QT: Overcoming the Boredom Factor of Treadmill Running with Thessaly Nicolaysen

Every fall/winter, I get a handful of questions centered around running on the treadmill.

As you may have heard, I don’t exactly “enjoy” treadmill running.

Thessaly Nicolaysen, however, is a fan.

Thessaly is joining us for the next few weeks of QT episodes to discuss treadmill running and offer some tips for those that may find themselves on the human hamster wheel at some point in the future.

Reasons to Jump on the Treadmill

As much as I detest the treadmill, there is no question that there are times when treadmill running makes a lot of sense.

  • Inclement Weather
  • Traveling/Uncomfortable Running in Unknown Areas
  • Shorter Days/Longer Nights
  • Child Care Duties
  • You Actually Like It

Admittedly, I can’t wrap my head around the last bullet point.

But I know Thessaly prefers treadmill running and, at least in theory, there may be others in a similar boat.

Flex Your Mental Muscle

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to end up logging your miles on the treadmill and you’re less than enthused about it, this is a perfect time to work on your mindset/mental approach.

Thessaly pointed out, quite correctly, that perhaps one reason I struggle so much to run on the treadmill is that I’ve convinced myself it’s going to be absolutely miserable before I even set foot in the gym.

A bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, eh?

Fighting the Boredom Factor

For some people, one of the biggest struggles with running on the treadmill is boredom.

One of the joys, for me at least, of running outside is the constant change of scenery.

And the hunt for the random roadside toilet, obviously.


On the treadmill, the scenery doesn’t exactly change as you go and the odds of stumbling upon a random toilet are pretty low (hopefully).

So how do you avoid boring yourself to tears on the treadmill?

A few suggestions from Thessaly:

  • Treadmill Only TV Shows/Movies/Podcasts
  • Music Playlists that You Really Enjoy
  • People Watch at the Gym

You may have to try a few things to figure out what works best for you, but hopefully these suggestions will get you started.

Struggling with boredom while on the treadmill? Some tips to help the miles go by a bit easier. #runchat Share on X

How Do You Overcome Boredom While Running on the Treadmill?

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