Getting to know my treadmill

Last week I divulged one of my biggest secrets, I haven’t been keeping up with my training. It was tough for me to admit, but as many people reminded me, I was taking the first step to recovery. (Yes, I sound like an alcoholic…)

Since I’ve been so opposed to running outside due to the weather and terrain, I needed to make a change. So I’m trying, trying my darndest to befriend my treadmill. Last week I ran my treadmill distance record, 6 miles on the darned machine. I didn’t know that I had it in me, but I’m glad that I managed to push through the boredom.

What have I done to keep myself semi-entertained? Anything and everything possible. I had to use a cooking pot as a laptop stand so I could watch a movie on Netflix. I changed up my incline every quarter of a mile to simulate a change in terrain. I adjusted the speed so I had to change my exertion. And I made sure to have the most obnoxious booty-rocking pop music on my iPod.

I’m still having difficulty finding the motivation to get on the hamster wheel, but I know I need to do it. I need to throw aside my aversion and use the darn thing for its intended purpose. And I plan to. (Until I am in a more agreeable climate, 5 days!)

Do you run on the treadmill? How do you keep yourself entertained? (Seriously, I can use all the advice I can get!)

And it is time to announce the winner of the Coolmax sock winner… Congratulations Stina! If you could please contact me with your contact information and shoe size, I’ll make sure to get your goodies on their way.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day. Remember to wear sunscreen so you don’t end up a lobster like me!

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on September 5, 2011, in Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Sounds like you’re doing everything you can to stay entertained!! :-) I loooove mine. LOVE it. Too many random animals without leashes roaming in my neighborhood for me to feel safe running outside, and I live far out in the country and don’t always feel like driving to the park/track/running path–so I’ve come to be bffs with my tready! I watch crime shows to keep entertained and it passes the time crazy fast. Murder, She Wrote and Columbo are my faves while on it, but Criminal Minds is good too–and I know you love that! Good luck! :-)

    • You know, I still recall how much I whined and complained about treadmills when I read your post about loving the thing. I would have never expected that someday I’d be praising it as well!
      And I wish I could have watched the Criminal Minds marathon while running today, unfortunately there is no tv by my treadmill. I tried fashioning my computer in front of me, but it didn’t work out. Oh well, I’ll have to suffer with just my music for now.

  2. Running on the treadmill is hard for me, too. The only thing that keeps me going is doing an interval work out, which it sounds like you kind of did.*

  3. Running on a treadmill is not fun for me on any run over 3 miles. I tend to try different speeds and different inclines to keep the workout somewhat different. I also like to watch tv or a movie while i’m on the treamdill, though sometimes it just doesn’t work for me!

    I think one big factor is your attitude. If you come into the workout thinking, “zomg i hate the treadmill” then you’ll have a bad workout. If you just agree that you are going to run for X miles and go, you maybe won’t be so bored and not enjoy the workout as much?

    • I think you are correct! Getting on the treadmill and dreading my run was not helping me in any way. Today I hopped on with every intention of having a good five mile run and next thing you know I am going further.
      Oh Laura, you are so wise… I should just have you direct how I do everything in my life! :)

  4. I’ll admit it’s hard, perhaps even impossible, for some people to fall in love with dreadmill running. One thing I DO find to be a positive (aside from the ‘controlled environment’) is that it is a great time to work on my pace. It has helped my body and mind ‘learn’ what a 10 minute mile feels like as well as allowed me to work on speed without any other fancy equipment. I find it hard sometimes to regulate my pace outdoors and often have a crappy 1-3 first miles because I ran at too fast a pace.

    As far as diversions…sometimes I put on ‘trashy’ reality TV…don’t judge…but sometimes those awful 30 minutes of drama help make the time go by faster and help my mind break the runs down in chunks. If I’m going to be running 1.5 hours I know that 3 episodes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” (please don’t tell anyone) will get me through it. I don’t even really need the volume on. Sometimes it’s Sex in the City reruns, I prefer the shorter shows over a full movie because it’s more like a countdown to me (ok, only one more episode to go).

