Running & Fitness

How to Make Treadmill Running More Fun

Matt Orlando
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There’s a reason people refer to their treadmill as the “dreadmill.” If you have a love-hate relationship with your treadmill, join the club. Many of us dread those indoor running sessions because, let’s face it, a 15-minute run on the treadmill somehow feels like an eternity.

Unfortunately, running outside is not always possible. But indoor running can be fun too! On the days you’re stuck indoors with your treadmill, here are five solid ways to make it a much more enjoyable experience.

Listen to audiobooks or podcasts.

An episode of your favorite podcast or a few chapters of an audiobook will make your treadmill run 100% more enjoyable. Many runners also consider it an excellent way to multitask and be more productive. Why not knock out your daily run while catching up on some leisure reading, completing a daily devotional or meditation, or tuning into your favorite podcast?

Download an app.

By downloading an indoor running app like Vingo, you’ll look forward to your treadmill sessions instead of dreading them because it adds the element of adventure. The app allows you to explore real-world virtual locations like Iceland and Japan without leaving home.

It’s also an exciting way to achieve your running goals. Nothing beats running along steep mountainous terrain, scenic coastal wetlands, calm blue Icelandic lagoons, and thick, ancient Japanese forests; it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Even better, Vingo is completely free!

Of course, there are plenty of other virtual running apps out there, so download and try a few to find what works best for you.

Vary your pace and incline.

Running aimlessly on a treadmill isn’t very motivating. Varying your pace and incline will provide mental variety and protect you from overuse injuries and muscle cramps.

One popular method for varying your running pace is Fartlek training, which can help you boost your speed and endurance. It’s easy to do on a treadmill and involves alternating between faster and more moderately-paced running periods.

You can use time or distance to measure each period. For example, run as fast as you can for 0.5 miles and then switch to a slow pace for 1 mile and repeat for 5 miles.

Manually changing your treadmill’s incline every few minutes will also mimic the natural feel of an outdoor run. Some treadmills also have programs that automatically adjust the incline as you run along a virtual course.

Stream your favorite show.

Watching an episode or two of your favorite show is a great way to pass the time while running on the treadmill. However, to avoid disrupting your running performance and posture, make sure you can watch without craning your neck or holding on to the sides of your treadmill.

Some runners may also find it challenging to tune into their body’s cues when distracted by the TV. So check in with yourself occasionally and only watch during easy or moderate workouts to avoid injuries.

Make it social.

Running is more fun with friends. It’s also a great way to build social connections with other runners and stay motivated to reach your goals. After all, you’re less likely to sleep in if you know your running friends are waiting for you.

With a running app like Vingo, you can make your indoor runs a social affair. Create group runs and use real-time voice chat to cheer one another on as you run virtual courses together.