You’ve seen it in the gym: standing tall in front of the windows, lights flashing across the display. There is a man sprinting full steam ahead on the machine to the left, and a girl texting her best friend on the machine to the right. The treadmill. It can be a person’s best friend or worst nightmare, but there are a few things you can do to make it more fun. Have you heard the term “dreadmill” before? Forget about it!
I, for one, love the treadmill. As nice as it is to get outside and go for a run, sometimes when the weather is nasty or you need a safe, late night run, the treadmill is an excellent option. Although it’s not exactly a silent sweating machine (I can’t say my boyfriend is ever pleased when I want to run at the crack of dawn), that’s a quick fix. Hello, headphones! In all seriousness, you can get a lot done on the treadmill, carry out a fantastic workout, and have fun— all at the same time!
1. Create a killer playlist: And when I say playlist, I mean a compilation of all the BEST pump up songs EVER! Not the songs you jam to in your car or sing in the shower; reserve a few songs for workouts only. This way they are less likely to lose their magic, since you won’t constantly be listening to them. Want to know what I’m listening to? Check out my Team Member playlist.
2. Watch YouTube videos or a movie: I’m not kidding when I say this. The latest thing to help the miles (or kilometers) fly by is watching YouTube while I run. I’ll run at one speed for the length of a five-minute video, then increase my speed during a different clip. The time goes by quickly, and you can catch up on your favourite channels (or TV shows if you opt for that route) at the same time!
3. Play with speed: Rather than running at a steady pace for half an hour, an hour, however long you want to run for, have FUN with it! There is nothing I dislike more than pluggin’ away at one speed while on the treadmill. That can really make a person feel like a hamster on a wheel. Instead, mix in harder, faster intervals with slow recovery jogs. For instance, sprint for one minute (or go all out for a shorter amount of time), then recover for two minutes. Repeat as much as you want! This way your heart rate will stay elevated, the fat-burning factor of your workout increases, and your stamina improves, too.
4. Run some hills: Ah, hills. I love to hate them, and I love the way they improve my speed! Fortunately with most treadmills you are able to increase the incline of the bed. This way you can get some solid hill training in and truly challenge yourself. It is best to have at least a bit of incline on your treadmill as you run. This way it better mimics the road rather than a totally flat, level surface.
5. Distract yourself: Whether distracting yourself means focusing on your form (always important!) or reminding yourself of important appointments coming up, taking your mind off the treadmill will make your indoor running experience a lot more pleasant. “Ugh, why am I on this thing? The couch is WAY better!” I think about anything from my weekly mileage goals to what kind of cat food I should buy Oreo the next time I go to the grocery store. The best thing is that there are no set rules!
When it comes to treadmill running, do what you need to do to create an enjoyable ride. There’s no need to stress over hopping on the treadmill at the gym! People do it every day (hi, hello there!), and although you may need the extra mental push to press the start button, you’ll never regret it once you’re done. Besides, you may just get addicted to the “dreadmill” and—if you’re lucky—maybe even like it a little.
For all the treadmill fans out there (we know you exist), what are some things you do to keep your relationship alive?