    I know some people who cover the treadmill display but that has never worked for me…I still peek. Sometimes I do math…how many more laps do I have to go? Saturday I ran a half-marathon on my treadmill with no TV, just music. Boring, yea, a little. But after a while it gets meditative and either I get delirious or I am nuts because I often have great ‘conversations’ with myself. Someone suggested audio books, which I’ve never tried but I’m looking forward to. Part of my problem with a 1.5-2+ hour run is that I think about all of the other things I ‘should’ be doing or the book I want to finish. It might be cool to be able to kill 2 birds with one stone.

    • Oh how I love awful reality tv, I’m pretty sure I could watch it for hours! Sadly there is no tv by our treadmill so I have to use my computer or just settle for my music. I can’t imagine watching Toddlers with Tiaras while running, I’d leap towards the tv every minute to smack the mothers!

      A half marathon on the treadmill? You’ve got a lot more patience than I do! Today I managed to stay on for an hour, hopefully I can push that in the coming days.
      I’ll admit, I’m a peeker too. I can barely convince myself to keep my eyes off of the display for more than a minute. I like to calculate how much I have left, sometimes I break it down into percentages (I’m really that nerdy).

      I heard a rumor that you live in the Bay Area? Maybe I’ll run into you at a race sometime! What is next on your schedule?

      • Yes, I live in the East Bay but my next ‘race’ is Tough Mudder up at Squaw Valley Ski Resort (in 12 days). Then I’ll be running the NIke Women’s Marathon in October. Not sure what I’ll do after that but I really enjoyed my first Brazen Trail Race so maybe some more of those?? I’ll keep ya posted…it would be great to meet up some time!

  5. I love the treadmill. It means I can stop when I want and can regulate my pace. Also there is no safe place to run near me. I can zone out with a great TV show I love and run instead of worrying about how hot it is or if there’s a hill coming up.

  6. I would rather shiv myself in the kidney than attempt to run on a treadmill (TMI?). I’m kind of terrified of the whirring belt of death. I will do anything and everything to keep my runs outside and I may have even run in lightning once (it was only once and the lightning started halfway through a 2 miler).

  7. I loathe the treadmill, but I think there is absolute truth in Laura’s comment about attitude. If you’re getting on the treadmill “knowing” the run is going to suck, it’s probably going to suck. If you get on with a postive attitude, chances are you’ll have a much better run.

    For me the key to surviving the treadmill is changing it up: doing ntervals, adjusting the incline, changing playlists on my iPod. It’s also helpful if there’s something good on TV. My gym has the individual screens on their cardio machines so I can plug in my headphones and watch whatever I want. If I’m watching something I like, I’ll keep going to see then end. Actually…now that I don’t have cable, maybe I can use getting to watch new episodes of “my shows” as motivation to get my arse to the gym and on the treadmill this winter…

    • I’ve never used one of the treadmills with a television attached, but I feel like that would be a great help (as long as they had SVU or Criminal Minds playing constantly). Good luck getting to the gym during the winter, I’m sure that must be tough in chilly Chicago.

  8. I listen to podcasts and books on mp3. It’s still boring, though.

  9. First of all,, I love your new blog design!

    I hate the treadmill. There are times when it’s ok, but overall getting on it makes me want to blow my brains out. I would much rather run, even in the cold or rain. Heat is another story, can’t run if it’s too hot, but I get up early to beat the heat. Outside is that important to me. That said, some people love the TM, and if you have a movie to watch, or a podcast to listen to, you’re set!

    • I’m completely with ya! I don’t mind the cold at all, but heat kills me every time. Since I’m too lazy to get up early enough to beat the heat, the treadmill seems like my best option. I’m thinking I could listen to a comedy podcast to keep me entertained since there is sadly no television by my machine.

  10. Have you tried listening to books on tape? When I was marathon training last winter, that really helped me get through.

    • I think that is an awesome idea, but I have a really awful attention span when it comes to things like that. Although at this point focusing on something other than my laborious breathing would be a great help…

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