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How do you fight boredom on the treadmill?

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11/3/12 9:08 A

The treadmill is my favourite exercise! I use it as a reward for spending time on other machines in the gym I have to force myself to do, like the elliptical and the recumbent bike. I do what CALLMECARRIE does: I have playlists on my iPod that are specific to the treadmill and every couple of weeks I change up the songs to keep things interesting. I use House music that has specific changes in tempo (many songs are designed by DJs to "build" in intensity towards a short burst of frenetic activity, and then settle back to a regular beat for a while). Then I vary the speed of the treadmill in time with the music. I find I look forward to the changes in beat and I love it that I can sometimes do the same routine using 3.4 as the resting pace (instead of 2.8 when I started out).

SparkPoints: (3,985)
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11/3/12 8:32 A

Intervals, music, podcasts, visualization. When it's cold and snowy out and I'm stuck on the treadmill, I try and visualize some of my favourite runs from when the weather was warmer. This year's highlights include running through orchards and vineyards in British Columbia, smelling apples, pears and grapes and a 5k adventure along the harbour in St. John's, Newfoundland. Those will stick with me all winter.

Posts: 474
11/3/12 7:52 A

Catch up on my recorded movies that noone else wants to watch. Listen to my headphone adjusting speed as song changes. Doing an interval program preset in treadmill.

Posts: 4,395
11/3/12 6:06 A

Music & switching up machines every 15...treadmill to step to bike, or whatever

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11/3/12 2:59 A

tv.... I have to lose myself in either a good program or have some active music going.

Posts: 167
11/3/12 1:02 A

I like intervals for variety. This allows me to do shorter workouts. I concentrate on my breathing and try not to be distracted by TV. Controlled breathing and "living in the moment" during an interval workout makes me feel like I'm doing something with purpose.

Posts: 329
11/3/12 12:22 A

I watch a dvd on tv. Right now I am watching Game of Thrones, season 1. It keeps me interested and walking for about 45 minutes, if I watch one episode at a time.

Posts: 5,848
11/2/12 11:05 P

I don't...hate the treadmill so about two times a week endure it for very quick high intensity workout. So busy counting 20 seconds full effort 10 seconds rest for eight reps don't notice it... And 15 minutes (including warm up and cool down) is over fast.

Posts: 14,749
11/2/12 9:32 P

great music on my ipod and a great book on my kindle.

Posts: 411
11/2/12 9:12 P

TV, I especially like walking through the first half of a football game.

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11/2/12 8:53 P

I avoid it at all costs, bundling up to take my walk. When the cold rainy wind stopped me the other morning, I ended up watching TV and marching in place.

Something about the treadmill just...well, bores me. So I'm reading all these responses with interest. Thanks for the post!

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11/2/12 8:02 P

watch ellen or dr oz

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11/2/12 7:33 P

I find music is best. I also like to have the television muted with the closed-captioning on as well. I like to be over-stimulated I guess.

Posts: 201
11/2/12 7:12 P

I watch tv or listen to my ipod.

Posts: 548
11/2/12 6:03 P

tv doesn't work for me either since i don't watch it at all. music doesn't motivate me or distract me enough. I'm a major multitaker and lucky enough not to suffer from motion sickness so i read most of the time. once in a great while i listen to nutritional podacasts. or if my kindle is dead i use my android and check my email or do any quick internet searching i feel necessary, go over my grocery list and other memo lists.

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11/2/12 5:40 P

I try to mix up what I do. I often do intervals, which consist of either:

-:30 hard running/1:30 brisk walking
-2:00 moderate running/2:00 brisk walking
-2:00 5% incline walk/2:00 7% incline jog/2:00 12% incline walk
-1:00 brisk walk/2:00 12% incline walk/1:00 brisk walk/1:00 walking lunges

The frequent changes help prevent me from getting bored and I rotate these in along with some longer runs (preferably outdoors) and classes I do at my gym. I also usually listen to music or watch TV.

Posts: 298
11/2/12 5:27 P

Music, watching TV

Posts: 44
11/2/12 4:26 P

I hate walking on the treadmill....but, do it everyday. I watch a TV show (no sound) and listen to some pre-recorded music on my ipod. Whatever get's you through I say.

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11/2/12 4:14 P

I have not found a way as what ever I do you get bored with it. Changing to every other day to something different helps

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11/2/12 4:07 P

I find it hard to concentrate on anything except my physical state when I am running, it takes all my concentration. I hate the treadmill because of the view lol, staring at my living room wall for an hour is tedious. I only use the treadmill because I refuse to run outside in the dark. Too scary! For the times I am doing a walking workout for cross training I listen to audiobooks!

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11/2/12 3:26 P

I prefer to go for a walk outside (weather permitting) rather than a treadmill. Usually nature keeps my attention, I love the silence, or the rhythm of the cars or the clouds rolling by, but it tends to slow me down too. I get too ZEN about it.

But when I'm on the treadmill I find a fixed point to zero in on and try to zombie out. The only thing I think about is the music on my Ipod. I vary my walk per song, the faster the beat, the faster my walk, the more rhythmic (like blues) the longer my stride. Before you know it you are finished and feeling great!

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11/2/12 3:13 P

I read fitness/health magazines while I run.

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11/2/12 3:02 P

Watch The Real Housewives series.....something I don't have to think about!

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11/2/12 2:21 P

Music, tv show, talking on the phone...

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11/2/12 1:38 P

I disagree that it is easier to run on a treadmill. I find it much easier to run outside!

I also never thought about being bored on a treadmill until I kept reading how everyone is bored on a treadmill!

