With more and more time spent indoors, most runners turn to the treadmill (or “dreadmill” for some) to complete their runs/workouts. Treadmill running can be monotonous and a bit mind numbing if not handle properly. So, the next time you set foot on a treadmill try these 5 easy tips for making your run a bit more engaging and a lot more fun!
1. Do more than just base runs!
Take advantage of the myriad of settings that most treadmills have, they’re there for YOU! Work some intervals into your routine by doing speedy pickups on set time or distances. Use the incline feature to simulate rolling hill runs or straight-up hill repeats for additional strength work. Don’t think that your run types are restricted on a treadmill, mix it up 2-3x per week with some higher intensity work and short bursts of speed.
2. Find a great App and run virtually!
Now this one is obvious. Find a great app, like Charge Running, to keep you socially engaged and on top of smart, effective training whether you’re on a treadmill or not. Charge’s professional, certified coaches craft workouts and runs that can easily be done on a treadmill. Coaches provide live feedback and personalized tips to you and all of your virtual teammates running simultaneously around the world! All the engagement and social elements of a group run from the comfort of your home/gym treadmill!
3. Give your brain a workout!
Why should your legs, heart, and lungs have all the fun?!?! Give your brain a workout as well by adding in some informative podcasts, doing some audio trivia, or challenging yourself to complete long (but VERY simple) math problems. Check out the podcast Stuff You Should Know, NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, or Ted Talks Daily. For trivia, try Trivial Warfare Trivia, or Ask Me Another.
Don’t cringe at the word “math.” Try calculating approximately how long it would take you to run across the U.S.A.? Or how many lifetime miles you’ve run and how many laps around the world that would be? Simple, fun, and takes a while…for me at least!
4. Get creative: Visualize a route or race!
Use your creativity and imagination to escape the gym or your basement running cave. Work on visualizing your favorite outdoor running route, trail, or course. If you don’t have a favorite, make one up! Picture the turns, elevation changes, and the sights and surroundings. Imagine yourself running on a dirt trail through the woods or on crushed gravel up a picturesque mountain. If you’re preparing for a race take a look at the course map and work on visualizing the course and taking yourself through your specific race strategy. Use the treadmill to simulate some uphill and downhill elements of the course and any projected pace changes you’re going to execute!
5. Watch a show or listen to a HOT playlist!
Get out of your own head while staying motivated with a TV show or exceptionally “lit” playlist! For TV, pick something that’s fun and doesn’t require an incredibly high level of attention. I trend towards sitcoms like The Office or Parks & Recreation. Pick a show that is long enough to cover a large percentage of your run. That way you can tell yourself “Okay, I’m going to keep going until the episode is done, even if I get tired!”
Everyone has their unique musical taste but try and craft a playlist (or have an app like Charge do it for you?) that’s high energy and matches BPM with your general cadence. Additionally, making sure there are plenty of lyrics in the songs keeps you a bit more distracted/engaged in the tune!
On a treadmill or not, make the most of your training! Have some fun and let Charge Running help guide you every step of the way. Sign up today and take advantage of all the social, live, and encouraging runs, workouts, and virtual races!!!