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Although we all would love to be able to run outside every day throughout the year, let's be honest about where we live. Upstate New York has some pretty harsh weather at times and there are times when a treadmill run is unavoidable. So how do we keep motivated when they are forced to run on the ‘mill?

If you just set the treadmill at one pace and run for an hour staring at a wall, you’re not going to find what brings you joy. But there are ways to make your treadmill experience a little more interesting.

Vary the pace and incline

Use the treadmill for a hill session. When you use the treadmill you should always set the incline a little (about 1%-1.5%) to better replicate running outside. To make the time a little more interesting throw in a few steeper inclines throughout your run!

Have a Plan

Running on a treadmill with no real idea of what you’re going to do, you are likely to feel less motivated. Go on the treadmill with a clear plan of what you are going to do, whether that’s distance, duration, or intervals - have a plan.

Have some Entertainment

Don't run in silence. Listen to a podcast, watch some Netflix, or put on some bangin' a$$ music to fly to.

Hide your Screen

If you watch the clock tick away on your screen or the line going around the track, you’re in for a very boring workout. It will feel like time is standing still. Cover your screen with a towel and just don’t look!

Try virtual running (like Zwift)

If you’ve not tried Zwift yet, it could be just the thing you need to stay motivated on the treadmill. Connect your Strava or Garmin Connect account, and run in real-time with others around the world. You will need a treadmill and a footpod to connect to Zwift. Then you need a device (tablet or phone) to run Zwift on.

Here are some treadmill workouts to make the time fly by:

  • 10 minute warm up. 8-10x 1 minute sprint followed by a 1 minute jog. 10 minute cool down.

  • 10 minute warm up. Maintaining a steady pace: Alternate 1% incline for 1 minute, 2% incline for 1 minute, 1% incline for 1 minute, 3% incline for 1 minute, 1% incline for 1 minute...Continue alternating 1 minute/1 percent, increasing by 1 percent every time, until you have reached the highest incline on the treadmill (or as high as you can go). 10 minute cool down.

  • 10 minute warm up. Ladder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: 1 minute fast run, jog 2 minutes, 2 minutes fast run, jog 3 minutes, 3 minutes fast run, 4 minutes jog, 4 minutes fast run, 5 minutes jog, 6 minutes fast run, 5 minutes jog, etc...You jog what is coming up. 10 minute cool down.

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