Banishing boredom and taking my own advice

I took Harold for a walk on Friday in the strangest January weather condition in Edmonton- rain!

Take a look at that icy sidewalk!

Take a look at that icy sidewalk!

I knew that rain/ice on the sidewalks wouldn’t make for a safe run the next morning after the temperatures dipped well below freezing.

I {sort of} listened to my advice on Saturday and ran outside on the ice, but with my Due North traction aids. It was still slick in places so I went nice and slow and just enjoyed running on a cold, quiet morning.


I also got in an awesome trainer ride on Sunday. I was so sweaty and tired when I finished that I believe my husband compared me to a wet rat!

I find there are two factors that increase my chances of having a strong trainer ride:

  • watch something good, bonus points if it’s exciting; and
  • ride beside the hubby.

If I’m riding in the basement alone, I’ll almost always watch a chick flick or comedy. It passes time since I like them, but it doesn’t keep my mind off how long I’ve rode for and how long I have left.

This weekend we started watching the 24 series from the beginning again. With the constant drama and heart-racing action, I want to ride for longer! Time goes quickly and I’m not constantly counting down the minutes and seconds.

Riding beside Kelly helps me so much, too. Besides having fun and talking to each other, he’s an incredibly strong cyclist. His legs are spinning super fast, his output of watts is extremely high, and he doesn’t seem to be working that hard.

It definitely makes me up my cadence (which is something I’m trying to work on this year) and push a little harder when I don’t feel like it. If I want to ride with him sometimes this summer, I can’t be too far behind!

Plus, he volunteers to stop biking and change the DVD when we’re ready to move on to the next disc. Win, win!

Varying my speeds, incorporating hills, and standing and sitting also help pass the time.

I’m slowly trying to up my mileage on the weekends while paying close attention to me knees. My mileage on weekdays is still low (and my weekends are pretty low, too), but I’m ok with it. I’m trying to cross-train and strength train a fair amount, too.

It’s exactly five months until Coeur d’Alene and just over seven months to Ironman Canada! Although that seems pretty close sometimes, I know I’ll be burnt out if I put in too much time and energy right now.

How do you beat the boredom on the trainer, treadmill, or other indoor equipment? 

57 responses to “Banishing boredom and taking my own advice

  1. I have those traction aids…still getting used to them! I would love to have a trainer and that’s so nice that you and Kelly can ride together. I use magazines, music, tv and friends to beat boredom.

  2. I hit up spin class today, so that freshened up the routine a bit. Usually a work out in the gym, so there’s always people to watch. Wow… that came out kinda’ creepy didn’t it???

  3. Having a playlist keeps me going! I just make new ones or download them off of spotify! Books on tape work great too love and shine courtstar

  4. I definitely have to have the TV going or be listening to an audiobook. It’s the only way I can get through a long workout.

  5. I hate working out indoors, and don’t have any equipment to do so at home. I’m forced to do it at the gym, which means no sneaky laptop to keep me distracted. I’ve started listening to audiobooks, which helps.

  6. Company definitely helps with the trainer! I also tune into VH1’s classic station and watch old 80s videos–always makes me smile and passes the time.

    I think you are smart to be in winter mode right now–heavy training will be here before you know it!

  7. Honestly this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I prefer outdoor running so much more than the treadmill that no matter the weather here (mind you The Netherlands is no western Canada!) I run outside!

  8. How nice to have a built-in training partner at the house!
    I’m fortunate now that weather isn’t really an issue for my training. The summer heat can really suck, but it’s manageable.

  9. Pick up some Spinervals videos – they are great and make you work way harder than just watching tv from the trainer.

    • I’ve heard they’re great. We have one that I tried once but didn’t really like it (I didn’t really give it a shot though)! Do you have any recommendations on specific videos?

  10. Sounds like your knees are getting stronger, hang in there. Really glad you had such a good ride, I bet it makes a huge difference riding with someone. I watch reality TV and the time flies, lol. Sad, I know.

    Harold! I love taking the pup out in the snow, but the sloshy mess means bath time for the poor pooch.

    Stay warm up there!

  11. I REALLY wish I had traction aids. Hmm, I might have to look into it. The slipping and sliding outside is not fun!

    Treadmill is just so…soooooo boring for me. i don’t understand how even with TV/music, i still struggle to get any type of miles on it!

