Whether you're in a hotel or just stuck inside by horrible weather, you're main option for getting a good exercise is a treadmill. Many runners dislike this option and it gets a bad rap. Using these five tips will make your treadmill exercises more enjoyable.
1. Listen to Music or a Podcast
Flipping on your favorite tunes can totally enrich your running. Another option is listening to a podcast. There are thousands of different shows based on hundreds of different topics. Pick something that interests you and download the latest episode. Bonus points if the podcast is educational: you will be learning and growing stronger! experience.
I usually recommend exercising without listening to music (safety), but you don't face any serious threats to your health on a treadmill.
2. Use One of the Built-In Programs
Running for 30 minutes straight at the same speed is boring. 90% of all treadmills come with built-in programs that simulate things like mountain climbing to make the run more exciting.
Bonus tip: to simulate this kind of program manually, increase or decrease the angle of the treadmill. To recreate a mountain run slowly increase the angle of the treadmill every 3 minutes. Before you know it you'll be on top of a mountain.
3. Run in Intervals
Cycle running and walking to keep things fresh. Try running for 5 minutes and walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that pattern 4 times and you've got 28 minutes of cardio.
Another method for intervals is, if you are listening to music, to run for 4 songs and walk for 1. Repeat that twice and you will be in the ballpark of 25-35 minutes (depending on song length, of course).
Meditation while running can be critical for getting "in the zone." Focus on your breathing first. Try to make it as steady and even as possible, drawing in a deep breath every couple of seconds. This is key on avoiding cramps while running.
If you are religious or spiritual, praying while running can double as meditation.
5. Mix In Different Exercises
Consider this method: Every 5 minutes step off the treadmill and do 30 jumping jacks. You can substitute jumping jacks with push ups, lunges, sit ups, mountain climbers, or any other body weight exercise.
While this isn't necessarily a running tip, using this method will definitely increase the effectiveness of your workout.
The next time you have to battle the dreaded treadmill, keep these 5 treadmill running tips in mind. If you have any tips or tricks for other runners, please leave a comment describing it.