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Beat Treadmill Boredom: Compete With Yourself

A lot of people tell me that they just cannot run on the treadmill because it's just too dang boring — plain old running at 6.0 mph for 40 minutes. To that I say, no kidding. I couldn't agree more.

This is why you need to try and beat the boredom by switching it up. My current favorite way to keep motivated is by competing with myself on the days when I feel like I could not possibly run over ten minutes on the treadmill.

I'll tell myself in the beginning, "OK, I'm going to run for 20 minutes." When 20 minutes comes along, I say, "OK, I bet you can't go five more minutes." When just five more minutes passes, I say, "You are going to be so proud of yourself if you go just five more minutes." Then I'll say, "OK, run as fast as you can for five more minutes and you'll feel amazing."

Breaking it up mentally really helps me make it through and I am always proud of myself for making it way past 20 minutes. So find ways to compete with yourself. If you have any suggestions for everyone, share the ways you compete with yourself in the comments section below.


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Spectra Spectra 9 years
I do this all the time on my elliptical machine. I'll go 10 minutes and say "after 10 minutes, I can stop". Then I'll go an extra 5 and after that, I figure, well, I'm halfway to 30 minutes, so I'll shoot for getting that far. It works most of the time. And if I REALLY can't take any more elliptical machine, I'll get off and jump rope for a while.
jmast jmast 9 years
I can't run because of my bad knee, but I walk fast on intervals and different inclines. I also had my hubby put a tv and dvd player in front of the treadmill and I watch movies or tv shows I have on dvd, I don't watch regular tv because the commercials make me want to get off the treadmill. I need constant distraction..ha! Thank goodness for all those Felicity seasons!!! They helped me lose 10 lbs!!! :)
Ms-Meyer Ms-Meyer 9 years
I just did this mental trick this morning! It works. I HATE running and was able to go for almost 30 mins telling myself just a little farther every time I hit another 5 mins. I will also do intensity intervals to keep it interesting. Google H.I.I.T. workouts to find different variations. I have to admit to doing the fashion (or fitness) magazine trick too mentioned by ashcwebb. Good luck!
Allytta Allytta 9 years
that is great, but what about the outside? i'd really prefer running on the street or in a park... but I live in London so it's getting brizzy. what else apart from warm clothing can a girl do to make sure she doesn't get a cold or something worse? being tempered is very important, so cold showers?
AMP AMP 9 years
Haha, this has pretty much always been my way to work out. I never actually want to work out, so I tell myself I'll just go for a walk. Then when Im out there, I'm like oh, I'm already here, might as well run a bit. Then I think ok, ive run for 5 mins, might as well make it ten. And I keep challenging myself right to the end of a good workout, when I only meant to take a nice little walk.
susanec susanec 9 years
I'll play the game outside, but not on the treadmill. Just, no.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
..True about the photoshop lintactious!!! I HATE the treadmill. I use it for sure, but it hurts, I mean like I can't keep going. I can't go at 6.0 for long. I dont' know why. My body just doesn't move that fast. It feels like too much too fast. I'm kinda fit though, too. and TALL at 6'1 so running at that speed shouldn't feel like alot, but it does. I don't know!!!
almostloli almostloli 9 years
i do that also.. but still.. not on treadmill.. i run on the sidewalks.. not as boring as on treadmill.. seriously
lintacious lintacious 9 years
I do this when I run outside. When I'm dying I'll say, "okay just make it up to the mailbox." Then when I get to the mailbox i say, "well that was easy, now to the curve." So instead of making it seem like I have another looong mile ahead of me, I just break it into segments. It's a bit more motivating than just watching the clock too. I absolutely can't treadmill period. I would rather play ddr for 5 hours straight and get my cardio that way, than to treadmill for 20 minutes. p.s. ash, if you really want to look like the girls in magazines, i suggest you learn photoshop.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea I move it up and down, otherwise I find I get bored too and kind of stiff going the same pace for half an hour. I also look through magazines (it's really hard to read so really I just look through them) and there are usually pretty girls in them so I just think "you want to look like that? then keep going!"
