Happy Wednesday! Today I want to discuss the treadmill. I feel like runners either love or hate the treadmill, there is no in-between! Personally I don’t mind the treadmill. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite way to get in a run, but I don’t dread it.
Running on a treadmill is one thing, but what about doing a long run on a treadmill. How would you feel spending a few hours with the treadmill? Could you do it? Would you lose your mind? These are all valid questions. This past weekend I was given two options – skip a long run or do it on the treadmill. Since I value being alive, I didn’t want to risk running outside in a torrential downpour and the threat of thunderstorms. If I didn’t run on the treadmill, the run wasn’t going to happen. Since I’m not injured, there was no reason for me to skip the run, so the treadmill won!
I’ve done a few double digit runs on the treadmill (including two 14 mile runs). Now I’m not saying that it’s easy, but you can survive a long run on the treadmill. Here are a few helpful tips!
Accept the Situation
If given the choice between running outside or on a treadmill, I think 9 out of 10 runners would pick outside. Once you accept the fact that you will be on the treadmill for a while, the run will go much easier. Thinking negative about the situation will only make the run more miserable, and who wants to deal with that? Accept that your treadmill run will be long, but awesome!
Set Yourself up for Success
You should treat your long treadmill run just like a long run outside. Make sure you have everything you need within arms reach. When I run outside, I always run with water, fuel, my iPod and headphones, so all of those things are included for my treadmill run as well.
What I mean by “run blind” is cover the time section on your treadmill. I use my Garmin for my indoor runs so there’s no need for me to stare at the time on the treadmill. If anything, this can make the run go by SO MUCH SLOWER! Covering the time allows you to focus on your form and breathing instead of “OMG I have X minutes left for this run”. When I do long runs on the treadmill I only look at my watch when it beeps for every mile.
Break it Up
Breaking up the run into shorter chunks can be very helpful. For example, I broke up my 14 mile run into 5 miles / 5 miles / 4 miles. Each small break gave me a chance to do a quick stretch, refill my water bottle or use the restroom. I like this approach because it doesn’t make the run seem so long. Actually I often do this with most of my long runs, outside or inside!
Use a Good Playlist
I’m a firm believer that good music can turn a crappy run into a good run. When you’re on the treadmill, you don’t have anyone to talk to, so the miles can drag on and on. If you’re busy singing along to a song, rapping or doing a little dance, the miles will fly by, trust me! If you’re really feeling a song, just be careful that you don’t end up like Taylor Swift, lol.
On Saturday’s run I don’t even remember the middle miles because my playlist was SO good. Need some ideas? Check out last week’s Tunes Tuesday post!
I hope that you find these tips helpful if you ever have to complete a long run on the treadmill. Just remember, sure it’s not ideal, but you can do it!
How do you feel about the treadmill – yay or nay? What’s the longest run you’ve done on a treadmill?
I’m linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub and Nicole from FitFul Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday.
I’m also linking up with Rachel from Running on Happy, Susie from Suzlyfe, Lora from Crazy Running Girl, and Debbie from Coach Debbie Runs for Coaches’ Corner!
Great tips …as always 🙂
Susie @ Suzlyfe says
Yes to all–and have a good book or movie!
I haven’t tried watching a movie but that’s a good idea!
I agree that the treadmill wins over no run at all. I use to run on it a lot more when my kids were younger. Such a life saver! Now I rarely use it. My longest run on the treadmill was 15 miles. It is so mental and like you said accept the situation and it will be easier! I either listen to podcasts or watch a documentary or movie.
If I have to do it again, I’ll definitely try listening to a podcast or watching a movie!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner says
These are great tips. I have not run that distance on a treadmill but I like the idea of breaking up your run into smaller runs with water and snack breaks. Having a great movie to watch helps too!
Thanks! The bathroom and water/snack breaks are short, but it feels good to get off the treadmill for a minute or two!
Lol at the Taylor Swoft video. I am definitely a treadmill hater and would probably skip the long run rather than subject myself to hours on it. These are great tips though. I like the idea of breaking it up into bite size chunks. That almost makes it seem doable. Almost. ?
The Taylor Swift video make me laugh every time, LOL! Breaking it up into chunk definitely makes it more manageable!
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says
Great advice! Running on the treadmill for a long time can be mentally tough. When I use the treadmill at the gym I either watch a few shows on TV or listen to my playlist. And it’s definitely smart to hide the display…it makes the run so much longer!
