Now that it's dark out before 5pm, I've switched to running inside on the treadmill after work instead of running around outside in my neighborhood. I was dreading this switch, mainly because I find treadmills unbearably boring, but it actually hasn't been that bad. My secret? Constantly change things up. This has been working so well for me (knock on wood) that I almost look forward to my treadmill workouts every afternoon. Almost. Here's what I've been doing:
Walk for 1 minute to warm up
Kick the treadmill up to about 6.5 with 0% incline, and run at that speed for 2-3 minutes
Then, every 30 seconds, turn the speed down one notch and the incline up 0.5%
Do this until you're at 4% incline, and run there for 3 minutes
Kick it back down to 0% incline and 6.5-6.7 speed, whichever doesn't make you feel like you're going to fly off the end of the machine, and stay there for 2-3 minutes
Repeat 3-5 times, until you're ready to be done with the workout.
Walk for at least 5 minutes at the end of the workout so your heart can properly slow down and you can cool off a bit.
This is a great hill workout for me. The incline intervals make it so I'm actually getting a workout instead of cruising along at 0% incline. The bursts of speed make it so that I can still get in a good 4-5 miles without spending all night on the treadmill. It changes up so much that I'm not constantly checking my mileage, calculating how much farther and longer I have to go. As soon as I get tired of this workout, I'll find another routine to switch things up with. I've still been running outside on the weekends and as far as I can tell I'm not losing my ability to run up the hills in my neighborhood. It's taken me years but I might have actually found the key to not dreading my time with the treadmill. Do you guys have any tips for making the treadmill more bearable?