Couch to 5K
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Any Ideas how to relieve the boredom when on a treadmill???

Hi all

does anyone have any ideas as to how to relieve my boredom when running on my treadmill at home. Was originally set up in the conservatory, however has now been moved into the garage. I do have a small telivision in there but to be honest when i am running solid for 25 minutes i have the old gremlin on the shoulder saying you can stop, you dont need to finish etc!!! At the moment i have resisted temptation to stop but i am worried that i will lose interest and stop. Last year i was running outside which i love but with the weather being so bad i made a spontaneous ebay purchase and bought a second hand treadmill

help pleeeeeaaaaaaasssssssseeeee


20 Replies

Wrap up well and get yourself back outside. If you're struggling now, you'll not last much longer on a treadmill, no matter what you do.


What can you do with the display on your treadmill? Mine's at the gym so it's quite a big one and I keep myself occupied with the figures - how many steps per calorie burned at which speed - how many steps per 100m at which speed - how many calories per 100m... you get the idea!

Apart from that TV is quite a good idea, I watched the tennis a week or two ago but found I had to hold on quite a lot. Why not buy a language learning DVD and multitask... or a language podcast... or an audio book... listen to the radio? The news?

Maybe you could put the treadmill by a window and count cars/people/dogs...

Do you listen to music? Put songs on your playlist that last 'so many minutes' (my fave atm is George Michael's 'Careless Whisper' - it lasts exactly five mins.) Then you can time yourself by the songs a bit too.

Outside is 'nicer' but I think there's a lot to be said for treadmilling indoors in the winter. It's kinder to your body ( :-D and at my advanced age that's important too). At the gym you can people-watch too, and this is fascinating too. I have a whole collection of interesting tattoos now. Observed ones, that is...

Happy running - and spring will soon be here :-)


Learning a language is one of my new year's resolutions so combining it with running (what a great distraction!) sounds like a really good idea. :)

I originally put my treadmill in the lounge so I could watch TV while running, but I found I had to turn the volume up way too high (for anyone else in the vicinity) to be able to hear it over me on the treadmill. Before Xmas I moved the treadmill to the back room, so I now have a lovely view of the garden. Watching the birds come down to the pond makes a great distraction.


boredom on the treadmill is inevitable I think. eventually it gets you! when I use the treadmill I listen to music. I cant imagine watching tv on its own but at the gym they have the subtitles on the telly so you can listen to your music & watch/read tv at the same time. that helps to keep the mind occupied & the running demons away. another thing I do is cover up the display. I find that knowing how long Ive run or got left is distracting.

I have a couple of mash up compilations as I prefer to listen to them than songs all the way through. I was finding that I would count 3 songs as 10mins as an estimate & that its hard when you are counting the time away. also new music is nice as you dont know the songs so that can be an added distraction aswell.

some people enjoy an audio book, although I havent tried that. & then there is the zombierun app. unfortunately I dont have a fancy phone so havent tried that either but really like the idea of having to run away from zombies :)

as mentioned before maybe get back outside if you can & keep the treadmill for the hill training or interval sessions where having a treadmill is a godsend.

good luck. hope you can find something that works for you. shelley x


I watch i player or itv player and catch up on tv programmes I have missed. I also sometimes cover the control panel so I can't see how far I have run or what I've got left to do. I find if you have a varied workout changing speed & incline frequently that helps as well. I like the sound of an audio book and I haven't tried the zombie app yet but they are other options. But when all said and done good old fresh air is the best.


The zombie app is pretty good, and if you like that sort of thing then I can thoroughly recommend downloading the We're Alive podcasts - free to download. It's a weekly(ish) audio play type story which charts the lives of survivors of a zombie outbreak - bit OTT in paces but pretty engaging. There is about 2/3 yrs worth available until you catch up to now so it'll last you a good few weeks (episodes are about 20 mins each). It kept me amused and on the treadmill and cross trainer. Now I'm up to date though so back to square one and bored when I have to run indoors.

Of course if you don't like zombies, none of tat was of any help! ;-)


Ooh ! I like the sound of those podcasts :-)


These sound great. Are they only available from iTunes or can you download direct from the We're Alive site?

