Busting the Treadmill Run Rut

Hello there!

In my last post I mentioned that the treadmill and I were on the outs. Well … good news. We made up. I had a really good run on the treadmill today (yes, that really is possible).


It seems that one of the keys to a successful (read: not dreadful) treadmill running experience, for me at least, is to give the run a purpose. Sometimes I can enjoy an easy run on the treadmill by zoning out and catching up on some TV shows, but lately that doesn’t seem to be the working for me. Those miles go by so incredibly slowly that it is almost painful. I don’t enjoy it and that is definitely no bueno. I don’t want to be running junk miles on the treadmill just to meet my mileage goals for the week.

I knew that I needed to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. After Sunday’s run, another run on the treadmill Monday really wasn’t all that ideal, but it was my only option. I don’t run outside alone when I am out of town. Period. So … that meant that I had to suck it up if I wanted to run. Um yeah, I wanted to run. Duh.


I came up with a really good workout. The short version is this:

  1. Start running and adjust the pace by .2 mph every 2 minutes for 30 minutes.
  2. Once you get to 30 minutes, you will be moving pretty quickly. Good job. Hold that pace for 1 mile.
  3. Decrease the pace by .2 mph every mile (and hold that pace for an entire mile) until you are ready to stop.

I made a note on my phone to share and so that I could remember what I did. If the abbreviated version didn’t include specific enough directions for you (rule followers unite!), here is exactly what I did:


You can definitely adjust the workout to be slower or faster, depending on what speed you want to go. You could also make the workout shorter or longer as well, depending on how many miles you are looking to run.

One thing that I really liked about this workout was the variation. By changing the pace every 2 minutes, I stayed engaged mentally and it didn’t feel mundane at all. Another thing that I liked is that you increase the pace relatively quickly for the first 1/3 of the workout and then when you start slowing down and holding those paces for longer durations, the same paces that felt a little fast on the way up suddenly feel really comfortable. That’s a really good feeling! I know I got in a good quality run (i.e., it had a purpose), but the workout wasn’t overly taxing on my body.

It had been quite awhile since I have run at a gym. I enjoyed that more than I was expecting to. For some reason having other people working out around me helps me to have a better run. When I run on the treadmill at home, it can be really lonely. I am probably just needy, but I definitely need a running and/or workout buddy. I had the pleasure of working out next to my mom today. She was on the swearmaster right next to my dreadmill. Ha.

Exercise-Equip-funny-names Edited

Another really nice thing about the gym was that it was really nice and cool inside. Much cooler than front porch with no central AC where the treadmill is at home. I think that made a huge difference, although I was still drenched by the end.


We had fun and I broke out of my treadmill running rut. Mission accomplished! Try the workout and report back! Let me know if you love it or hate it 🙂

11 thoughts on “Busting the Treadmill Run Rut”

  1. I found you on Sweat Pink and love, love, love, the workout you listed! It won’t work for me because I’m not that fast (my 10K PR is 44:40 and I’m not about to set a new PR on the treadmill, lol). But I will totally use something like this, with modified paces, the next time I have to do a long run on the treadmill due to rain or heat (big time issue right now in SC). I always vary the paces now and mostly do intervals on the treadmill, like 8 min hard/2 easy or 4 hard/1 easy.

    Love your blog so far and just started following it because you’re a running beast :).


      1. I agree, and I don’t think the treadmill is always a bad thing. Some days I would rather have a quality run on the treadmill, than to run outside but have to “slog”, slow down big time, or even take walk breaks. Treadmill works for speed training when you don’t track access, too!


  2. I actually enjoy running on the treadmill. It is getting so much nicer here in Chicago so I am looking forward to running outside too. What I do is change the speed after each song. Or I also have an internal time on my phone and I set it for 2 minutes/3 minutes and I adjust the speed using that time. I also watch a show on my iPad. Then before i know it, I am done and time to go home.


  3. I have a love-hate relationship with my treadmill but I have noticed that when I do intervals or have to keep switching the incline or the speed it helps keep my mind off of the fact that I am running in the same spot for miles and miles. And it can definitely come in handy in the hot, hot, hot summer months!


  4. I started out as an all-treadmill runner, then I was an all-outside runner, and now I’ve found my happy medium. I run outside (with some exceptions for weather, etc.) except on “Treadmill Tuesdays.” Right now I’m alternating between hill workouts and intervals. For hills, I’ll warm up for a mile and then alternate increasing inclines (3% to 6%) with 0% inclines every .25 miles, repeat 2-3x, then cool down. For intervals, I’ll run pyramid intervals with equal amounts of time at a comfortable pace and then at a harder pace, for 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, then back down. Repeat 2x, then cool down. It keeps things interesting and makes the miles fly by, and I definitely get a good sweat on!


    1. I used to run a lot more on the treadmill and now I pretty much do all outside. I love the concept of finding a “happy medium!” Your interval workout sounds great! I’ll have to try that 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s