How to Make Running Indoors More Exciting

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Treadmill Running IndoorsRunning Indoors can be boring   If you’re like me, you would rather run in a down pour outside rather than run on a treadmill, but there are times, such as when there’s six inches of snow on the road, when running outside is impractical or downright dangerous.  So how can you make the treadmill interesting?

Running Indoors Should be Entertaining!

Here are a couple of ways to spice up easy and long runs on the treadmill:

  • Watch TV – Why be a couch potato when you can run and watch TV at the same time?  It is pretty easy to watch TV while doing long or easy runs.  I set up a TV and DVD player in my basement and watch all sorts of movies while running.  However, be careful of the power of suggestion.  I once made  the mistake of watching Julie and Julia while running and got so hungry, I had to stop!
  • Listen To Music
  • Listen To Books on Tape – Load up some books from Audible.Com or other “Books on Tape” sources.  You can even get audio books from your local library.

Make Running Indoors Realistic

  1. Set the incline to 1% to simulate running on the road.  Sometimes I’ll increase the incline to get an extra workout.
  2. I also set a fan in front of the treadmill to keep me cool.  Since the house is at 68 deg F, the fan really helps.  It simulates an outdoor breeze you would feel when you run.
  3. I also wear my running hat to keep the sweat out of my eyes.

Make it Intense

I really like to do interval workouts on the treadmill.  For some reason I would rather do intervals in the basement than run them on a track.  For intervals I adjust the treadmill’s speed to match the desired pace, and then run that for the required distance.  For example, for a workout where I run a 10 minute warm-up, followed by 4 x .5 miles at a 9:00 minute pace with a .25 mile jog I would
  1. Run at 10 minutes at 11:00 min/mile pace, lets say that is .70 miles, for easy math,  I would then run to the nearest quarter mile, which is .75.
  2. At the .75 mark I would increase the speed to 9:00 min/mile and run until the 1.25 mark (.75  + .5).
  3. Then I would decrease the pace of the treadmill to 11:00 min /mile and run unto the 1.5 mark (1.25 + .25)
  4. I would repeat steps two and three, three more times.
The math can get tricky, so you may want to write down the mile marker, and tape them to your treadmill.  I have done this, and it makes it easier to concentrate.  I just make a list like so:
Treadmill Interval Training Notes


When the weather turns really cold, or the roads are too snowy and icy, the treadmill is a life savor.  Also I like to use it when it gets too dark to run out side.  For me the key is to keep it interesting.  I do this by either watching a movie while running indoors, or by doing my high intensity runs.   If at all possible, I try to run outdoors one a week, usually my long runs.

So what do you do to keep the treadmill more lively?  Have you tried reading a book while running?

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