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How to Stay Sane on the Treadmill

How to stay sane on the treadmill! | happyfitmama.com

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 | happyfitmama.com


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?





Last Week’s Workouts

Last week’s workouts were all about cutting back. On mileage that is. Despite it being an “easy” week, I still felt like I was working hard. The weather is 99.9% to blame. With two snowstorms that forced two days of school cancelled, I had to move around my workouts and do what I could with what I had.


Another snow day! Ron and I were both called off from work and school was cancelled. We spent the day playing outside in the backyard and eventually ventured out to Kingman Farm trails. As you can see from the pic below, the kids were taking a rest break. Which they do often.

Before the day got started, I did a strength training workout in the basement. There were lunges of all varieties, squats, planks, and push ups.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


Easy 5 miles with Lori and Ryan.  The roads were still a little snow covered and slick from the storm the day before. I guess that made some drivers angry.  We had a car lay on the horn and flip us off for some reason.  We weren’t even in his lane! Not sure what his problem was. Ryan thought maybe his ex-wife was a runner.

After dropping the kids off at school, I hit up my favorite Morning Flow yoga class. Runner’s Lunge saves my legs yet again.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


Planned hill repeats. Actual = treadmill run because Lori hurt her back. 6 miles easy

I didn’t want to do hill repeats solo at zero dark thirty so I opted for an easy treadmill run. My thought was that I’d do the repeats on Thursday after my morning yoga class. Mother Nature had other plans.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


Snowstorm, Ron delayed opening, school cancelled

Planned hill repeats, Actual = hill repeats in the cemetery

I woke up Thursday morning to my phone ringing.  I thought for sure it was a 2 hour delay. Wrong.  School was cancelled. Wtf?!?! The roads were quite slick early in the morning but were clear by 9:30.

Since I’d be home with the kids all day and Ron had a delayed opening for work, I had a short window of when I could get my run done outside.  My usual hill was out of the question – too icy. Other options required running on busier streets to get there, which I didn’t want to mess with. My last option was the cemetery. It’s not a very big hill, but it’s a hill. And the road was plowed. I didn’t have to worry about traffic and cars didn’t have to worry about me. Problem solved.

10 x 30 sec hard effort. I then looped through neighborhoods to end up with 7 miles total.


I had a planned rest day but I wanted another quality strength workout in for the week.  I did this workout minus the run portion.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


I met up with my running buddy, Sarah, who was my go-to gal for Boston training. We now live 40 minutes away from each other so we meeting up is always a treat. The miles ticked away easily as we got up on everything. My breathing felt off for the entire run. I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath.  I thought maybe it was because we were talking non stop for the whole 10 miles but I continued to feel that way for the rest of the day.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com


If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw that I ran the Six03 Endurance Back 9 5k snowshoe race.  Holy freakin’ hard! Snowshoe running is hard. Trying to “race” is 10x harder. It was my third time running with snowshoes and my first race.

My breathing was still feeling wonky but I think I would have felt the same even if I was feeling 100%. The best way I can describe how I felt during the race was chaotic. My heart rate was through the roof, my breathing was shallow, and my feet seemed to have a mind of their own. I don’t think I heard anything other than my heart beat in my ears for the duration of the race. For the rest of the day, I could not stop coughing because my throat felt so weird. Fingers crossed I’m not getting sick!

The course was challenging, no doubt, with mushy snow, icy snow, and a totally narrow path. It’s kind of intimidating when you have someone right on your heels – do I let them pass or are they just tailing me?

Of course, this girl makes it look easy, taking home the win for first woman. She did tell me it wasn’t the best course for my first snowshoe race attempt. I’m on the fence if I want to try it again.  Can I calm the chaos in me? Or is that normal? Are you supposed to feel like everything is spiraling out of control? Lol. There’s another race coming up on Saturday…we’ll see!

Last week's workouts } happyfitmama.comSmiling because I thought I was done. But wait! You must run up and over a big snowbank to finish. So cruel!

This week’s workout are when things get serious. The mileage ramps up and so does the intensity. Thankfully, it looks like the weather will at least be on my side. No snow in the seven day forecast and warm temps makes for clear roads to run!

