Five ways to beat treadmill boredom

So many times, runners call the treadmill the “dreadmill” and I totally agree with this feeling. I avoid the treadmill as much as I can because it can be so boring. But, there are times where I have to get on the treadmill. Right now, the treadmill is the easiest way to get my speedwork done and soon it might get too cold (or icy) to run outside. So here’s five things I do to beat treadmill boredom.


Watching a show

This is my go-to since I have unlimited streaming on my phone (thanks T-Mobile!). Usually I watch Youtubers but if I have to do anything longer than a three mile run, I’ll switch it up to a show or documentary on Netflix. I hope I don’t have to do a long run on the treadmill but if I do, I’ll be watching a movie!

Mix it up with intervals

Right now, it’s easier for me to my Saturday speedwork on the treadmill because I can set the speed and not have to worry about looking at my watch to see if I’m going at 5k pace for ¼ of a mile. It’s just one less thing to think about and intervals makes the time go faster. Change up with the length of your intervals so you have something else to think about than how much you hate the treadmill!

Listen to music

If you are a regular reader of Oatmeal Runner, you know I usually don’t listen to music during my runs! I save it for speedwork or races but, if, you also don’t usually listen to music, try out a fun playlist for your next treadmill run! I use Google Music which has pre-created playlists for different activities or genres but I’m sure other services offer this too.

Listen to a podcast or audiobook

Likewise, if you usually listen to music while running, switch it up to a podcast or audiobook on the treadmill. It’s a great way to multi-task and keep your mind off of the treadmill while running. And listening to something different than usual might make the time go a little quicker.

Hide the treadmill screen

I don’t know about you, but staring at my time and mileage on the treadmill makes my workout seem to last forever. If you feel the same, cover up the screen so it’s not staring in the face for the entire run. This works well for me since I run based on what my watch tells me and I can set up interval workouts so I know when to switch up my pace or stop running!

Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite ways to beat treadmill boredom are!