I love running outside and do it as much as possible. But, sometimes, there just isn't a way around having to run on the treadmill. Especially in Minnesota. During the summer, we can have thunderstorms (a no-no for running outside in) and winter it can get too cold (or icy). Already in marathon training I've headed to the treadmill a couple of times when I just haven't been able to run outside. Here's my tips for making the treadmill just a little more tolerable/
Try and move your run.
Yes, my first tip is trying to avoid running on the treadmill. Which is easier said than done. Right now, my weekday runs are pretty much locked into where they are. But, if I needed to, I have a little flexibility to when I run (or which days I do which runs).
For example, I was looking at my Wednesday morning run having to be on the treadmill because of morning thunderstorms. But, I knew that I could move around my work hours to leave earlier in the afternoon when it's not raining so I could get my run in not on a treadmill. Which then meant I ran seven miles in hot, sunny weather but that's another story. This can't always be done but it's always my first attempt to avoid the treadmill.
I cannot just listen to a podcast, audiobook or music when I'm on the treadmill. I need something more visual to combat the fact that there's nothing else to look at like there is when I run outside. My go-to is Netflix or Youtube (I'm hooked on the Youtube Red series Escape the Night right now). Luckily, I have unlimited streaming on my phone with T-Mobile but I can also download Youtube videos to my device which can help when my internet connection isn't the greatest.
I make sure my phone and headphones are charged, I've got correct clothing (because I sweat so much more during treadmill runs) and that I have water. I don't normally drink water during shorter runs (unless it's really hot outside) but it's a must with treadmill running. The air tends to be dry inside the gym and it makes it that much worse to make it through a run if my throat feels like a desert.
Mix up your speed.
I found that some of my favorite (if there is such a thing) treadmill runs have been speed intervals because I'm mixing up what I'm doing and it's not a singular pace. Even if you are aiming for specific pace on your outdoor runs, it might help to shoot for that as an average pace if you have to do it on the treadmill. Of course, that's made easier if your watch measures pace and distance on a treadmill.
What makes treadmill runs a little bit easier for you?