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With winter running comes the inevitable post about treadmills. So what makes this post different? Other than being written about me, I’m not really sure. But let’s pretend together that what I have to say is equal parts enlightening and humorous. Ok? Ok.

I will confess that I actually made peace with the treadmill last winter – a grudging truce, so to speak. I promised to not complain too much about the treadmill and even be thankful that it was an option. In return, I would never again fall down and be thrown off of a treadmill. I don’t have anything in writing but so far so good.

treadmill-fall-lars-hammar-nocomm-flickr

If you have a difficult time getting jazzed for a treadmill run, here are some of my suggestions for ways to stay a little more positive about it.

1) Get to know your treadmill.

If you are very fortunate to have your own treadmill, then it’s worth reading the manual and learning about the features and functions of your specific machine. Even if you’ve gotten a second hand one that came without the manual or use one at the gym, the internet will have lots of info. If you’re more of a hands on learner, take some time to play with the buttons and setting and see what you’ve got. Knowing how to do a variety of training focused workouts on your treadmill will make it easier to maintain momentum, even when weather or road conditions have other ideas.

2) Add music or at least have a nice view.

One of the biggest complaints I have about treadmills is how monotonous a run can feel. Anything past 30 minutes and if I don’t have something else occupying my mind, then things get weird. Music can be helpful for that, especially if you have a specific playlist made for running that is up tempo and energetic. At home, you may actually use the treadmill while watching television or by setting the treadmill up near a window.

3) Appreciate it for what it is

As someone who needs to be outside for the sensory benefits of running, I used to be fairly resistant and even resentful of treadmill running. An approach I have been taking with many aspects of my life is that when I am feeling negative or critical about something I ask myself to focus on the positives of whatever it is. If that doesn’t work, I then ask myself to focus on how privileged I am to be complaining about something other than hunger, shelter or safety. To have the option of running on a treadmill when the paved roads around my house are less than ideal makes me extremely fortunate.

4) Variety is the spice of life

Treadmill running is much like running outdoors if you do the same thing every single time. Running the same route, the same direction and same pace every day will likely lose its charm after a while. Reduce the scenery and the same routine becomes next to impossible. Changing tempos or incline, using pre-programmed workouts or creating different workouts on your own can really make the experience enjoyable. You probably have a variety of workouts you do outside, why should the treadmill be any different? You’re only as limited as your imagination!! Like this guy…

 

Do you dread the tread? Or is it one of your best winter running friends? I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions about treadmill running.  Share them and comment below!

 

Happy running!

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