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How to Survive the Boredom that is Treadmill Running

by Rich Emrett
How to Survive the Boredom that is Treadmill Running


Even if you’re a running fanatic, chances are you’ve gotten sick of the treadmill from time to time. I mean, you’re going nowhere, literally, and there are only so many interesting settings to try out. You’re not going to run through a finish line when the workout’s over. And there are only so many hot girls in spandex to distract yourself with. So how do you deal? Here are 7 tips to get you through the boredom that is treadmill running

  1. Get off the treadmill.

No brainer, right? It’s easy to get into a workout rut, and as it turns out, that’s bad for your body. Just as you have leg day and chest and arms day, you need treadmill day, rowing day, elliptical day, day off, etc. Don’t become a treadmill drone.

  1. Get distracted.

In this digital world, distraction is just a tap away. Instead of watching the seconds count down on the screen in front of you, schedule your workout so you can watch your favorite show, or bring a tablet so you can watch whatever you want on demand. If you’d rather listen, tune into your favorite podcast or playlist. Pandora is a great way to discover new music based on what you already like. RockMyRun is an awesome app with thousands of playlists that adjust to your cadence with BPM (beats per minute), so that the songs that play propel you forward with their rhythm. Time’s going to fly.

  1. Keep a running log.

See those guys at the gym carrying around little notebooks? You want to be one of those guys. Log your running times and progress and set daily, weekly, and even yearly goals. When you’re working towards something, you’re going to work harder.

  1. Up the incline.Up the incline

At the beginning of your treadmill run, start with the harshest incline you can handle. In one to two minute increments (or more if you’re awesome), lower the incline. By the time you get to flat land, you’ll feel like you can run forever.

  1. Interval train.

In some ways, interval training feels a lot easier than jogging, and it’s less boring and better for your heart. Alternate between 30 seconds to 2 minutes of sprinting or running with jogging or walking. You could also run one song, walk the next. Constantly alternating keeps you alert and present, rather than dozing off mid-jog.

  1. Race someone.Race with someone

Why not bring a friend? Especially one who’s just as in shape or more in shape than you. If you’d rather work out alone, challenge yourself to run longer than that guy who looks like he’s massively in-shape. There’s always that guy.

  1. Quit running.

Who said you have to run? Yeah, it’s popular and basic, but there’s no rule book anywhere that says you have to fucking like running. A lot of people flat-out don’t. If you’re sick of the treadmill and none of the above tips work, opt out. There are plenty of other cardio workouts that will suit you better. Think team sports, swimming, biking, triathlons, Crossfit, or rowing. Basically anything but running.

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