimes (this only works at a busy gym, though), I combine this with a betting game – trying to bet who’ll be the next treadmill runner to end his/her workout. When that person finally *does* step off, I check under the towel to see how much progress I’ve made.

    Alternatively, if your treadmill has the option, change into kilometers (learned this after our move). You still have to go the same distance, but they tick off much faster and it feels more rewarding.

  4. Rand says:

    There are not enough tricks in the universe to stay entertained on a treadmill or elliptical trainer!

  5. courtney says:

    Hahaha! I can so picture you doing number 2 and number 5! Love it!

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