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with Ilka/Angela and Hoho/Tricia for the weekly workout wrap up.





Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Remember when I said I wish we would get more snow?

Guess what?

Wishes really do come true!

Last week my kids had 2 snow days and 2 two hour delays. Do the math and you’ll realize that they were home more than in school.

And today is another snow day with a good ol’ fashion blizzard. I even got called off from work.

Why not get ALL of winter weather in a two week period?

Despite the weather, I still got a solid week of training. I strayed from my training plan a little but I think I still put in a ton of effort. That counts for something, right?

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Monday: 45 minutes bike trainer, 30 minutes strength training

Cross training day! After a weekend of running, I always look forward to something different. And my joints appreciate it too. Hitting the bike for some no impact cardio always feels good. I followed it up with weights and balance work.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Tuesday: 7.28 miles

Tempo Tuesday is back!  It’s been forever since I did a tempo workout.  I’ve never been a huge fan of tempos. Frankly, they scare me more than a speed workout. My plan called for 3 miles at half marathon pace. I haven’t raced a half in over 2 years so I had no clue what pace to aim for. I thought 8:00-8:15 would be good.

Lori and I met dark and early for a snowy run. We picked a “flat” route which really isn’t flat because there is no such thing in our town.  It was the first time I had programmed a workout into my watch. I think it gave me a little anxiety to hear the beeping if I was running faster than my prescribed pace. But when I didn’t hear it, I didn’t like that so I kept running fast enough to hear beeps. I know, I’m weird.

Actual pace: 7:55, 7:49, 7:41

I was shocked to see that because the first mile actually felt harder than the third.

Wednesday: 5 miles

The snow continued on all day Tuesday and then switched to freezing rain overnight. Rather than dealing with a sloppy mess and a skating rink, I opted for the treadmill. This run was painful. I wanted to poke my eyes out from boredom. I go through periods of doing OK with the treadmill and not minding it and other days hating every single minute.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Thursday: 5+ miles snowshoe run

A Nor’easter blew in on Thursday morning. Basically the whole state shut down. Ron was called off from work so I was free to run whenever. Jess, Tony and I agreed to meeting up for trail fun. This was only my second time running in snowshoes. It’s hard AF when it’s a packed trail. But breaking your own trail in at least 4 inches of fresh snow? Hard AF x 1000. The snow was coming down fast. The wind was blowing. I was sucking wind. It was so fun!

My plan called for 8 miles with Fartleks. Not exactly the workout that was planned but I think I worked 10x harder. Oh well.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Friday: Strength training, Candlelight Vinyasa/Restorative Yoga

My plan called for a complete rest day but I had only got one strength training session in for the week. I got in a solid 30 minutes weights/balance exercises before heading into work.

In the evening, I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing restorative yoga workshop at Bending Bodhi.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Saturday: 14 miles

Guess what? It was snowing, cold (13 degrees) and windy again on Saturday morning. Lori and I were going to run long on Sunday but at the spur of the moment switched back to Saturday. The roads were snow covered and sloppy. I wore my YakTrax for a little traction at least. It was helpful but my feet were still slipping. We kept the pace slow and steady because there was no way we could pick up the pace in that crap. It was a welcome relief to find patches of pavement to get back to a somewhat normal pace. But then a car would come and you’d have to jump back into the cookie dough snow. I was never so happy to be done with a run. Fourteen miles felt like 30.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Later that evening we met up with friends for a moonlight snowshoe walk. It was cold AF but so fun. Especially when the skies cleared and the full moon came out.

last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Sunday: 5.5 miles

Thankfully today was a recovery run because the roads were still just as sloppy as yesterday. See above for what slop looks like. I kept things s-l-o-w and worked out the soreness in my left glute. I’m not sure if it was from the weights on Friday or from Saturday’s run. After talking to a bunch of people yesterday, I think it might be from the run. Almost everyone that ran Saturday had sore glutes. Coincidence? I think not.

Another week down.

I’m looking forward to a cut back week in mileage and hopefully less snow on the roads but plenty on the trails.

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with Ilka/Angela and Hoho/Tricia for the weekly workout wrap up.