Take it from the expert and ultimate goal-crusher.

By By Jen Widerstrom
January 29, 2019
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Photo: Leika production/Shutterstock.com

Consulting Shape Fitness Director Jen Widerstrom is your get-fit motivator, a fitness pro, a life coach, and the author of Diet Right for Your Personality Type.

Sometimes I phone it in on the treadmill. What are some mental tips to keep it fresh and engaging? -@msamandamc, via Instagram

I see so much of myself in this question! Running for me has always been a struggle-I have to push myself to do it. And likewise, I've had to get creative with the ways I stimulate my headspace on the treadmill so that I'll stick with it and reap the benefits of this effective tool.

Cue the Right Beats

Using your playlist is the most accessible pick-me-up: Elevating your speed and incline on the choruses and working more moderately during each verse will spice things up. (Related: I Used to Despise Running-Now a Marathon Is My Favorite Distance)

Try this Spotify playlist to kick your stride into high gear. It was expertly curated by DJ Tiff McFierce especially for runners training for the SHAPE Half Marathon. (BTW, it's not too late to sign-up for the next race-April 14, 2019!)

Try Intervals

I also encourage you to set short-term goals with your treadmill sessions. Instead of committing to run for 20 minutes straight, I want you setting speeds and distances that you need to hit within certain times. For example, run at the best speed you can hold for two full minutes. Take 60 seconds off, then replicate those two minutes trying to get even 0.1 mile farther. Five rounds total of this, and you're already at 15 minutes! Want a break from measuring distance? Maintain your speed for each interval, but increase the incline each time. These small goals will add up to a higher volume of tread work and a much more engaging experience. (Just be careful to not make these treadmill mistakes.)