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Motivation on a treadmill

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I was a runner in high school at about 140 lbs for a 5'4" gal. I blew up since them and my highest weight was about 190...

Anyways I just wanted to say I used to be a runner so I'm getting back into it. I had been training since the end of October and hit 2 miles on the treadmill. I was ESTATIC! I couldn't believe I could job 2 miles. 


But ever since I hit that distance like two weeks ago I can't get to it. 

I don't know if its because I'm eating less, or need more sleep or if I'm just being lazy. Any tips on beating the mental part of running? I can physically do it, but mentally I'm just DYING on the mill.



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Have a goal. Focus on it. Strive to meet or exceed your goal every single time. Do not accept anything less.

My trick is always the same. If I want to run a treamill 5K in say 27 minutes, for example, I always try to top that. Maybe I run that 5k in 26 minutes, run a quarter mile more (beyond the 5k however long it takes), or just make it a round thirty minutes of work after hitting the initial goal. It doesn't have to be drastic, it can be a tenth of a mile more, a minute more, or even a few seconds faster. I always try to out-do myself, my goal.

The treadmill is the very definition of monotony in my book. I think if you step on it with only a vague purpose of going for a little run, it's very hard to get anything done. You can feel that drabness set in from the very first mile. Without something to combat that feeling, you'll succumb to it quickly. Maybe you'll get lucky and have a television there with a good show or movie on. Maybe there'll be someone you know on the treadmill next to you who is good for a chat to distract you. These aren't things you can count on, however. An iPod can help, but that doesn't have a high success rate (for me) on it's own either.

Longer, farther, faster. Make yourself achieve one of those every single time out, even if it is only a small gain.

One other thing: it always helps to think hard about why you're doing it, why you're about to suffer yourself through another treadmill workout. I always concentrate on the body I want to have, the level of fitness I want to achieve.

Original Post by spphr862:

I can physically do it, but mentally I'm just DYING on the mill.

Go outside.

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by spphr862:

I can physically do it, but mentally I'm just DYING on the mill.

Go outside.

Exactly. I'm a runner but I hate the treadmill! I can do 15 miles easily outdoors without even thinking about it, but even 5 minutes on the mill will bore me to death.

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by spphr862:

I can physically do it, but mentally I'm just DYING on the mill.

Go outside.

THIS.  I despise the treadmill and run outside if at all possible. It sucks if you live somewhere where you get lots of snow though, so sometimes you have to run on the treadmill. But even during the winter, outdoor runs are possible if you have the right gear.

You will be stunned at the difference it makes, you don't get bored! Also in a way it forces you to push yourself because however far you run out.. you have to run back!

How frequently are you running?  I'm still new at this, myself, but I find that taking a rest day in between will help me to run further during my workouts. 


I'm a big fan of the treadmill.  I "powergame" my workouts and try to "beat my high-score."  I think I need one of those Garmin running watches with a heart rate monitor so I can play outside, too.  ;p


I watch TV and I have certain songs I listen to on my ipod.  I have learned to tune myself out of the treadmill and into something else.  I would still rather be outside, but since that's not an option right now, I've learned what works for me to deal with it.

Try day dreaming. Pick something you want to do and visualize how you are going to get it. I do pretty well at that. I pick a point in front of me and focus on it until my mind starts to wander. I also don't like to look at a clock or distance. It's kind of like meditation while moving.

Haha I'm going to try that! It has worked for me before. I went to the gym because it's open 24/7 so I can just postpone my workout until like midnight then go. I just need to have more discipline. I guess I knew my answer I just didn't want to believe it. Thanks!

OH and another thing I did a 3k this weekend and it was a BREEZE, I think I'm just getting lazy/bored. Again I'm going outside tomorrow from now on. THANKS Everyone!!!! Laughing

I like the treadmill.. running outside is nice, but I feel like it's very steady and I get more variation when I run on the treadmill because I can add hills and change speeds and track my distance easily 

(yes you can change speeds outdoors too, but I feel really awkward doing that haha)

Intervals on the treadmill are a TON more fun then steady state, and the time flys by since you are changing the speed and/or incline every minute or two (check online for workout routines, there's lots) print off a workout or write it down on a piece of paper and tape it to your treadmill

or try running 5 mins, then jumping off and doing a set of lunges, jump back on run another 5 mins, jump off and do a set of squats... continue alternating cardio and resistance exercises for a total of 30-60 mins. You'll burn tons of calories, and get both cardio and strength in one workout. \

you could always invest in a tv, or use an old one to put infront of the treadmill to have something to look at.. and of coarse MUSIC helps BIG TIME!!

I cannot run without my handy dandy ipod, it sets the pace and energizes me!!

also working out first thing in the morning is the easiest way to get me to run... i get it over and done with and i have the rest of the day to do whatever else I need to do. If i leave my workout till later in the day either something always ends up interfering with it or im "too tired" and dont even bother. 

Thanks yeah I just thought that the only way to get a good workout in was to run and to run far. 

Today I actually played with all the different settings, I upped the incline and lowered the speed, and upped the speed and lowered the incline, I sprinted, and I cat walked, it was definitely interesting. I did knock my ipod on the ground, and there's a tv connected to the gym's treadmill. Your suggestions were great!


