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Weird Things Runners Do To Pass Time On The Treadmill

Runners inevitably spend a little bit of time on the treadmill. Some days are just so cold or so hot that a few miles in the gym seems a lot more appealing than running outside. But most outdoor runners can get a little bored jogging indoors and their thoughts tend to wander. I’ve spent my fair share of time on the ol’ t-mill and have resorted to some slightly weird/very desperate ways to pass the time. Here are my top ten. Please tell me you’ve done one of these too?

1. Made up highly detailed back stories for fellow gym-goers, including but not limited to: jobs, family life and who I think are secretly dating.

2. Attempted to read a book. Then attempted not to puke. Seriously, how do people actually do that without getting nauseous?

3. Tried out every possible combination of speed and incline.

4. Named an animal for every letter of the alphabet, counted to 1,000 by threes, tried to remember names of high school classmates…anything to keep my brain busy and not looking at the time.

Related: Ways To Avoid Boredom On The Treadmill

5. Decided to—gasp—walk for a bit and try out the weird sideways or backwards walking you always see that one person doing. Concluded I am definitely not coordinated enough to do anything but move forwards.

6. Tweaked the speed every three minutes to match the exact beat of each song on my playlist.

7. Practiced my lip-reading skills by watching the overhead TV on mute. Related: narrated entire muted episodes of Friends from memory.

8. Watched my reflection in a mirror or window and obsessed over perfecting my form.

9. Noticed a scuff mark on the belt and counted how many times I saw it in a mile. Spent the next mile trying to stop seeing spots after staring at the ground for so long.

10. Played “shag, marry, kill” with people on the neighboring treadmills.

Related: How To Survive A Treadmill Long Run

Alison Barsalona

Alison Barsalona started running when her best friend decided they should join the cross-country team in high school. After trading running for the equestrian team in college, she found her way back to the treadmill when she realized her gym subscribed to Bravo and Food Network. She's lived in six states and always finds the best routes to run in each new town as soon as she moves in (right after finding the best pizza place). A new mom, she now lives in Delaware and is busy perfecting the art of the jogging stroller.