Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early Spring, but if you've been stuck running on a treadmill all Winter, you're probably counting the days until the snow melts and you can run outdoors. Depending what part of the country you live in, there may be a solid month standing between you and an outdoor run, so you still have to play nicely with the treadmill, no matter how much you loathe its existence. Here, five semi-serious but tested-and-true ways to handle that last seasonal treadmill push. Please share your own suggestions in comments!
- Load up your iPod with some Katy Perry. Look, I know, say what you will about KP, but her poppy, bubbly tracks will keep you going — trust me. Who among us hasn't danced around in front of the mirror belting out the lyrics to "Firework"? They're inspirational to boot: "Ignite the light/ and let it shine/ Just own the night/ like the Fourth of July."
- Switch it up. Try your treadmill's hill program, set your speed slightly slower than usual and aim to run for a longer distance (though this requires a gym that doesn't enforce the 30-minute rule when it's not crowded), or just play with your speed throughout the run. I find that even if I take a whimsical, "I'm going to have fun with this" attitude while I'm running, I'll succeed in getting a proper workout. Instead of overthinking my run, I'm having fun!
- Schedule your run during 90210, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, or another similar indulgent show. It's mindless entertainment at its finest, and I love giving off the "I'm-serious-about-my-workout" vibe while watching trash TV.
- High ponytails! I may get some grief for this one, but putting my hair in a bouncy, high ponytail always keeps me going. During outdoor runs I'm more of a French braid girl because of the wind resistance, but inside it's all high ponytail, all the time.
- Race the person next to you. Even if they don't know you are racing them. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, right? I'm sometimes reluctant to pass others while running outside in fear they'll end up passing me a quarter-mile down the road, but at the gym I can bump up my speed for an extra shot of confidence and race — even if it's just in my head.
Do you have suggestions of your own?