mariposalu mariposalu 9 years
I do that, as well as another mind trick. If i am watching tv while running, i tell myself i wont stop until the end of the next commercial. When that commercial comes to an end, i will tell myself that i can go until the end of the next segment. I keep playing this game with myself, and it works, and i find myself running for a very long time.
syako syako 9 years
Another fun thing to do (and this is for more of us uber-competitive gals) is to pick someone who seems to be running at a similar pace as you on a treadmill nearby. And don't quit until they do. One time I was in the gym and was going to do a 3 mile jog. Well half way into it one of the "meat head" guys got on the treadmill in front of me. He thought he was so hot, so I purposely kept running until he was done. When he finished I had already gone almost 5 miles, so I kept it up and ended up going 6 miles. It was a great feeling to beat a boy like that (even though he had no idea I was racing him)
tigra tigra 9 years
i don't run on the treadmill because of my knees but i do change up the speed and incline. when i'm on the elliptical i always set an amount of time that i need to do (usually 30 minutes) and then everything after that is a challenge to see how far i'll push myself. this 30 minutes always seems to go a lot faster than the first half that i make myself do.
loux2 loux2 9 years
Yeah i do this all the time. It's like tricking myself, I'll plug 20mins into the time section at the beginning of my workout, then when i get to 18mins or so I'll increase the total minutes to 25, then at aroudn 23 or 24 I@ll increase it to 28 etcetc. Also agree with superfoxml about the mountain hike - that really makes things go fast :)
Peyote Peyote 9 years
I never run on the treadmill because it hurts my knees.. I just walk very briskly at different intervals which change every 3 minutes. It's actually a very thorough workout!
superfoxml superfoxml 9 years
I do this too! I'll be like, I dare you to do 5 more minutes..then when 5 minutes goes by..I'm like, ok, 10 more minutes- dare ya. I'm always doing this. It's a great way to push yourself. Oh, and VexedLovely, I started doing some of Fitsugar's "Get it up- your heart rate that is" treadmill exercises she posted. They're great boredom busters. I do the mountain hike one alot. Look 'em up, I get bored too, and it's really helped me.
Vexedlovely Vexedlovely 9 years
I need advice. I bought a treadmill because I can't run outside 8 months out of the year. I am so bored...advice!
sparkle-sugar sparkle-sugar 9 years
im going to be honest i dont run on the treadmill lol but i do walk really fast. i hate watching tv while on the treadmill so i either turn up the ipod and close my eyes or if im having a slower day ill TRY to balance a book on the display and read it. it makes time FLY but its a bit embarassing because Im paranoid ppl will think Im weird. haha :-/
ncharden ncharden 9 years
Another great way to make the time seem to fly by- interval training! It's also been shown to increase the amount of fat burned and increase the amount of time your metabolism stays reved (and burning!) post-workout= quicker results! It can also be done with whatever cardio you prefer. I use 2 min moderate (can hold a conversation), 5 min fast (legs are burning! sweat is dripping!). 30 min goes by like that, and you definitely feel it! Adjust the interval times to your fitness level, and remember to constantly change it up and keep your body guessing!
susanec susanec 9 years
Nope, sorry, no way no how. I hate the stupid treadmill and I won't set foot on it. I feel like I hyperextend my knees and I can't get a good gait on it. It's not worth it. If I have to go to the gym I'll take a class (typically yoga or pilates) or do a little time on a bike or the elliptical but I live in Colorado, I'm hitting a trail for my runs.
mclaire7 mclaire7 9 years
I like to warm up for 10 minutes, then do one minute in (almost) a full-out sprint, then one minute light jog. I repeat this 6 times and before I know it, it has been 22 minutes, and I jog easy til I hit the 30 minute mark (or 40 depending on my mood). It goes by so fast!
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
great idea.
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