Friday, February 17, 2017

7QT: Treadmill Running Tips and Tricks

Yesterday I was running on the treadmill at the gym and realized I totally have a method to dealing with treadmill training because I kinda hate it.  I think I'll make it my Seven Quick Takes Tips today (linking up with Kelly as usual).


I always try and pick a treadmill that is on the end of a row or at least one that is in between two empty treadmills.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm slaving away on the dreadmill and someone occupies the one when there are others available.  I don't want to feel your sweat on me or hear you panting in my ear!  Move along little doggy.


If for some reason I must be right next to another treadmill runner, then guess what?

That's probably only a helpful tip for competitive peeps but it's fun for me!  I sneak a peek at what the person next to me is doing and try to do it just a little bit faster.  

(Click Read More to well, read more...)


Once I'm on a treadmill, I have to set up my junk.  I need a full water bottle (this one's my favorite - no sucking, easy to clean), headphones, my phone, and a magazine.  Some people can't read and run, but I find that it passes the time quickly.  Maybe you could use an ipad or kindle and watch a show or maybe plug in your headphones and watch tv at the gym.  For me a magazine works best, which is why I try and find a cheap weekly subscription.  Sometimes I've already read it, but I use it to cover the panel so I'm not staring at my numbers.  A good outfit is key too.  I wear capri leggings because shorts ride up, a loose tank top because tight ain't right on this mombod, and some cute Sauconys.


OK, now it's time to workout!  I used to always choose manual option and just play around with my speed and incline as I went, but then I discovered "Speed Interval".

Not my time - I wish!!  But I just wanted to show you the Speed Interval button.

It's so much better!  So you select the speed interval and it asks you to enter your "jog speed" and your "run speed" and then your incline (I always pick 0.5 or 1.0 which is like an incline of a normal road).  Jog speed is your slow speed, so I usually choose 4.0 which is my walking speed.  Then my run speed is 7.0 which is about an 8.5 minute mile.  Once the treadmill starts, it starts on your jog speed, so I immediately push the Speed Interval button to change to run speed and begin running.  The reason I love this button so much is that once you run a couple miles and need a walking break (oh, just me?) all you have to do is hit the speed interval button and it slows you right down to your desired speed faster than pushing the speed arrow down down down until you reach it.  Then when you catch your breath and want to run again, same one touch of a button makes it happen.


You've heard people say that running is more mental than physical, and I agree 100%.  The struggle in running is making yourself get out there, mentally challenging yourself (because it's not a team sport) to go faster and/or longer, and then the benefits of running are much more mood related than physical for me.  I'm way less stressed, anxious, and depressed when I'm exercising.

OK, this wasn't really a treadmill tip except to say that it's ok that it's hard to get yourself to do's supposed to be hard.  It's in overcoming the difficulty that we change ourselves.  When people say the love running (as I do) they really mean they love finishing the run :)


To help combat the mental roadblocks, I have a few games I play while treadmill training.  For the first mile, I leave on my sweatshirt and don't let myself read or listen to tv.  I just cover up the panel with my magazine and start running.  I don't let myself look at how far I've gone until it feels like a mile.  On a good day, by the time I check, it's more than a mile, but mostly it's about 3/4 mile and I just have to push myself to finish that first one.  The first mile is the hardest!!  Once it's over, I take off my sweatshirt.  That's like my reward.  Then for the second mile I let myself watch tv.  After that's over, I walk for .25 miles and then run again while finally earning my magazine.  The rest of the miles are spent running with a couple quarter mile walk breaks in between.  I only allow myself to check my phone and drink water while I'm walking.  And I can only walk if I've run at least a mile.  These games help me get through it!


Once I'm back in great running shape (I'm not even close right now...I am still unwilling to overhaul my diet, but Lent is coming!) I try to mix up my running workouts.  Being in running shape to me means I am able to regularly run 5 or 6 miles at 8:30 minutes/mile. No walking breaks.  After I am able to do that consistently, I try to do speed days where I run intervals of like 8.0 versus 6.5 or I'll do hill workouts or I'll run slower but for longer miles.  For the long treadmill runs, which I avoid at all costs - running outside is so much easier - a good trick is to switch treadmills halfway through the run.  At my gym you can only set the treadmill for a maximum of 60 minutes, so once that time is up you have to reset anyway, might as well change your view.

I'd like the view from the front.

And that's all I can think of, but I would love to hear your tips and tricks to get through winter treadmill running!  Have a great weekend everybody!!


  1. I saw a quote this week that said something about never listening to the first mile. The first mile is a liar and tells you to quit, but once you get past that it's better.

    I hate the treadmill, but sometimes it just makes sense. I'll have to try some of these tricks. And yes, totally agree that if you are next to me, we ARE racing whether you want to or not!

  2. Also, do you use Strava? Social media for runners! If so, I would love to follow you (if that's not too stalker, creepy)

  3. I wish we lived closer. I love running out doors but the treadmill is hard. I feel like I could run better with a friendly chat to pass the time. Also I hate when there is an empty rows of treadmills and someone gets right new to you!!

  4. This is so timely; I was just thinking about when/where/how I am going to do my run tomorrow.

    I now understand why your kids are such good runners.

    Saucony Guides are the best!!!!

  5. I used to love treadmill runs and now I just can't do it. I also cannot stand when someone takes the machine next to me when there are 30 more open. REALLY?


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