Like traffic wardens and taxes, treadmill training is just one of those necessary evils we all have to put up with at some point in our lives. While pounding away on the mill like a giant hamster can be boring and uninspiring, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five top tips to make treadmill training more interesting and fun, not just for you but for everyone else in the gym.
Long slogs on the treadmill can be soul destroying and zap the enthusiasm of even the most dedicated runner. But one simple way to add a bit of variety to your treadmill training sessions is to introduce interval training to your routine. You can choose to use structured intervals where you go full pelt for 30 seconds, and then take it easy for 60 seconds, before sprinting for another 30 seconds and so on. Not only will this change of pace break the monotony but interval training has been shown to increase the benefits of cardio vascular exercise beyond that of regular training, even when doing interval training for a shorter period of time. You can even make interval training more interesting by changing pace when there is a song change on your Ipod, or an ad break on the TV.
Who says using the running machine has to be a solitary activity? If you can find a willing gym partner, then you can add an element of competition to your stationary running sessions that can make them much more entertaining and motivating. You can see who can run the furthest, the fastest or burn the most calories, to mix things up even more.
Dress to Impress
If you are tired of the high levels of seriousness, and lack of fun in most gyms, then it might be time to do something about it, and put some humour back into the proceedings. We’ve all seen those guys at the marathons who decide to turn them into fun runs, and race dressed as a giant squirrel. Well now it’s your turn to dress to impress, and pick your costume of choice. A Batman costume (think Adam West, not Christian Bale) is a favourite of mine and is guaranteed to raise a smile from even the most serious of runners. While this won’t necessarily make you known for being the fastest in the gym, your photos all over the internet will at least make you famous for something!
Embrace your Inner OCD
The trick to staying on the treadmill for long periods of time, when normally your brain would be calling for you to get off, is to try to forget you are even on the running machine at all. The best way to do this is to engross yourself in some other activity that will completely take your mind of what you are really doing. While watching the TV or listening to music can help with this, doing something completely mind-consuming, such as working your way through the multiplication tables or better still, counting all the tiles that are used in the ceiling. If you can engross yourself in a task like this for long enough, your run will be over before you even noticed it began.
Who says you Have to Run?
While treadmills are often referred to as running machines, it doesn’t mean you can only run on them. Try taking on some dumbbells with you, and doing a bit of muscle building while walking or jogging on the mill. Or for the more adventurous of you out there, why not add some dance moves to your routine and become the coolest guy in the gym, just like our friend here.