Tuesday, January 6, 2015

5 Ways to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

If you read this blog you know I will do anything to avoid the treadmill. This could mean running in –10 degree weather, slogging through a foot of snow or battling 50 mph winds (which usually leaves me in a ditch with empty beer cans, syringes and other forms of trash).

Yet, today I had to do it. I had to make my way to the recreation building to get on the treadmill (yep, no gym membership here. Too poor).

You see, Colorado has gotten some snow lately (shocking). This would be no big deal except yesterday in about 5 minutes the temperature went from 10 degrees to 55 degrees (no joke – damn Chinook winds <does it make me sound smart that I know what that is? I should have been a meteorologist). This meant all of the snow melted. Then the sun went down and all the rivers of water froze leaving ice skating rinks throughout the city.

I can’t run on ice. It makes me fall and cuss and get hurt. Like this person (funny, not funny):

To the treadmill I went.

If you are not a huge treadmill fan, you are lucky you are reading today because I am going to tell you how to survive and not lose your mind on the treadmill.

1. Pick a treadmill with a view. Try not to face a brick wall (unless it has a naked picture of Ryan Gosling on it). Today I watched the swimmers and made up stories about them. It wasn’t really that entertaining, but it was something. And there were Speedos.

photo 1

2. Change up your workout. DO NOT just get on there and run like a hamster on a wheel. Have a purpose. I like to take advantage of the treadmill (not in the biblical sense) by varying speed and incline. Today I used this workout from Bart Yasso’s Top 3 Treadmill Workouts. I love this one because it is exactly an hour long. And challenging. Bart never does me wrong.

image

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Let It Go. Unlike when you are outside, it is not ultra acceptable to expel air (i.e. fart) frequently while on the treadmill. This is because there are usually other people nearby and you are in an enclosed area. Unfortunately, I often cannot control this condition and things fly out spontaneously. I am sorry to the ladies behind me doing a TRX class today. What I did was not on purpose and I hope it did not ruin your day.

4. Listen to music. People might not agree with this especially if you are very Zen and like to hear your every breath and step. On the treadmill I have to have music to keep me from losing it. And from hearing my farts (see #3). I guess I could listen to a podcast like Serial (which everyone is raving about), but I’m not sure that would be upbeat enough for me.

5. Make it worthwhile. Work hard. Channel all of your boredom, frustration, anger and sadness about being on the treadmill into your run. Work so hard you look like you wet yourself. Gross.

 

photo 2

 

Treadmill: love or hate it? I am being dramatic. I don’t hate it, I’d just much rather be outside.

What’s your best tip for staying sane on the treadmill? I just told you.

SUAR

66 comments:

  1. I hate the treadmill.....I'm a huge whiner when it comes to spending time on the 'mill....I don't understand when people can space out watch a movie. I feel like if I become distracted for even a moment that I'll be on my face (not the most coordinated). I used to refuse to run on ice but this winter it's become the necessity. I splurged on some Kahtoola MICROspikes....I can tell you that I have not even faltered ONCE even when running on a solid sheet of ice. These things are hardcore...I would definitely recommend them for ANYONE that lives in a region with real winter.

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    Replies
    1. I got the NANOspikes last month and used them for one run on ice and snow. They're really studs, unlike the MICROspikes, but I felt as if I had complete control everywhere. Highly recommended. They're nicer than the Stabilicer lites that I used last winter; those always seemed as if they were about to slip off of the shoe, and they weren't really wide enough.

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  2. Give podcasts a try. I now look forward to hours of Freakonomics, or Radiolab, or TAL (Serial got me through the fall). You must listen the the Radiolab _Limits_ and _Limits of the Body_. Radiolab also did a fabulous piece on ultra runner Diane Van Deren.

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  3. I'm still figuring it out - I only have about a 35 minute tolerance before I have to be done. I do the incline and speed changing game, but still can't seem to make it more than 35 minutes (maybe because I'm holding in aforementioned farts). Plus.....everyone says they are faster on the mill, my pace is about 30 seconds to 1 minute/mile slower, so I'm always mildly disappointed when done.

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    Replies
    1. I'm much slower on the treadmill too. Even when I speed up, I can't get my breathing in sync. Super disappointing!

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  4. Not a huge fan of the mill but some days I can tolerate it if I bring my iPad and catch up on my fave tv shows, I try to zone out. I do like varying the speed and inclines though and sometimes I get off and feel wow I had a good workout. But like you most of my runs are outside where I can fart freely lol!

