After I announced that I’d completed 11 miles on the treadmill on Saturday, I had a number of comments and emails asking for advice for getting through a long run on a treadmill without dying of boredom.
Obviously using the treadmill isn’t ideal for your long runs, unless you’ll be completing your full or half marathon on a treadmill that is. However, often they are unavoidable. Whether it’s too dark, hot, wet, unsafe etc to run outside, it’s certainly better to get your long run done than skip it completely.
After a 12 hour flight, I arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 6pm and it was 10.30pm by the time I’d checked in, met the PRs, had a quick dinner with Evelyn and was ready to run. It was still 29 degrees, and completely dark- there was no way I was going to run outside. I was feeling incredibly jetlagged and full of energy, so getting my long run done was the perfect way to expend some of it.
Here are my top tips to getting through a ‘long’ run on the treadmill (for me that’s anything over 4 miles!)
· Download an audio book from audible.com or itunes. I listened to Dan Brown’s Inferno while training for the Berlin Marathon and have recently finished listening to Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling.
· Split your run into bitesize sections- my 11 miles (17.7km) was split into 5K, 5K, 5K, 2.7K. After each section I would jump off the treadmill to refill my waterbottle, wipe my face or go to the loo. It made it feel manageable. If you’re feeling hardcore you could plank for a minute between each section.
· Appreciate the convenience whilst on the treadmill that you have water, snacks (don’t forget these if your running long) music, bathrooms etc on hand.
· Adjust the pace and incline every mile- I knew I had to run a 9 mile average, so I played up and down 0.1 every mile, making sure my final pace was on track. If pace doesn’t matter then alter it as much as you like as you run, playing with speed and incline will make the run feel less boring.
· At the Grand Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur they had fancy new Technogym treadmills that meant I could watch TV, play games like solitaire, and read blogs all on the treadmill itself. If your treadmill doesn’t have this functionality you could use your ipad or tablet to do the same.
· Download a film or series to your tablet/laptop to watch while you run.
· Get a friend, other half or family member to run on the treadmill next to you to catch up while you run.
What other tips do you have to getting through a long run on the treadmill? What’s the furthest you’ve ever run on one? Mine is definitely the 11 miles!