How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

How to stay sane on the treadmill! |

Welcome to the latest edition of Run It!

In case you missed it, here’s what we covered in January:

Winter Running Tips and Essentials

This month the focus is how to stay sane on the treadmill.

I’m not sure why but there is this big debate that goes on between runners – treadmill lovers and treadmill haters.   I really don’t understand what the big deal is.  If you choose to run on the treadmill, good for you.  If you’d rather stick a needle in your eye than run on a treadmill, please run outside than.

If you run, outside or on a treadmill, you are a runner. End of discussion.

This time of year, I tend to use my treadmill more often. While I’d prefer to run every single run outside, sometimes mothering duties, time and weather conditions make me choose the treadmill instead.

How to stay sane on the treadmill |


I can’t remember the last time I ran outside with music.  On the treadmill, it’s absolutely necessary.   I still have nightmares from my gym going days when I was stuck on treadmill next to the loudest mouth breather, heavy foot falls guy that ever ran on a treadmill.  Thankfully, I had my ear buds that day and cranked up the tunes to tune him out.  I’m not fancy enough to make playlists so I’ll tune into Pandora.  I get quite giddy when old school rap from the 90’s comes on.  Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems? No problems on the treadmill.

Brainless TV

Treadmill running is the perfect time for brainless TV.  Watching the Real Housewives, The Bachelor or Dancing with the Stars are the perfect shows for the treadmill.  No thinking required. I would never waste my time watching these shows any other time. Ok, that’s a lie. When we had cable I could totally get sucked into any show on Bravo.

Switch it Up

Whenever I’m on the treadmill, switching up the incline and/or speed usually keeps me entertained and my mind occupied so my eyes are safe from poking. Another option is to do running/strength intervals. My favorite is:

Run 1 mile

*10 push ups

*10 squats

*60 second forearm plank

Run 1 mile

Repeat sequence as many times as you need to.

Get Social

If you have a gym membership, recruit friends to join you for your treadmill run.  Misery Awesomeness loves company. The miles will click away just like you are on a long run outside while you chat and catch up with friends.

Here are even more sanity saving treadmill tips from  5 of my running friends. Click on the picture to take you to their post. And don’t forget to Pin away so you have a stash to reference whenever you need it.


This Runner's Recipes- Staying Sane on the Treadmill

Sarah has a workout for that.

Stay sane on the treadmill with this 30 minute treadmill workout-1

Allie –  Btw, Allie is headed to Cuba today for the Havanna Tri on Saturday. Sending her a big WooooHoooo!!!



How To Stay Sane On The Treadmill


How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill - Run It series of coaches tips and workouts for runners

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

How do you stay sane on the treadmill?

What’s the longest distance you’ve run on the treadmill?





22 comments on “How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

  1. oooh this is so what I needed or THOUGHT I NEEDED last weekend. I decided in the end I COULD NOT do 17 miles on the mill.
    SAVING for next time as the winter weather here is SO STORMY there may just be a next time.

  2. It’s usually all about the music and intervals for me… I’ve never tried to switch it up and throw in strength moves, but I love that idea!

  3. I’m in the stick a needle in my eye group, but if I’m forced to run on the treadmill I totally need to change it up. I do some kind of interval training and listen to a book to keep my mind off the numbing monotony. And try not to look at the total time/distance, because it is always less than you think it should be!
    Debbie recently posted..Asked and Answered! Your 10 Top Running QuestionsMy Profile

  4. I’m one of those runners who would rather poke my eye out than run on a treadmill. I live in Florida though so I can really almost run outside all year long. I do have a treadmill in my garage for those emergency situations. I find that I actually change my stride on the treadmill so I have to be cautious to not injure myself. Running with friends on the mill at the gym would be a great way to make it better actually.

  5. Such great tips, I know I can’t do the treadmill without music and some type of TV on for my eyes to look at. Oh and changing the speeds and incline. I’ve actually come to enjoy the treadmill when I have all these things.

  6. Love this post! Thankfully I am not a treadmill hater but I do enjoy switching it up and breaking it up on days when every mile feels like a minute! 😛

  7. I actually do not mind the treadmill, but it does take some tricks here and there to make it more enjoyable! I also like to cover the time and mileage with a towel so that I don’t get caught up in the “I’ve only been running for X amount of time” mentality.

  8. Great tips! I don’t run with music or anything outside, but it’s an absolute must for me on the treadmill as well. I really like the tip to recruit friends! When I am stuck on the treadmill during travel, those runs are never as bad because Ryan’s on the mill next to me and we can talk the whole time.

  9. Yes to the music and brainless TV! Except I need something to suck me in on TV or else I go batty on the treadmill. It’s been happening a lot lately. Lol!

  10. I trained for a marathon 2 years ago during a brutal winter. A lot of my long runs were on the treadmill. I played a mental game of out running movies. I would put on a good long movie and try to finish my run before it was over. The best/ worst was a 22 mile run against The Sound of Music. I won! ☺️

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