How to Stay Focused When Running on a Treadmill

treadmillTreadmill running is a strange paradox of exciting and boring at the same time. One the one hand, your body is active; sweat is pouring, limbs are moving and your breathing is fast paced. You’re in the moment. On the other hand…you’re not moving. The scenery around you is not going anywhere and all you can seem to focus on is how long you’ve actually been on the treadmill and when can you get off. Indoor training is certainly not as much of a rush as outdoor training, but if you’re a year-round runner, then indoor running has to happen sooner or later.

The Trick: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Here’s a small trick that I use to keep my mind focused on the running aspect and not on the Can I Get Off Yet? aspect: cover up the timer screen

™ covered

If you’re without music or a book or something else to overtly distract you from running in place, then try covering up the screen that displays all the information about your workout including time, distance run, heart rate and calories burned puts the technical components of your workout. A post-it note, a towel, a piece of paper – anything will do as long as it fully covers the data on the screen. Rather than being distracted by something else and not your workout, you can now focus constructively on your workout: how do I sync by breathing? Am I running correctly? Is this good form? When you’re more focused on your running and perfecting your exercise, you’re sure to have a better treadmill workout.

To coin an old M*A*S*H line, your workout becomes out of sight, out of mind. Your mind will focus less on the technical aspects of the exercise and more on actually running, syncing your breathing and finding your rhythm.

Give it a shot. See what happens the next time you’re at the gym!

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