A Few of My Favorite Things: Treadmill Workouts Edition

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.

Garfield_11-4-13 (source)

Once that nasty time change hit on Sunday, I knew that the majority of my weekday runs had to move to the treadmill.

treadmill meme

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. (linkI 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.
    photo (17)
  • 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.
  • frisky-fall-cardio-routine-toneitup
  • Here’s a simple but effective one that I love. Use your own paces, obviously, not mine. Go faster or slower as needed.
    treadmill workout

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!

5 thoughts on “A Few of My Favorite Things: Treadmill Workouts Edition”

  1. I prefer doing my speed work on the treadmill. I like knowing exactly what my pace is the entire time. I’m also a huge fan of the run for a bit, hop off to do some resistance exercises, hop back on. There are definitely ways to make the “treadmill” more fun!

  2. Ahhh – the time change is my enemy. I have a running group that meets tonight at 7:00 PM and that’s the only time I’ll run in the dark because I’m with others so it’s safe. I also love doing speedwork on the treadmill and I haven’t tried ours out at the new gym so I’m planning to give it a try on Thursday using one of your workouts. My favorite is this one: http://fitfunfemme.com/2013/06/06/hiit-that-sht-a-new-hiit-workout/.

  3. I always do the treadmill with a variety of paces. Running more than .5 mile without switching it up can be torturous! I like having a solid plan going in to the treadmill, rather than my usual “run and see how I feel” because then I tend to go too fast or something. Thanks for these!

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