Treadmill games

Confession: I kind of like the treadmills in my new apartment building.

This is big for me, because I’ve been a card-carrying member of the “I HATE TREADMILLS” club for as long as I’ve been running.  Treadmills are boring.  They cause you to count every minute and every hundredth of a mile, willing the run to be over.  They are pretty much swirling vortexes of fun-suck.

But I’ve run on these treadmills a handful of times, and I haven’t totally hated it.  There are a few reasons why it’s bearable:

  1. The display only ticks off every 1/10th of a mile.  I don’t know why, but this makes a big difference to me.  I hate seeing that little red number constantly ticking on most treadmills, always moving and but never seeming to really increase.  This one changes so infrequently that I can effectively ignore it.  (This feature is less helpful for doing precise speedwork, but oh well.)
  2. The workout room is ice cold.  It is wonderfully frigid in there.  Every gym I’ve ever belonged to has set the thermostat at a temperature that’s apparently comfortable for walking slowly and reading Comso but miserable for doing a real workout.  (I used to punish the Comso girls by running next to them and showering them with sweat.  Hey, if you’re not going to work hard enough to perspire on your own, I’m happy to share some of mine with you!)
  3. Location, location, location. The workout room has huge windows and looks out over the pool and also the lobby area of the building.  It’s highly entertaining to watch people coming and going.  I was running in the morning once and saw a particularly amusing walk of shame.  Good stuff for when the TV fails to capture my attention.

And it’s a good thing, because it’s still hot here.  Maybe we can get some sub-90* weather by the time October rolls around?  Please?

In completely unrelated news, we have a couch!  And I’m happy to report that it is feline tested and approved:

We still need to acquire a small desk and hang a bunch of pictures, but dare I say we are almost settled in here?!  Pics to come soon!

Today’s EAT: This was a random throw-together meal that actually came out really well!  Date-stuffed chicken breasts and polenta:

In the chicken: chopped Medjool dates, sundried tomatoes and shredded parm.  The polenta was simply pan-fried in a little butter.  A delicious and flavorful meal!

And I picked up a little treat while I was out and about today:

Black and white and strawberry mojito (!) cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe!

The frosting on these was out of this world.  Yum.

Today’s DRINK: Not every bottle of wine can be a winner.

I don’t even remember where I got this white wine, but it was pretty unimpressive.  I didn’t even finish the glass that I poured to have with dinner (!)

Today’s RUN: I played a little game on my treadmill run today.  Another thing I like about these treadmills is that it’s simple to set up a goal time.  At the end of such time, the treadmill shuts off.

So today I set it for 38:00 and challenged myself to get five miles in.  I started off a little on the slow side, but managed to make up the difference and ended right around 37:30!  Not bad – 7:30 is a pretty good tempo pace for me.  And the best part was that it didn’t feel that hard.  Hooray for a confidence-building workout.  I needed one!

Tomorrow morning is the dreaded 20.  I keep telling myself: it’s just three hours, right?

Today’s QUESTION: What are your tips for treadmill running more palatable?


14 responses to “Treadmill games

  1. Interval workouts always seem to help me mentally on the treadmill, it gives me something to think about and seems to make the time go faster, good luck with your 20!

  2. I used to completely loathe the treadmill. Now I’m kind of friends with it. The treadmill is the only reason that I’ve been able to finish my speed work here in Florida. I just blow up when trying to run hard or fast in the heat.

    Good luck with your 20. Get out early.

  3. The only way I can make it through a run on the treadmill is if I put a movie on, or a funny TV show. Otherwise, I can’t do it.

    I try to alternate my speed every so often to keep it interesting, but the truth is the treadmill sucks.

  4. i don’ t know why but tm running never bothers me. it does help to have a tv to watch (or people watching. definitely a favorite no matter what activity i’m doing!) or intervals to break up the monotony but i tend to use running as a way to organize my brain so, in some ways, the tm is best for that because there are no distractions. maybe i’m just a freak though 😉

    and YAY for being almost settled in. that must feel wonderful!

  5. Interval workouts or hills. When I was training for Pikes Peak, I’d use the treadmill to get used to hard hills. Talk about a way to pour sweat on the cosmo girls!!!

    Intervals are good too – it’s more about time than the stupid distance which makes me nutso.

    Overall, I’d rather run in 14 degree, feel like 0 weather than on the dreadmill (hello, last winter!). I liked your description – fun suck.

  6. Watch TV! Listen to music and try to run people off treadmills near you. Or have a friend run next to you for some of your run. I still love the treadmill, I’m crazy like that. Your chicken looks so good- what an original idea!

  7. I try to do speed work and mix up the incline while on the treadmill. I need to play mental games with myself; I will do what you did and set the timer for a certain length and try to make it over a certain mileage. I’m also a big fan of listening to podcasts during slower runs and cranking up some fast music REALLY loud during speed work. Glad your new treadmill set-up is working so well!

  8. Welcome to the South!

    I definitely have to do intervals and play with my speed a lot when I’m on the treadmill. Lately I’ve been upping my speed by .1 mph every minute until I want to die, then slowing down and doing it all over again. It helps pass the time!

  9. I wish I had a cure for the treadmill blues. It’s soooo boring! When I am finally able to run again, my doc says treadmill only for awhile. The only thing that has helped me is TV watching while running on the treadmill.

  10. I try to mix it up with incline and quick sprints, but it will always be the “dreadmill”.
    I’ve got my second 20 miler tomorrow, then its taper time. Good Luck with your big 2-0!

  11. I love the Cupcake Shoppe! Try the lemon one – it is amazing!!

  12. I’m an elliptical girl. 🙂

    Emmy is so freaking cute! Yay for a new couch. 🙂

  13. Thank you for the extremely impressive article It has great detail that are easy to understand and it also has great tips I can t wait to read more of your blogs.

  14. I’m Monorail Cat and I approve this message!

    I canceled my gym membership because I hated the treadmill and I was never there. Naturally as soon as I *couldn’t* get on it anymore, I wanted it back. It can be a great way to work on your form and stride and recover from injuries…but yeah, SO effing boring.

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