In keeping with my “run every other day” initiative, I ran yesterday on the treadmill after work. I took Monday off because I ran a 5K on Saturday and needed a little extra time to recover. Running on a treadmill is incredibly boring unless you have a good distraction. It helps to listen to a good running mix on your iPod or switch on the TV just to keep from quitting early, cause, let’s be honest; running on a treadmill is really boring. You’re either staring at a brick wall in front of you or at the panel on the treadmill, willing the seconds to tick away faster. But neither of these tricks really work for me. Literally, the TV doesn’t work, and while I like listening to music, I hate listening to the radio, because some stupid song I hate will start playing and I’ll want to stop running just on principle alone. I find some great ideas for running challenges online, so yesterday I challenged myself with a speed/interval program, which is a great idea to keep focused on a treadmill. Increase your speed by .1 or .2 miles per hour at intervals so you find yourself running faster by the end without a whole lot of effort. Cool down by decreasing the speed at the same intervals until you’re back at your starting point. It’s kind of the frog in the pan approach to speeding up your pace. (You know, you put a frog in a hot pan, it jumps out, but you heat the pan slowly and the frog… would probably still jump out eventually, but not until it is much hotter). I normally run about 3.7-4 mph so I started at 3.4 mph so I wouldn’t go too crazy fast on the high end. I increased the speed .1 mph every minute, and ran until I was running 4.5 mph. I liked this because if I start to run faster than I’m comfortable and it’s too intense, I’m more inclined to quit early or give up. Whew! I did a little walking to cool down afterwards, and in the end, I wound up running about 1.09 miles. Kind of low on the mileage compared to what I consider a good run, but not bad since I was more focused on speed. I’ve got to figure out other ways to learn to run faster – maybe that will just come as I keep running & getting in better shape.