“Doing the things you don’t have to do will always determine the difference when it’s too late to do anything about it.” Jackie B. Cooper
Look, I’ll be the first to admit it, treadmill running isn’t my favorite. I love being outside with the fresh air, the beautiful scenery, trails, sunrises and every other reason we choose to run outside. But, I’m a realist. I live at 7200 feet above sea level in the middle of the mountains. In the winter, the sun doesn’t come up until after 7am and the wind blows, constantly… There are days (weeks sometimes) when the temperature doesn’t get above 0 degrees.
I know, I’m whining a bit, but I love to run. I run to stay in good physical and mental shape, it’s great for my heart and keeps my blood pressure down without medication. I’m also training for my first 50 mile race in July. I work fulltime, I am involved in several professional and networking groups and have an extremely active family that keeps me moving at a 100 mph every day. There comes a point when I can get more done in less time working on a treadmill. I don’t always love it, but I never miss a treadmill workout because I know it is getting me closer to my goals.
Here are my 3 steps to getting the most out of the treadmill without going crazy.
- Keep it interesting. Spend some time and find music or videos to keep your attention. There was a stretch last winter when I watched almost the entire series of “Dr. House”. I would get to the point where I would forget I was running and would run more than scheduled. I wasn’t too disappointed. Find a music or YouTube playlist to keep you entertained while you’re running. I also spend a lot of time improving myself with sales training, personal development and audio books. Somedays, getting my reading and running out of the way frees up extra time with my family later in the day!
- Get a workout! Don’t just set the treadmill on cruise and stop when it’s done. Adjust the speed and incline during your run. I always run with the incline at 1.5% or higher. This helps me adjust to the trails when I can finally hit the road on a weekend. I feel more power in my legs and less fatigue in my longer runs. Use the 1% or .1 rule. Every time you get on the treadmill, start the speed .1 faster than last time or start with 1% more incline. You will be amazed at how much you will improve with this slight adjustment!!! .1 increase over 10 runs is 1 mph faster! Add the improvement over your full training schedule and you’re guaranteed a PR! (From October 2014 to October 2015 I went from a 2:40 minute 13.1 to a 1:57.) A little extra effort every day will compound over time! Don’t take shortcuts, you’re only cheating yourself…
- Suck it up Buttercup. It may be boring, it may not be your favorite way to pass time, but it is a way to improve yourself. You have to be willing to give up comfort and get over your excuses if you really want to accomplish your goals. Do you always “want to”, no. Do you have to? YES! I keep something with my goal race with me whenever I’m running and cross training. This is a constant reminder of why I am taking the action and helps me move past my excuses and do it anyway. Get a sticker, hat, picture, anything that will bring your attention to the positives and keep your focus off the negatives. When you cross the finish line of your dream race or set the PR you’ve been working for, you will thank yourself for Out Running Your Excuses!
Gary Stotler is a father, husband, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Since 2013, Gary had gone from 400 pounds to ultra-runner. Believing if we take it One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you Out Run Your Excuses.