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  5. Thank you for this post! I am expecting that I'll have to use the treadmill at some points this winter. I live in New England and our winters are awful. I don't mind the cold, but when it's snowy and icy, I'll probably head indoors. Today I did 5 miles outside in 18 degrees and it was lovely :) I was so grateful to be able to run outside!

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    Replies
    1. Yes even when it's cold it's refreshing !!

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  6. Ugh the treadmill. It has to be really slippery out for me to prefer it, plus I'd have to be training for something. Half the fun of a run (for me) is the movement and the fresh air. Good tips though for when its non-negotiable.

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  7. I've come to embrace the treadmill and even though I prefer outside, I just want to run. Now that I'm 26 weeks with No. 2, there's no way I'm going to run on ice. Surprisingly, I don't need any real distraction - music, Kindle, Netflix. I just change the settings every so often. Plus, with the pregnancy thing, I have to get off every 3 miles to pee. Built in break!

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  8. I hate the treadmill. I prefer the outside and indoor track over it. But when it's danger could and I just don't want to leave the house, there it is.... Like you, I need music really loud. I also like podcasts.

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  9. I watched that newscast live and about fell out of my bed laughing. Yes, I'm going to hell!

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  10. Oh, and I have no issues with the treadmill. I refuse to run in the dark and the vast majority of my training is done before work. I always say, if you don't like the treadmill, get a gym with a better "view".

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  11. When I first started my fat loss journey many many moons ago, I could walk for hours (at least 1.5 anyway) on the treadmill without any issue (skipping, dancing, squatting - yeah, I was one of those). Then I found BGR and started actually jogging outside - 4 halfs and a blood clot later, I am lucky if I make it one mile on the treadmill. I think it's simply the location of the one I've been using. I'll head back to my monster gym and see if I can get in 3 miles at least.

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  12. I'm one of those freaks who loves the treadmill. We must have a genetic mutation or something. It's impossible to get bored if you watch crappy reality shows on your iPad the whole time! TRY IT!

    Love those shorts! What brand are they?

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    Replies
    1. They're from Skirt Sports. I LOVE them. Reversible too. And on sale right now!!
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  13. Loved Serial!! I only let myself listen to it while running, and there were several runs that I stayed out for an extra few miles so I could listen to the next episode!! So sad it is done.....

    I have been loving listening to podcasts, just to break things up. On a long run I'll usually listen to one podcast (anywhere from 30-60 minutes) then turn on the music. Keeps me from getting too bored. Have been enjoying Radiolab and Stuff you should know.

    Anyone ever try the Zombies, Run! ap??? That is a lot of fun too. Tells a story in between songs from your playlist. New seasons come out in the spring, and I am pretty much zombified for all my spring/summer runs. Fall and winter get long and boring waiting for the next season to come out! And it adds in some interval training because every once in awhile the zombies chase you and you have to speed up to outrun them!! Awesome.

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    Replies
    1. Love Zombies, Run! But can be disconcerting when trying to get your run in at dusk... The breathing!

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  14. I run primarily on the treadmill for 2 reasons: 1) Up until this year, there were always kids at home with me which meant my only outdoor runs were on weekends (I don't run in the dark, either) and 2) It's the only time I watch shows that *I* like. Right now I'm watching Parenthood (I'm only at like the 9th episode from Season 1) and it's great! I wish I was more of a badass runner, but, well, no. I don't. :)

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  15. The treadmill serves a purpose. I'd rather run outside, but I don't necessarily hate it. I actually named mine Max, so I say "I'm going for a run with Max" ... makes it sound less desolate. There are days when I am on it and cannot wait to be done, but there are other days when I actually enjoy myself (yes really). I like to take advantage of the pre-programmed workouts in the treadmill. Keeps it interesting-ish. Good tips, btw. :)

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  16. Today, due to frigid conditions (the weather- not me) and snow, I had to take it to the 'mill...a rare event for this runner. My treadmill is 17 years old--and I'm always amazed that it performs as well as it does. Occasionally it spits pieces of plastic at me. Sometimes it speeds up and slows down at will. But I'm glad that I have it for when I need it. And I can freely break wind since I'm the only one around.

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  17. Ahahaha love this post! I have to do intervals or hills or both - anything to get me through the next minute on the treadmill. I even resort to counting to 100 and trying not to look at the clock until I'm done. Would much rather be outside!

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  18. I look forward to the treadmill because it is my Supernatural time. 4 seasons down, 6 seasons to go. I would have a much harder time on the treadmill without Netflix.