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11/2/12 1:30 P

I fight boredom on the treadmill by listening to high tempo music for cardio and slow to moderate tempo music for cool down my iPod.

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11/2/12 1:17 P

watch TV

Posts: 2,126
11/2/12 1:15 P

Music on my iPod (which I forgot to take with me today, grr!) and situate myself in front of a telly, there are two at my gym

Posts: 138
11/2/12 12:48 P

I prefer to watch music videos when I'm on the treadclimber in the mornings. It's not really something I focus on, but it's background noise that I enjoy. My preference is to work out at a high enough intensity that I don't actually get bored.

On the days that I have to work out at a lower intensity to accomodate my knee, I really like to have something to sing along with, even if it's just in my head.

Posts: 640
11/2/12 12:44 P

I do a couple things.

Probably the most effective is I set little goals for myself. For example, I am going to run as fast as I can for 1 minute. With the time running right in front of you, it is easy to motivate yourself with little goals. Sometimes it's a distance goal, like I will run at 6mph for 1 whole mile. It makes me push myself, which is another added benefit.

Also, I do like it when there is something good on TV. It helps me to keep my mind off of what I'm doing. My brain definitely gets tired before my body does.

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11/2/12 12:42 P

Physically it is easier to run on the treadmill but it seems to drag on. I love to run outside as much as I can. It is nice to appreciate nature as I am running on the wooded bike trails.


Posts: 965
11/2/12 12:16 P

I prefer to watch Family Feud while I'm on the treadmill

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11/2/12 11:43 A

I run either on the track or out in my neighborhood. After falling on a treadmill and bruising my left patella and straining my right deltoid, I won't go near one again unless it's briefly to have my gait evaluated for new running shoes.

Besides, I prefer GOING somewhere, even if it's around a track. I need that forward momentum.

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11/2/12 11:42 A

If you're bored.. you're not running fast enough... :)

Edited by: BOB240 at: 11/2/2012 (11:42)

Posts: 1,142
11/2/12 10:58 A

Music or TED Talks on my phone

Posts: 447
11/2/12 10:50 A

Mostly by staying off the treadmill.....

Posts: 866
11/2/12 10:29 A

i watch t.v

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11/2/12 10:14 A


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11/2/12 9:20 A

I LOVE the treadmill! I used to own a beautiful PreCor, and I miss it very much.
I run outside.

Whenever I travel I make use of the hotel fitness room and that always means a good run on the treadmills. I've had the opportunity to try a bunch of different brands along the way too.

I never get bored on them, I either watch something on tv or listen to tunes on my Sony MP3 walkman...

but that's just me.

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11/2/12 9:11 A

I must confess that I rarely use a tread mill. One year I watch hockey playoffs while running on the tread mill, but by and large, I run out side. I would much rather breat the air, feel the wind even with a bit of rain and snow, and see the stars, moon, sun and sky.

I know it does not really answer the questions, but my choice is to run outside. I have done this at temperatures between -26C to 32C (-14F to 89F).

Good running and be careful out there.


Posts: 4,447
11/2/12 8:43 A

I do not like my treadmill, I prefer to walk outside, but too cold for me now. I usually listen to music, & use one of the programs to challenge myself. Sometimes I will watch TV, but not often.

Posts: 1,598
11/2/12 8:24 A

I put music lists on my i-pod at different speeds, like 2.6, 2.8, 3.0, etc. and walk to that speed. I am always switching around the songs and adding new ones, and during the day I make a note of songs I hear I'd like to add. The changing music lists keep it interesting to me. Besides, I walk on the treadmill at 6:00 am and I'm not really awake enough to need much mental stimulation. :)

Posts: 349
11/2/12 7:52 A

I watch shows that I record on the DVR, or pop in a favorite movie that I might not otherwise get a chance to watch. Not to say that I can walk/run through the whole movie, but it gives me something to look forward to the next day.

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11/2/12 5:37 A

watch tv

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11/2/12 5:19 A

I find the treadmill mind-numbingly dull, so I avoid it. I don't see any reason to do boring exercise. There's more than one way to skin a cat, so the saying goes....

Posts: 2,707
11/2/12 5:16 A

I put on the TV. I've found if I can read while on the treadmill, I'm not doing it very intensely, and it ends up defeating the purpose for me. I'll do music if I'm outside or no TV is available. But, I will admit, I don't run/walk/treadmill that much. Just a quick warm-up walk or a mile jog before some ST.

Edited by: JENMC14 at: 11/2/2012 (05:17)

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11/2/12 4:59 A

I run with high enough intensity that I don't have the brain power to think about being bored.

Once I ran 6 miles on the treadmill with no electronic gadgets, and I just counted my steps for the hour to make sure that I was running at the proper 180 steps/minute cadence for the whole time.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 11/2/2012 (04:59)

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11/2/12 4:44 A


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11/2/12 4:12 A

Music and ordinary TV won't cut it for me either, but I have some favorite shows which I would like to watch. For long runs what I do is I put on an audiobook, and my mind gets even busier than my body. I have some fun science-fiction audiobooks, but also some serious ones, like "thinking, fast and slow" by Kahneman, which keeps my mind very occupied.

But nowadays, I do 20 to 30min high intensity interval runs on the threadmill. When the intensity is high, your mind is worried about your body, so you can't be bored and also you can't pay attention to any other activity than the exercise itself. The scientific reason for that is explained in that book by Kahneman.

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11/2/12 1:26 A

It's kind of funny emoticon but I tape my laptop to my treadmill while I walk so that I can catch up on blogs and whatnot! Music and tv don't cut it for me!

How do you keep your mind distracted while on the treadmill?

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