Hell’s Frozen Over, aka, An Enjoyable Treadmill Run

Chaos, email flurry, meetings galore. Monday was a hectic start to the week, so I couldn’t wait to get my sweat on and clear my head. But only 5 minutes after I got onto the treadmill, I was feeling very ho-hum.


Borrrring. This cold weather (as in, negative wind chills again this week) is really getting to me, and it’s tough being stuck inside all the time on the dang treadmill. Nevertheless, I grimaced and kept chugging along, human hamster on the treadmill, slapping my three miles out.

I had my scheduled rest day yesterday, which was perfect timing—I was working until almost 8 o’clock at night. Talk about brain dead! There’s no way I would have had the determination to run after that. I did have the willpower to stick with my new diet, though: On days I don’t work out, my calorie intake is pretty limited, so I have to eat very smartly to make sure every calorie counts to help me stay full. I went to bed exhausted, but happy with myself for stickin’ with it, even on a crazy day.

Today, I turned another corner.

Once again, I was looking forward to my post-workday run to clear the jumble of design, code, tight timelines and other nonsense from my mind. At the gym, I hopped on the treadmill {…again} and decided to try a programmed “interval” workout. I wanted to up the effort since Wednesdays are my “speed” days. After a few minutes warming up, the program had me run 5mph easy for a minute, alternated with 1 minute at 6.5mph. At first, I didn’t think the effort was hard enough, but by halfway through, I could tell it was giving me a decent workout; harder than usual, at least. For the final few intervals, I upped the speed to 6.8mph for the fast minutes, so perhaps I could have upped it a little more the whole time. Next time!

Now here’s the “Whaaaaat?” moment of today’s story:

I actually enjoyed the speed workout. The treadmill workout.

Is that hell freezing over?

Nope, it’s just the polar vortex of doom. Again.

But, really. I have been so sick of the treadmill, especially for easy pace runs where I just want to space out. Now I’ve found that when it comes to controlling speed, it’s much easier on the treadmill to push the pace (after all, you gotta keep up or you’ll, you know, completely wipe out and fall on your face). It’s also easier to make sure your “recovery” pace is actually on target, too. I always had a hard time doing speedwork outdoors; I was unable to keep the right paces, usually pushing too hard, too early, so I’d burn out halfway through. So, I think it’s safe to say I am now a fan of the old ‘mill when it comes to speedwork.

Yeah, yeah. I can’t believe it either. But the time just flew by, and I was done before I knew it. I even considered running a few extra minutes. Really! Then I was like, “Helloooo self, you’re on the treadmill, don’t you wanna get off by now?” and so I did.

Besides, I have 5 miles to bust out on the indoor track tomorrow. We’ll see if that’s any more fun than the hamster wheel.

Do you find workouts help you de-stress?
What are your tricks to fool yourself into {gasp} enjoying treadmill time? 


2 thoughts on “Hell’s Frozen Over, aka, An Enjoyable Treadmill Run

  1. I use that trick exactly! I always do intervals on the treadmill but I change the speed manually making me focus on when I am changing speeds and not on how far I’ve gone!

  2. I usually hate the treadmill too, but intervals have definitely helped keep me from getting bored. Yesterday I did 1 minute 3.5 mph, 2 minutes 5.5 mph, 1 minute 6.5 mph, and 30 seconds 7 mph before dropping back down to 3.5. It makes the time go by quickly, and thankfully my gym has TVs so I watched Love It or List It on HGTV to help with the boredom (since WiFi was out, and therefore so was iTunes Radio). I realized that if I keep changing with inclines and speeds, the treadmill isn’t so bad – but you’ll never see me doing a steady pace long run on there.

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