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  19. It was dark when I got off work so to get me through my treadmill run today I watched a documentary on a mans first time at Badwater.. I figured if he could do something so crazy I could suck it up and do 5 miles on the treadmill!

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  20. Oh man, I feel so bad for that poor woman. That would totally be me... I avoid the treadmill like the plague. I haven't seen that Yasso treadmill workout before, so if I have to use one sometime soon I think I'll try it. It seems like good motivation.

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  21. I love to run in the cold (at least, that's what I tell myself). Sometimes you do have to come up with an alternative, though, when it's too icy or the wind chills are crazy (like, -58F. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada). If it's less than -25F, I start to consider an indoor alternative or at least pick a loop near by my house just in case I need to call it earlier than planned. I will almost always pick the stationary bike over the treadmill, though. That treadmill just makes me want to gouge out my eyes for entertainment.

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  22. I don't ever seem to get a good workout in while on the treadmill. I am too busy watching tv to get me through it.

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  23. Podcasts - The Moth (storytelling), Risk! (like Moth uncensored), The Dinner Party Download, TED talks.

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  24. I really can't stand the treadmill. Once I ran a mile on one and I considered it to be a great accomplishment, ha. Treadmills are great for people watching, though.

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  25. If I can't run outside because of the ice, the next best thing (and it's a poor second) is running on an indoor track. I don't run well enough to run on a treadmill. They terrify me. I've seen too many of those videos where some poor sod is ass over tea kettle because of a treadmill, and I don't want that to be me.

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  26. I'm not on the TM right now - I am biking post-surgery - but I've been loving some podcasts lately! I'm listening to The History of the World in 100 Objects right now. They're not super peppy, but it works for me on the bike. I'm not exactly setting land speed records on that thing.

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  27. The snow looks lovely to me. It's currently 90 F here in Australia with 87% humidity. So if I don't get out early it's dreadmill for me too!!! Intervals/incline reps are the only way I can last more than 30 minutes. Funny we're all suffering!!!

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  28. Hate the treadmill! I had IT band syndrome flare up after 5 miles on the treadmill, and although I'm sure the injury was brewing long before that, I BLAME THE TREADMILL.

    Serial podcast may not be upbeat, but it is THE most compelling distraction. Try it! For something more upbeat, I like to listen to episodes of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

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  29. ooooh and I JUST GOT ME A TREADMILL!!

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  30. I tend to get dizzy (like motion sickness) when I step off the treadmill after a run. For this reason I dread the treadmill. Any tips to help with that?

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    Replies
    1. My guess is it is motion sickness...your body perceives you are going somewhere, but you're not...when you stop the treadmill your body gets confused. I would try decreasing your speed after your run and doing a major cooldown. Start walking, keep taking the speed down until you are almost at the point of stopping. See if that works...

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  31. Hate it! Best way to make the time go faster for me is mess with speed.

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  32. Our treadmill died so no more, but I loved waking up early and watching movies as I ran - great way to pass the time.

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  33. I don't hate it either, it is growing on me as it gets icy outside. I do however get sick of it after fifteen minutes, that is when I would much rather be running outside.

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  34. Only like the treadmill every now and then for some speedwork and a change of routine. A handful of times a year is more than enough for me!

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  35. I prefer the treadmill for speed/interval work because I set the pace and refuse to let myself wuss out. (Especially when it's a million degrees and a million percent humidity---I would much prefer 10 degree weather!)
    Other tip: find something interesting on TV or schedule the run for a time when you might already be planning to watch a particular show. Makes an hour go by fast!

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  36. Well, someone is unafraid about discussing their bodily emissions! Ha, great post. Something that many of us dread, with good reason. My takeaways: make it fun. I agree with the podcast comment. I listen to house music, but have dipped a toe in Serial, and I enjoy listening to comedy and have run with Pandora on for that too. Cheers! Tony
    Re-Run: My 30-Day Experiment to Fall Back in Love with Running
    http://goo.gl/iufCKV

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  37. I don't think I've ever run farther than 10 miles on a treadmill. I prefer speed workouts. One of my favorites is from the Body For Life book: a 2 minute warm-up followed by 1 minute each 60%, 70%, 80%, and 90% effort repeated 4x and finished with 1 minute max effort and 1 minute cool-down (total of 20 minutes). I also like 1:1 and 2:1 sprint intervals. As long as I'm pushing buttons or eyeballing the time to see when I can push buttons, my brain is engaged and adequately entertained!

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  38. I can’t tolerate cold. When weather becomes gusty then I prefer treadmill.

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  39. Zombie Run app....integrates with my playlist and makes it a fun game :-)

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