Busting Boredom on the Treadmill: 5 Mile & 5km Workouts

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 17, 2012


When I hear the word treadmill, a few words come to mind:







You too?

My reaction is mostly because I tend to fall into major treadmill ruts. I’ve recently discovered if I don’t consciously make an effort to create interesting treadmill workouts, then I really only have myself to blame when I cringe at the mere thought of them.

Sometimes a little pre-planning in life can really make a huge difference in outcome…and outlook, right?

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to dream of summer runs either…


Lately when nature forces me indoors, I now create my own workout plans to jazz things up a little. I’ve been inspired by all the workouts on Pinterest lately and decided it was about time that I start creating my own personalized workouts!

Workout #1

Here is one such workout that I created last week. I call it the Boredom Blaster because the time flies by. With a workout like this, there isn’t much time to feel bored before you’re changing speeds and inclines once again.


I also pause the workout and take a 30-60 second water break every 20 minutes (or as needed) to let my heart rate come down a little. After the workout I often bust out 3 sets of 10 push-ups and 2 sets of 50 ab exercises. Sometimes I stop the workout after 30 minutes depending on how much time I have available.

This workout leaves me a sweaty mess, feeling super accomplished, and ready to take on the day. Best of all, it breaks up the monotony that treadmill workouts can be known for.

Workout #2

Here is a SPEED workout I’m loving lately. My next 5km race is only 16 days away (on March 4th), so I’ve been working in speed workouts into my routine to get ready for it. I absolutely love this workout because it is super quick (under 25 minutes) and it changes every 2 minutes so boredom doesn’t have a chance to creep up!


I finish that workout a sweaty mess feeling like I just busted out a 45 min workout, but in half the time.

A challenge to try

If you’re stuck inside feeling the cardio equipment blahs, try making your own workout plan on paper before you begin, or even the night before your morning workout! Motivation is majorly boosted because it’s right there in front of you telling you what to do next and it’s also fun to mentally tick off each accomplished interval as you go. I don’t believe these workouts are a “one size fits all” deal, so feel free to tailor them to your specific needs.

How do you keep things interesting while working out on cardio equipment? Any fav workouts or mental tricks?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

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Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction February 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

What a coincidence! I just wrote a post a few days ago about the “treadmill, Dreadmill!”


Jeralyn February 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Can’t wait to get on the treadmill and try these out!


Susan February 25, 2012 at 8:31 am

Yesterday I did your short speed run and it was killer! It was perfect as it made me push myself further than I thought I could. Previously my top speed on the treadmill was 6.6 and with this workout I got to 7.2 – nowhere close to your top speed of 8.5!! But now I have a goal…


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

Wonderful Susan, good for you!!!


laura February 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Ugh. Just thinking treadmill makes me feel ick. BUUUUT, it’s super windy here today, and I need to get a run in, so thanks for the inspiration!


Heather February 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

I am going to try your first boredom blaster cardio next time I hit the gym – except, I’m cutting the intervals down to 2 mins each. I’m a running newbie and am quite slow, so the propect of 8 mph kinda scares me…


Will August 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

When I need to melt some serious fat I’ll walk on the treadmill at a high incline such as 10-12%. I’ll pull up a movie on my iPhone, plug in my headphones and start walking. Within 5 minutes I’m breathing hard and starting to sweat. I typically burn 600-800 calories an hour – with no soreness the next day!


JJ September 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Great looking treadmill workout. Changing it up is what the body needs to improve, otherwise it’s so easy to reach that dreaded plateau. Thanks for sharing.


Michael August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Great ideas!! I have exercise induced asthma that really makes breathing difficult when the outside temperature goes below 60 degrees. As a result, my cardio workouts suffer because of boredom during the colder months. These ideas should help with that. Thanks.


FitNick October 30, 2013 at 10:45 pm

The first workout seems like it would be a good fat blaster with the constant change in elevation and variable speeds. I’m going to have to give this a try next time I’m in the gym. I try to incorporate some HIIT training when running and this is kind of like it. Thanks for the great tip!


Navian April 17, 2016 at 11:53 pm

I love Spinning. It’s my go to cardio, and since it makes me ridiculously happy and tones my glutes at the same time, I’d say it’s a win-win. I wouldn’t mind borrowing Raymond though.


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