Athletics Magazine

5 Ways to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

By Brisdon @shutuprun

If you read this blog you know I will do anything to avoid the treadmill. This could mean running in –10 degree weather, slogging through a foot of snow or battling 50 mph winds (which usually leaves me in a ditch with empty beer cans, syringes and other forms of trash).

Yet, today I had to do it. I had to make my way to the recreation building to get on the treadmill (yep, no gym membership here. Too poor).

You see, Colorado has gotten some snow lately (shocking). This would be no big deal except yesterday in about 5 minutes the temperature went from 10 degrees to 55 degrees (no joke – damn Chinook winds <does it make me sound smart that I know what that is? I should have been a meteorologist). This meant all of the snow melted. Then the sun went down and all the rivers of water froze leaving ice skating rinks throughout the city.

I can’t run on ice. It makes me fall and cuss and get hurt. Like this person (funny, not funny):

To the treadmill I went.

If you are not a huge treadmill fan, you are lucky you are reading today because I am going to tell you how to survive and not lose your mind on the treadmill.

1. Pick a treadmill with a view. Try not to face a brick wall (unless it has a naked picture of Ryan Gosling on it). Today I watched the swimmers and made up stories about them. It wasn’t really that entertaining, but it was something. And there were Speedos.

photo 1

2. Change up your workout. DO NOT just get on there and run like a hamster on a wheel. Have a purpose. I like to take advantage of the treadmill (not in the biblical sense) by varying speed and incline. Today I used this workout from Bart Yasso’s Top 3 Treadmill Workouts. I love this one because it is exactly an hour long. And challenging. Bart never does me wrong.


3. Don’t Be Afraid to Let It Go. Unlike when you are outside, it is not ultra acceptable to expel air (i.e. fart) frequently while on the treadmill. This is because there are usually other people nearby and you are in an enclosed area. Unfortunately, I often cannot control this condition and things fly out spontaneously. I am sorry to the ladies behind me doing a TRX class today. What I did was not on purpose and I hope it did not ruin your day.

5 Ways to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

4. Listen to music. People might not agree with this especially if you are very Zen and like to hear your every breath and step. On the treadmill I have to have music to keep me from losing it. And from hearing my farts (see #3). I guess I could listen to a podcast like Serial (which everyone is raving about), but I’m not sure that would be upbeat enough for me.

5. Make it worthwhile. Work hard. Channel all of your boredom, frustration, anger and sadness about being on the treadmill into your run. Work so hard you look like you wet yourself. Gross.


photo 2


Treadmill: love or hate it? I am being dramatic. I don’t hate it, I’d just much rather be outside.

What’s your best tip for staying sane on the treadmill? I just told you.


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