  12. I really want to get a trainer, is there one you can recommend? Otherwise it seems that I don’t get on the bike until it’s nice out again.
    G isn’t much of a talker while working out but he does push me to run faster, simply by being faster than me! You’re very lucky to have a chatty hubs. 😉

    • We used to have a Cycleops Fluid trainers, which were awesome. You can shift gears to increase or decrease resistance.
      Now we have Tacx Bushido trainers, which are incredible but very pricey.
      Sometimes my husband isn’t too chatty, but I make up for it! It’s nice G is a great running photographer though!

  13. Nice to see you don’t let a little ice slow you down.

    I did the poor man traction aid- just screwed in a dozen tiny screws into the bottom of older running shoes. Work great.

    Best of luck with your training.

  14. Sounds like a great way to ride in the winter months and a great partner to ride with.

  15. I only use a treadmill when I travel for work (hotel fitness ctr), so fortunately don’t have to conquer the boredom too often. When I do, I just let myself zone out, think about things I need to resolve, or think of nothing at all.

    Funny about your watching seasons of 24. My husband and I just watch both season of Homeland – very 24-esque if you haven’t caught it. Now I can’t wait for season 3…we’re hooked!!

  16. I’m still learning how to beat boredom. I find that doing some kind of interval works best for me.

  17. Lately I’vebeen watching greys anatomy while I run. Lots of drama haha

  18. Wow, that ice is fierce! I never train indoors anymore but I’m guessing a good TV show or podcast might help!

  19. I’ve ALWAYS been curious to see how people run on the ice without killing themselves. Very cool!

    I’ll be interested to see how you enjoy Coeur d’Alene. My old tri coach takes people up there each year and I hear great things! So many good races, so far away! And yes, you have PLENTY of time still to train, so don’t burn out in these less than stellar training conditions. =)

    PS. Yes, beans are legumes, which are a “no no” under Paleo! Legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, soybeans, peanuts and other foods. Pretty crazy, huh?!

  20. I’ve actually put small screws up into the outsole of my shoes for traction on ice. What I like about this instead of strap on traction is that the screws are so low profile they don’t really bother me if I’m not running on ice.

    Kyle @
    Personal blog:

  21. I have to have a plan when I get on the trainer. I typically have a spinerval video in. They are hard and it keeps my mind on the work and not counting down the minutes. The videos are just a bunch of people riding trainers so its not anything “good” to watch. I like to have music on.

    I would like to get some new videos. I’m looking at some of the Carmichael videos. They are usually filmed outdoors with good scenery. (from what I hear).

    I would like to watch a movie or shows but I know I wouldn’t work as hard! 😦

  22. I love watching TV while I’m on the treadmill. Unfortunately in the early morning hours at the gym, there is usually only news shows to watch. I might be getting a treadmill at home, so then I could watch more interesting shows with NetFlix, can’t wait! I’ve never watched “24” so I’ll have to put that on my list.

  23. fortheloveoflifeandrunning

    Y’all are racing CDA! I’ll be racing too. Awesome.

  24. I found a local indoor track for my runs. So far I haven’t gotten too bored…just listening to music, zoning our and day draming aobut sunny days ahead. I do try to switch things up with intervals though!

  25. I am a treadmill TV watcher. It has to be shows that I have dvr’ed (no commercials), not just random shows.

    Good luck with your training!!

  26. I run with music, and that helps with boredom. Actually – do you run with a smartphone? Do you want to try out an app as a “tester”? You get a free starbucks card with it ($5 I think – go crazy!). It’s an app that lets you pick a cadence, and they match the tempo of songs on your playlist to that. The app costs $2.99 but you’d get it free, along with the super amazingly valuable Starbucks card. You just have to fill out a survey on the app after you’ve tried it out. Interested? You do great product reviews so I think you’d be perfect – let me know! Cheers.

    • That sounds like a really cool app! Unfortunately I don’t run with a smartphone. If I’m stuck on the treadmill, I’ll blare music in the basement or watch tv.
      Thanks for thinking of me though! If I do start, I’d definitely try it. If you use it, you should do a review!

  27. I watch the TV series Lie to Me on my trainer, although I’m almost finished and soon I’ll have to dig into my Spinervals for longer sessions. The Eagleman 70.3 plan isn’t quite in effect yet! 🙂

  28. trainer sessions need to be done with a partner for sure! Or a good movie or watching Ironman Kona. Wish we could sweat it out trainer style together.

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