I am a lot of things. Hardcore is not one of them…especially if “hardcore” means running in the dark. I know I could get a headlamp, wear reflective gear, blah blah blah. I’m not doing it. Combining my uber-clumsiness with darkness and ice is not a good idea.
Once that nasty time change hit on Sunday, I knew that the majority of my weekday runs had to move to the treadmill.
Since I spend a lot of time on the treadmill from November until March, I have several tricks to make it bearable. Here are a few:
- Watch a movie/T.V. I use my treadmill time to watch all the tacky television that I would never watch otherwise. Spend two hours on the couch watching The Bachelor? No way. Spend two hours on the treadmill watching The Bachelor? Okay.
- Listen to fun music. Yes, I listen to music while I watch my shows. Closed captioning + Songza’s “90’s Jock Jams” station = workout bliss.
- Listen to podcasts. This doesn’t work for me. I have to also have something to look at or I just don’t pay attention. But it might work for you.
- Annoy your significant other by singing/fist-pumping to your sweet 90’s jams. Probably only reasonable if you have your own treadmill and are doing an easy run, but always a good time.
- Vary the pace and incline. Especially for easy runs, little adjustments make the time pass much quicker. Even switching between 1% and 2% every minute or two breaks up the monotony.
In addition to those general tips, I’ve collected an arsenal of treadmill workouts that are fast-moving and fun. Here are some of my favorites.
- Greg McMillan’s treadmill workouts. (link) I love all these workouts, but the six-sevens is my favorite, in a this-is-awful kind of way. I’ll be doing it often this winter in preparation for the Run to the Shrine 10k in May.
- Minute-by-Minute Intervals. (link) Quick. Hard. Good for mornings that you wake up later than you planned.
- As much as I would love to claim that I made this next one up, I did not. I found it on the internet somewhere about a year ago and scribbled it on a notepad. Now I can’t figure out where it came from. So if this is your workout, let me know, and I will credit you.
- These two workouts from Tone It Up are also blends of running and strength. I run instead of walking for the “booty shorts” one and double each run portion of the “frisky fall” one.
- Here’s a simple but effective one that I love. Use your own paces, obviously, not mine. Go faster or slower as needed.
The treadmill can be fun, I promise. Or at least better than a slip on the ice and subsequent injury. I hope some of these workouts work for you!
Do you run in the dark?
What’s your favorite treadmill workout? Link to it!