Winter is upon us, and runners are at a crossroads. Do you take a break for the cold season, run through the snow, or face the interminable treadmill?
For those of you who use the treadmill, it can be the boredom more than the actual workout that has you dragging your feet when it’s time to get a run in.
One solution is to go hard — a steep incline or bursts of sprints — to shorten the workout while keeping things challenging. Intervals are easy to do on a treadmill.
But it can be hard to stay put when you’re on a treadmill — especially one that is in your home or nearby. That’s where a distraction can help.
Research published recently in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology suggests that in a hard workout, music or video can help improve how much you enjoy your exercise.
In the study, 34 participants were asked to ride a stationary bike at two levels of intensity, with one being extremely challenging — like you’re trying to break a record. At both intensities, the riders were given music, music and video, video and control, or nothing. The scientists found that no matter what the intensity, the riders reported more enjoyment after workouts that had music or music and video: They liked it better!
It seems like an obvious conclusion, but it’s good to know — especially when you’re looking at a long winter trapped in the gym. If you can get yourself to enjoy your workouts more, you have a better chance at maintaining your hard-won fitness through the cold months.
So load up your iPad with shows you like, or pick a treadmill facing a TV — before you know it, you’ll be back on the road.