Treadmill Training Tips

Running on the treadmill (or "dreadmill") doesn't have to be a dreadful experience.  I do a lot more of it now that I have a baby boy at home.  Also, living in Arizona where the summer nighttime low is in the 90s, I have had to do some full race training on it (like the Disney Dumbo Dare).  I have learned a few things along the way to mentally overcome the idea of running 3, 6, 9, or 13.1 miles on the 'mill.  I hope it is helpful!

  • Put the treadmill in a location that won't require you to stare straight at the wall, but allow you to look out a window or even just around the room.

  • Watch tv or a movie by either increasing the volume or using the closed caption option.

  • Listen to music.  Keep your playlist updated to keep you looking forward to what will play next.

  • Listen to music while simultaneously watching tv using the closed caption option.  Sensory overload keeps the mind busy!

  • Listen to a book on tape.

  • Use a fan to imitate the breeze of an outdoor run to avoid the misery of overheating which will make the run tougher.

  • Mix up the treadmill programming and schedule hard days and easy days, track repeats, etc.

  • Use commercial breaks as HILL climbs or SPEED intervals.

  • Keep track of your runs and race yourself.  Log your distance/times on DailyMile, Garmin Connect, a spreadsheet or a notebook.

  • Read a book!  If you use an iPad/Kindle it allows you to increase the font size so you can easily read while you're bouncing because the words are larger if you choose them to be.

  • Read blogs on your iPad.  Use a reader (like Feedly) to keep all fonts uniform and easy to read, as opposed to visiting a blog itself where fonts aren't guaranteed to be large and clear.

  • Cover/turn off all of the mileage and timing #s, check them at the end of every other song, or at commercials only!  Staring at the numbers only makes them d-r-a-g.

  • One tip that has helped me stay motivated is putting the treadmill somewhere you see it every day.  Like right in the family room.  :P  I know this doesn't work for a lot of people, but it allows me to watch baby boy play or even simultaneously somewhat hang out with my family.  Considering the house currently looks like a baby's playhouse, the treadmill just blends...

Running on the treadmill is said to require less effort than running outdoors, which is why so many runners choose to incline the treadmill 1-2%.  Don't stress if that isn't the case for you.  That general "rule" doesn't apply to everybody!  (I am a good chunk faster outdoors than on the 'mill.)

I think that's all.  Have I missed anything?  Happy running!  And have a wonderful Wednesday!

Femme Fitale Fit Club


  1. Good tips! I've trained for some races almost exclusively on the treadmill, and this does help! I remember running to a lot of food shows, lol.

  2. Great tips! I'm impressed you can read while you run!

  3. Wow, you can run AND read!!? You have super powers! :)

  4. When I walk on the treadmill I usually listen to music, YouTube videos or a podcast. It makes the time go by faster for sure. Thanks for linking up at WOW! #wowlinkup