tips & tricks to making your treadmill runs fly.

Week 3 (well really week 15) of the BBG begins.  I had a pretty erratic morning involving me talking two dogs on two separate walks and then getting locked out of my apartment in the process, so I had to push my workout back a little today.  But the most important part is, I got. it. done.

I go though phases of being a morning workout person and needing to go at other times during the day.  The spring and summer months make it increasingly easy to get up and get going because you don’t have to fight your body’s natural circadian rhythm of rising with the sun as it is already up and ready to great you.  I like to knock out at least half of my workout in the morning.  It makes me feel accomplished and I swear sometimes my brain isn’t awake enough to realize what I’m doing to it.

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Yesterday, I really wasn’t feeling the whole running thing.  I knew I was going to do it eventually, but I didn’t feel like starting right when I got there.  I hopped on the elliptical and warmed up for a couple minutes and then headed to the treadmill.  I had no problem getting my heart rate up there, but I needed something to make it fly.  I began to alternate my speeds every minute.  8.2 for a minute, 8.8 for a minute, 8.3 for a minute, 8.8 for a minute, 8.4 for a minute, 9 for 2 minutes etc.  It wasn’t a strict plan, but knowing that all I had to do was keep going through that one minute and then I would get to relax was all I needed.  The run flew and at the end I had tackled 4 miles no problem.

Some other tips I’ve learned throughout my time as a runner:

  • Your playlist is everything.  Choose songs that you like to groove to and dance along if you’re into it.  You may look a little crazy, but I swear it’s so fun the time will fly.
  • Aim for shorter distances.  Tell yourself you’re just going to run .5 of a mile.  Once you reach it, you can keep going if you feel like it or stop, reset, and tell yourself you’re going to run .5 of a mile again.  These .5’s add up and are a lot easier for your brain to manage than doing 7 miles straight on a belted machine.
  • TV and podcasts make for a nice change of pace.  I like to watch the news if I’m at the gym in the morning and get lost in the troubles of the world or, in stark contrast, Friends in the afternoon.  I’ve done runs listening to podcasts as well which is always a good time if the topic is interesting to you.  I highly recommend This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, Ask Me Another, and, of course, Serial.

Not every run flies, but there are little tips and tricks you can incorporate into your routine to help toy with the clock.  But, when in doubt, opt for something else other than running.  Some days we’re just not feeling it.  I like to take my pup on an extra-long walk if I’m looking to get some low key exercise.  She helps me pass the time like no other.

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-sj

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