Motivation Monday: Treadmill Workouts

Mondayyyyy. Ugh. AGAIN. I don’t know about you, but in my world, the more I enjoy my weekends, the harder Monday hits me. It’s like spending two days hanging out on a rainbow and then sliding down the other side into a mudbath.


A mini pot of espresso later, I’m starting to feel human. Ish. That’s not to say I washed my hair this morning or anything — let’s not get crazy. I’m all about easing in slowly.

So, since I’m feeling anything but motivated this morning, I figured it was a good idea to start implementing a “Motivation Monday” thread to at least fake it a little and hopefully trick myself into perking up a bit by discussing ways to stay motivated in certain areas.

Today’s Topic: How to Stay Motivated on a Treadmill

After not running much on a treadmill for months, I’ve been on one quite a bit so far in 2016, much to my initial chagrin. I know many of you love them, and I’m definitely thankful to have them in the freezing or snowy weather, but I much prefer being outdoors. I have to give myself some pep talks to stay on a treadmill for an extended period of time, so I started thinking this weekend about tips I try to employ to stay motivated while treadmill running.

1. Stay entertained. TV, music, a boyfriend on the treadmill next to me – I need something to keep me interested and occupied if I’m not changing scenery or gaining ground. Sometimes I’ll watch some Netflix on my phone, but usually it’s Spotify for me.

2. Change it up. It can be easy to jump on a treadmill, set the speed, and stay there for an hour. This gets old fast, so I like to change up the speed and push myself a bit outside of my comfort zone, even if it’s just for a minute or two at a time, depending on what I’m doing that day. Sometimes I’ll have a “minimum speed” and a “maximum speed” fixed in my mind, and I’ll start at the bottom and go up a notch or two every two minutes til I hit my max speed, then stay there for a few minutes, then repeat the cycle. Not only does it help me with speed work, it keeps me better engaged and I find I run longer if it’s somewhat of a “game.” I like to be constantly entertained.


Totally not me, let’s just get that straight.

3. Set a goal ahead of time. If I get on the treadmill and just sort of wing it with no plan, chances are more likely that I’ll give into the boredom after 3 miles and call it a day. If I tell myself I would normally be running 10 miles if I were outdoors that day, well, I can then psyche myself up to at least do 6-7 miles in comparison. Often I’ll get on and say, “Okay, you’re on here for at least an hour today,” and then I’ll force myself to stay that course and reassess after the hour to see if I feel up to more. If not, well, I made it an hour on the ‘mill, and that’s winning in my book.


4. Pretend it’s monsooning/blizzarding outside. Okay but like, kinda serious here. If I change my thoughts to “Hey, I’m just grateful I have a treadmill accessible when the weather is so rainy/snowy/frigid etc,” I find my attitude shifts a bit. I think this can be applied to anything in life, really — when you focus on the benefits, you’re grateful for what you can do and do have rather than bemoan the way you’d prefer it to be.

5. Throw in some sprints. Like, hard ones. They make you feel bad a$$. For, like, the 30 seconds I actually do them…but hey, we’re all works in progress, right?

Runners: Do you resort to a treadmill more during the winter?
How do you stay motivated on a treadmill?


12 thoughts on “Motivation Monday: Treadmill Workouts

  1. Great suggestions! I’ve been watching movies and tv shows on Netflix and saving some of my favorite podcasts for the treadmill. I’d rather run inside that in bad air or on icy sidewalks, but I’m hoping that I can get outside tomorrow.

    • it’s the icy sidewalks that get me, too, esp b/c i’m running in the dark at 6am as well. i DID get outside this morning (Tuesday) thankfully, so that felt great, but i had to watch for ice patches. what do you watch on Netflix? i’m into Blue Bloods recently…love the NYC cop action. 🙂

      • Ice is no bueno – I’ve already fallen once this year (in my own driveway!). Right now I’m catching up on Scandal (Season 4) and I’ve watched Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley, which is one of my favorite movies. I went through a pretty serious Law and Order phase when I was younger so I’m still not ready for cop dramas yet LOL!

  2. I use my treadmill more in the winter, mainly because I have one at home and it gives me the excuse to only run a few miles. HA. I get realllllyy bored easy on that thing.

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