I love the sound of the Zombie Run app too, but having just had a look, there seems to be several to choose from. Which is the one that people recommend?


Looks like you can get the podcasts here:

I've got this app but haven't tried it out yet:


Thanks. I've joined the site and am about to download the podcasts. :)

That's the app I was looking at (currently £2.79) which looks fun. There's also a free one called Zombie, run! but it sounds like you need to look at your phone rather a lot for that one, which sounds a bit dangerous when running. I like the sound of Zombies, Run! though as it integrates action with your playlist so it should feel quite interactive and be a good distraction from time-keeping. Please let me know what you think of it when you try it out.


Will do. I'm too worn out to do anything physical today so I'm furiously downloading podcasts ready for the next treadmill stint :-)


Best thing to do on the treadmill is speed sessions, intervals etc anything that offers a bit of variety.

I managed to cover 5.29 miles on the treadmill yesterday of which about 4.5 miles were non-stop running. I'd only previously managed 5k non-stop - even on my 10k races I've stopped for walk breaks. I did 1mile warm up, 2miles at just above 10k pace, 1 miles at 1/2 min quicker & 1 mile at another 1/2 min quicker, then a cool down. It was challenging but I also distracted myself with music on the mp3 player and reading the subtitles on the gym tv screen - the errors were quite amusing ;-)

Try the speed, stamina and stepping stones podcasts or invent your own interval training - I can't imagine ever enjoying doing any great distance at a steady pace on the treadmill, it's far too mind-numbing.

Or perhaps you just need a video of someone running in front of you who you really, really want to catch ;-)


I switch on the telly, go to the recorder and put on something recorded previously. BUT I generally find that once I'm in the rhythm, my mind goes off into contemplation - it sounds crazy but it's a bit like I imagine meditation would be. But I experience the same when running outside so guess it's me rather than the 'mill. The telly programme? Having finished my session I realise I haven't a clue about the programme so try to watch it the next time. Except that once I get into the rythm ...


I have a real mental block with treadmills. I started using them at the beginning of our winter, (November) and have tried ever since to run 5K without success. I've used every trick in the book I think but get to real struggle stride (as I call it) at approaching 4K and have never managed to keep going much past that distance. So if anyone has a magic remedy will they bottle it and sell me some. :) I've read the above posts and tried each and every one of them except talking books, will maybe give that a try next.


Audiobooks, but it needs to be a good one, thriller or murder mystery or something of that ilk, just a mundane book won't distract you enough.

And then the speed podcast as has been said, some sort of interval training. On Tuesday (I don't go out as I need to get back to get ready for work and don't trust myself to get back in time if I go out) I did a run with some resemblance to the pyramid training mentioned on here the other day/week. I started with 5 minute warm up run, then 30 secs fast, 30 secs slow, 1 minute fast, 1 min slow, increasing in 30 second lots up to 2.5 minutes of fast and slow, then do it in reverse. It worked out at about 30 minutes and I covered between 4 and 5k. But the good thing is that with the short intervals you're only running at one speed for a maximum of 2.5 minutes so less time to get bored.


Maybe you need to find your inner caveman James! :D



Ha ha. next time i'm using the treadmill i'm going to be running and thinking about the caveman. Now do I run away from him (at my age I'll not outrun him) or do I run to him with open arms!?! Mmmmmmm decisions, desicions. :)

Its funny though because I have a route which is one of my favourites, it has a very and I mean very long straight road. While running this road I manage to switch off no bother and the distance just goes by quite quickly. Why can I not find the secret of switching off while on a treadmill, the problem would be solved. The only answer I can come up with is I'm relaxed while running outside, I'm comfortable with it. I don't think I will ever be totally relaxed using a treadmill.

Thanks for the link SBG356 enjoyed the read.


What a great thread! Several ideas for treadmill running here which I hadn't considered before. I have run to an audiobook, but as Beads said, it does need to be quite action-packed to distract you. With my audiobook (still on Pillars of the Earth, haven't listened for a while) I found that the 'exciting' bits distracted me from running, but with the more mundane bits inbetween my mind wandered from the story and I kept having to rewind!


I agree-get outside.Running outside is better for your mood and I am motivated to keep going in public!


Get off the treadmill and onto the road!!


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