The long run is part and parcel of any training program—whether you’re a 5K enthusiast or an established marathoner.
Spending long hours on your feet increases stamina builds running muscles, improves form, makes your more efficient, etc.
5 Easy Ways to Survive Long Runs on the Treadmill
Longs runs are one thing, but doing them on the treadmill is a whole other game that requires different tactics—especially when it comes to keeping motivation and consistency.
Why it’s the case?
I think it’s pretty obvious.
Long runs on a treadmill can feel like a never-ending slog. In fact, this condition is common in the running world that it has its own catchy name: the dreadmil.
So, to help you survive—and make the most out of—your treadmill long runs, here are the motivation and boredom-busting guidelines you need.
1. Partner Up
Just as it’s more enjoyable to pound the pavement in the company of others, the same is true for treadmill running.
In fact, peering up with a partner can turn long treadmill runs into a social hour—or two. Doing so can also make your long treadmill workouts more fun and help inspire you to give it your all.
So, use the power of a training buddy to your advantage.
In case you couldn’t find a willing partner, then, at the very least, call a friend or enlist a family member to talk to you, and distract you at times during the sessions.
2. Listen to Music
A long run on the treadmill is an awfully long time to be alone with your thoughts.
However, if you keep your mind busy with music, singing along doing a little dance, the miles will fly by.
Think of running with music as a dissociative strategy. It helps take your focus off of what’s ahead.
Not only that, listening to music while exercising can reduce the perception of exertion and boost endurance by up to 10 to 15 percent. This can do wonders for your performance and fitness gains.
Not a fan of music? Then turn to podcasts.
Usually free and very informative, podcasts are the ideal alternative to music when you just want to zone out as you log in the miles.
Some of my current favorites include The Joe Rogan Experience, Embedded, The Rubin Report, etc.
3. Read A Book
This one is not for everyone
But, just bear with me.
Running while multitasking usually doesn’t go well—in fact, nothing kills productivity more than multitasking.
But it’s not impossible.
The rule is to find (1) something—preferably a fiction book—that you’re obsessed with and can’t put down, and (2) a good sturdy treadmill.
To make this easier, read on Kindle with the font all the way up.
If you still find it hard to read on the treadmill, then consider listening to an audiobook.
4. Watch a Show—or A Movie.
Another way to distract yourself while running long on the treadmill is to turn to the TV.
Watching TV while on the treadmill helps pass the time, keep you engaged, and remind you to enjoy yourself.
In fact, Netflix has helped me make it through many long treadmill runs.
You could also save up some shows you wanted to watch and put them on while running.
Just, as a rough guideline, do not go for shows that require a lot of attention.
I tried watching Westworld once but found that far too intense. I ended up so confused that I didn’t know what the show was about (and for those of you who have already seen it, you know what I’m talking about).
What works for me is comedies and light shows.
This past weekend I downloaded season one and season two of Vice Principle to my iPad and watched four episodes during my 2-hour treadmill run this last Saturday. And it was perfect.
That said, be careful.
Pay attention to your treadmill and make sure not to run into the front of the treadmill.
5. Add Variation
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes—this is more relevant when trying to fight off the dreadmill syndrome.
As a result, add a bit of variety to your treadmill long runs instead of trying to stick to the same, even, pace throughout the session.
You don’t need to change too many variables at a time, but a tad bit of variety will help you simulate the challenges of running outdoors
For instance, try alternating the gradient or speed every 15 minutes or so just for a couple of minutes.
Or, if you’re a serious racer, consider downloading your race’s course profile and simulate hill climbs and pace changes as best you can.
Just keep in mind that adding too much variety too soon could lead to fatigue, discomfort, and even burnout.
So, be careful.