Treadmill Tricks

TreadmillNot only do I love to run, but I love the treadmill. A bit odd for someone who has self-diagnosed A.D.D., but it’s true; I find it easier to run on the treadmill versus the pavement. With colder weather right around the corner, most outdoor fans are forced to transition to indoor workouts. I know many LOATHE the big ‘T’ but here are a couple of tips on how to pass the time. Keep in mind that I have the attention span of a five-year-old.

Be Your Own DJ – Rev up the Ipod and be sure to add lots of mini playlists to your mix so you never get bored. Be sure to add some “mash ups” and fast-paced fun music that really get you going. (Note: I have music on even when I’m doing all the rest of the activities listed below. It’s the A.D.D.)

Grab the Remote – I know, I know… there isn’t much good programming to chose from these days, but it does serve as a great distraction. Not only do George and Robin fill me in on the world’s top stories during morning runs, but I’ve already got a couple of miles logged by the time Sam gets to his first weather forecast.

Go Ahead. Be Rude and STARE – Pick an object – a book on a shelf, molding around the doorway, a speck on the wall – and stare at it for as long as you can. It sounds ludicrous (OK, it is) but it actually works.


Interval Training – No time to slack because you’re scheduled to change things up in about 2 minutes! Not only is this a great calorie burner (some experts claim it’s the best routine a runner can follow) but because you’re constantly changing sequences – running to walking to sprinting – you never get bored. *Those who are more advanced can even add in side shuffles and backwards moves. Me? I’ll stick with the good ol’ face forward method.

Books on CD – Dig out your Sony Walkman Portable CD Player, pop in some batteries and head to the store (or library) and pick out titles you’ve been dying to get around to. If you’ve ditched yours along with Gordon Gekko cell phone, Amazon sells them for as little as $33.00. Of course, you can simply read an actual book or magazine but the words get all jumbled for me when I run at fast speeds.

Time Yourself – I saved the best for last because this is my own little made up game that makes the time fly by no matter what my mood or energy level. I’ll time myself in calories or miles depending on what I am watching or listening to. For example, if I’ve got the baseball game on (Yankees of course!), I’ll say to myself, “OK – you’ve got to burn 20 calories during Jeter’s at bat”, or “cover .3 miles during the next commercial break”. I’ll do the same with my music; i.e. 15 calories before the chorus part comes up. Sounds kooky (though perhaps not as strange as the spot-on-the-wall tactic) but these ‘mini goals’ always get me moving and motivated!

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Susan Gernhart and after spending my entire life in New York, I moved to Tampa, FL in May 2009. Speaking of changes, I fulfilled a lifelong dream by transitioning to a freelance writing career full-time in winter 2010 (having spent most of my career in the sports and entertainment industry) and have been working 7 days a week ever since! I've been published in several different outlets and have met some incredible people/subjects along the way, so I'm not complaining. I'm far from a health & fitness expert, but love writing, running, and snacking (!) and I look forward to contributing, learning and sharing on this site. Check out my work at - thanks!

Community Thoughts (15)

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  1. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) is a great way to train on the treadmill. You can really burn some calories!

  2. Bill NadNo Gravatar says:

    Great tips. I hate the treadmill but get to use it looking out a window so I will listen to a podcast, veg out, and look at the people walking by. I took a spinning class I while back though and found that the cranking music seemed to help my energy so maybe I will need to change my listening tastes

  3. DeepakNo Gravatar says:

    Is tread milling equivalent to running outdoors ?

  4. HeatherNo Gravatar says:

    I also really like the treadmill. I like to do something different each half mile. Change pace, change incline, … As long as vary it up, the miles tick by. Plus, watching miles is not as bad as watching the stupid clock! I’d rather see how far I ran verses how much time is left!

  5. ironnsimbaNo Gravatar says:

    Boredom is the biggest limiting factor for me to stay on the treadmill, no matter what I do or think about on the treadmill.
    Also, because of the fact that it is ,much easier than running outside, you kid yourself that you are very fit!

  6. JoshuaNo Gravatar says:

    I have been doing interval training cardio for the past year and have shed 80lbs. I mixed in some healthier eating, with smaller portions and eating more often, and some interval weight training. What has worked best for you in shedding the dead weight?

  7. HIIT is definately the best way to shed fat and tone your muscles! And it;s not boring! 🙂

  8. BobNo Gravatar says:

    Enjoyed your content on anti bordom treadmill cardio.
    I do 5 days a week at 30 minutes each. If it wasn’t for the TV and my receiver, I think I would go nuts. All your tips were excellent. I often like to count the number of calories I am burning in a minute.
    Thanks, Bob Williams

  9. Ben DetwilerNo Gravatar says:

    I really enjoyed your post. I have done all of these things. I found doing sprint intervals is the best way to get a quick and efficient treadmill workout. One minute sprint, one minute jog for 15 minutes is what I do if I am forced to run inside. Thanks again for the post!

  10. Johnd DNo Gravatar says:

    i listen to my ipod my entire work out as well .

  11. SidlerNo Gravatar says:

    We’ll treadmill is my first fitness equipment had in our house, at first 2 months I was been active working out all the way so, but after 2 months Ive got loosing my focus to continue so this tips help me motivate again. Thank you.

  12. JaredNo Gravatar says:

    The treadmill was my enemy until I started distracting myself. Up until then I thought it was gonna be an expensive place to hang my clothes, I’ve set up my TV and DVD player so I can watch movies when running and time flies.

  13. I tried the treadmill few times but i find that joging is much more efficient, at least for me.
    Combined with a balanced diet it can do wonders!

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