Thanks Janelle! Hiding the display has been a game changer for me. I used to get so annoyed when I would think I had been on the treadmill for a long time, only to see 3 minutes had passed, LOL
YES! COVER THE TIMEEEEE! I ALWAYS do that because I don’t wanna know – and then when you finally DO look – you could surprise yourself, LOL!
Definitely! And who doesn’t love a surprise?!
Great tips! The longest I’ve done on the treadmill is around 10 miles. I like to set up my ipad and watch netflix shows. I take a break after an episode so about every 42 minutes or so. It helps break things up like you said and the show helps prevent me from watching the treadmill screen constantly.
I’ve never watched Netflix while on the treadmill – I might try that one day!
Lora @ Crazy Running Girl says
Ahh I’ve done a few long runs on the treadmill… I think my longest is 12. I also like podcasts and watching documentaries! They definitely keep my mind focused on something else other than the fact that I’m running on a treadmill for that long.
I love documentaries but have never watched one on a treadmill. I think I might try that!
I love your tips! I am not as much of a treadmill hater as other people (LOL), but it can get boring if you’re running many miles… I employ many of your tips and also sometimes try to plan my long treadmill run around the TV schedule (e.g. a couple of months ago, there was a soccer game I wanted to watch on Sunday afternoon and I knew they were going to show it at the gym on one of the TV monitors…. so I planned to do my run around that time and watched soccer while I was running. 1.5 hours flew by! :))
I think my longest treadmill run has been 9 or 10 miles.
Thanks San! I love the tip about planning your treadmill run around the TV schedule, that’s a really great idea!
Sometimes I watch tv shows on a tablet for a longer run. Shorter runs I listen to podcasts.
I’ll have to start listening to podcasts!
Kimberly Hatting says
My thoughts on the treadmill? A big, whopping NAY. (but you probably already knew that). My longest run ever on the ‘mill was 6 miles (or maybe it was just 5, but felt like 6?). We have a decent treadmill, but it’s old…maybe 16-17 years old. It’s loud, so if I have my Ipod and ear buds, I have to have the music very loud to even detect a drum beat….and I don’t think that’s good for my ears. That said, if I ever attempted a long run like you did, I definitely would have to break it down into the shorter segements as well.
The type of treadmill makes a huge difference! The treadmill I run on is relatively new (about 1 year old) and it doesn’t feel as harsh on my joints, so I think that’s why I was able to do the long one on it.
I think the longest run I’ve done on a treadmill was 4 miles – I’m definitely in the “nay” camp. Music only helps me for so long, but I think maybe I could handle a longer run with a movie or TV show.
I know a lot of runners that use the time to catch up on their Netflix shows lol
Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says
I’ve done a lot of long runs on my treadmill. Once I did 15 miles! These are great tips!!
15 miles is awesome!
Great tips. When I used to run on a treadmill I always covered up the time. I do not run on them anymore and if I do it is on a rare odd occasion.
I think covering up the time is so important. If not the minutes just drag on and on.
I know I already told you but I’m so SO proud of you for hunkering down for 14! I think it boils down to How bad do you want It. When I ran 22 miles on the mill, there was simply no other option because we had 8″ of wet snow on the ground with freezing rain coming down on top. It was my last long run before Boston and I was not going to miss it. Those runs are the ultimate confidence boosters!
Thanks so much Marcia. That means a so much coming from you!
Wow, 22 on the mill?! Now that’s mental toughness right there! I always say that I will never miss a run unless I’m injured or really sick. Since I neither of those things, the run was going to get done on the TM!
Agness of Fit Travelling says
I don’t often run on the treadmill because it’s quite boring. However, in winter I am forced to.How do you keep motivated?
A good playlist is always very helpful!
That Metallica meme made me laugh out loud!!! These are great tips for real though – I usually mentally break up my long runs on the treadmill, makes it SO much easier.
It made me LOL too! Breaking up the run into smaller chunks is key for me too.
Would I want to run on the treadmill all the time? No. But I love that it’s there when I need it. Great tips, Kim, to make the treadmill more bearable!
Same here! While outdoor running is preferred, the treadmill is a great option, especially when the weather is crappy!
Zenaida Arroyo says
We have the same thoughts on surviving a run on the treadmill. And I agree on covering the time on the console.
Covering the time on the screen is key for me!