I did feel weird jumping on and off the treadmill, this MEAN GIRL kept starting at me and being like "wtf are you doing" but I ignored her lol (well as much as I could).

I NEED to be a morning person, I just can't get to the gym until like 1am. But I honestly think its because my crazy family is all asleep and I can just relax. They're all up in the morning. I'm 21, my mother is going through menopause and my sister is going through puberty so the longer I pretend to be asleep the better. If I get up they'll just bother me. But I feel like I'm making excuses haha. But I am making it to the gym at like 12am-2:45am so I'm still going. 


Again I can't thank y'all enough! You guys are so supportive! =)

I became one with a treadmill last January when I decided to lose 150 lbs.  I walk (3.5-3.7 mph) an hour per session and do 3-7 sessions/week.  I've built up from 2 mph and 20 minutes.  This is the first time in 15 or so years I've done any regular exercise.  Having a treadmill at home allows me to to use it on my schedule.  The treadmill can be deadly dull.  I suspect it would be banned by the courts as cruel and unusual punishment and under the Geneva and Hague conventions.  I watch television and have little mini-goals during the hour.  My basic game is counting down the time until I can get off the darned thing.

Regular exercise is as much of a habit as anything else. I've put the treadmill into my habit schedule.  I think most of the posters have hit the secret of making it as fun as possible and having a goal. 

I'm not a runner.  I've never liked to run.  After 40 years of running in nice weather, New Orleans heat and humidity and Michigan winters, I stopped about 15 years ago when I retired from the Reserves. 

Congrats on getting back into a workout routine!  I'm a big fan of the treadmill because it helps me to keep my speed up and track distance/calories, but it can be very monotonous.  Watching the calorie tracker is like watching a kettle boil sometimes, it just makes the workout seem longer.  Listening to music on my iPod definitely helps though, and the kind of music you listen to makes a big difference.  The right lyrics, the right speed, a heavy bassline all help me to break out of a funk and push out a bit more energy. 

I was the same way when I started picking up the speed for my runs - I managed to do a full 5k without slowing down for a breather, then it was a couple workouts before I was able to do it again.  Your body is going to have peak performance days, so don't be discouraged if you can't hit that same peak regularly once you attain it.  Try focusing on faster runs with shorter duration for a few workouts, then switch to a slower run with longer duration.  I think you'll be surprised by the results!


I can easily run 3-5 miles outside. But on a treadmill? Forget it, I'm bored out of my mind. I do intervals but even that doesn't seem to help most of the time..just the fact that I'm technically running in place for 45 mins with nothing to do bores me to tears.

The suggestions here were very helpful! But what works for me is the elliptical - you can "run" on that too, and I feel like it's a lot more fun! Get your strides per minute up to 140, or 160+ for "sprint" intervals. It's been working for me.

Run outside for time instead of distance.

Day one run 10mins

Day two swim 12 mins

Day three run 8 mins

Day four rest

Day 5 run 10 mins

Day 6 bike 25 mins

Day 7 walk 40 mins


I'm a post college athlete and I train moms, kids and teenagers to get faster on their runs. It's 90% mental, you have to want to win!

Changing up your workout routine makes you excel with out peaking.

Put in some good training, eat right, HYDRATE!!!! and have fun.

Hope this helps!

I'm a senior in high school && I've run cross country the past four years. Winter is usually when my training stops because I always know I'll get back into it during track season & the next fall xc season, but since I'm a senior and have been looking for a job, I know I won't have another season to force me to run. haha.. so I've been going on the treadmill at the gym.

what keeps me going is minipulating my mind. I do this sometimes when I'm outside too, and it works on the treadmill. I'll say to myself,"I just started, this isn't so bad." even if I'm halfway into it.

another thing is I change the speed a little bit after a set amount of time. Like if I start at 7.3mph, I plan to change it to 7.5mph within the next three minutes, and so on, changing the speeds up and down. It makes it easier because then you focus more on the little incremint changes and how much more of it you have left of that one, and then all of them build up and its easier than thinking about,"I'm going to be doing this for the next 20 minutes..."

And if that all fails, I just remember that I enjoy running and this is helping me to be able to run outside when the snow clears up.

and now I'm reading the comments and noticed I'm just repeating what other people have said :/ good job on the race! If you keep signing up for them, you'll always have something to look forward to and gives training a purpose.

I hope I helped some!

Yes u can. I'm only 5' tall, 56 years old & had stroke 3 yrs ago. I am definitely overweight (due to overeating & not exercising). Since i cut back on calories& started exercising, i'm slowly losing weight & feeling much better. If i can do it so can u. Be proud of your efforts. U deserve it. Jo. from Louisiana & Good Luck

yea i think concentrating on my goals is what motivates me the last time i did i treadmill workout and i felt like dying i was literally saying skinny skinny in my head over and over haha 

Outside is always better, but we just got some crazy accident-causing snow and probably won't be free for maybe... 5 months.

As for the treadmill, I agree with other posters. Focus on what you're doing - don't look at the walls or think about how bored you are. Focus on your goal, whatever it is!

As far as tv/music... Music might help, but skip the tv. Any time I've seen anyone watch tv while on the treadmill or exercise bike, they always half-effort it.

Ugh, me too!!! I started a couch to 5k program, and I can do 30 minutes, no problem. The treadmill? TORTURE.
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