Treadmill Musings

Happy weekend everybody!! It’s the first weekend we’ve been home in the past few weeks, and Matt didn’t have to work, so it was really nice to actually get to sleep in until 8 (minus waking up at 4 and 5)! As an added bonus, I was able to talk Matt into going to the gym with me while I completed Week 2 of my half marathon training with my long run–5 miles today.

Of course, after experiencing a rather mild winter so far this year, today we woke up to 15 degrees, a dusting of snow on the ground, and wind gusts of 30 mph. Not the most conducive for someone like me to run–I’m a wuss when it comes to running in the cold. But I figured I’ve run five miles on the treadmill before, so it wouldn’t be too bad. I just hope this is the one and only time I’ll have to do my long run on the treadmill.

My setup for treadmill running: towel, water bottle, TV on, sun shining through the windows. Five miles to go.

I’ve been running on the treadmill for quite a while now, so 30 minutes isn’t too bad, but get past that and you just want the run to be over!

So how do I keep myself motivated to run? Just a few tips that I have used:

  • I run with a towel, not only to wipe the sweat from my face or my legs, but to cover the information screen of the treadmill. Nothing makes time go by slower than when you’re staring at the timer or the mileage. I can’t stand having to watch the clock.
  • Music, music, music. I have to run with music. I know the safety concerns if you run outside with music, so I turn the music down so I can still hear my surroundings (if I’m running on the street I run with only one ear bud in). But on the treadmill, both ear buds are in and the music is cranked up. I have one playlist for running (which I need to add more, newer songs to, I just never get to do it).
  • Visual stimulation. Part of the appeal of running outside is the changing scenery, so you can’t expect to be visually stimulated by staring at a wall. Thankfully I can grab a treadmill that faces the front windows of the gym and a television that can help keep my mind busy. However, I discovered this morning that I need to be careful how I hold my head through the run–holding up my head to watch the television for too long of a period of time causes tightness and muscle spasms between my shoulder blades. Not comfortable. So I have to remember to look straight ahead, or down, and move my head and neck around.
  • Water. I love water. I have to drink it all the time, and running on the treadmill is no different. Granted it can be hard to drink while running, but I’ve somehow figured out a way to take quick swigs every once in a while.
  • Support. I really wanted Matt to go with me to the gym because it made me feel better to know I had someone nearby. I have my two friends that I run with at 5:30 throughout the week, which is nice, and I couldn’t do it all week that early without them. Some times we’re chatty throughout the run, and some times we’re quiet, but at least we’re there together and you know they’ll hold you accountable.

How do you get through long runs on the treadmill?


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