Whether it is inclement weather, a crazy schedule or travel that is preventing you from running outdoors, heading to the treadmill can be a great way to keep fitness levels up when running outdoors is unappealing. But treadmill workouts can be a dread, so here are some ways to make running in place a little more exciting. Staying in shape through terrain that is hard to work through and bad weather will fly by with these tips.

Interval Training

Interval training is one of the best ways to get a workout in on the treadmill. It gets your heart rate up while burning the maximum amount of calories through periods of both high and low intensity. Not to mention that running at one pace for a long time period can make time creep by slowly. Change things up with intervals, which offer a quick and effective way to burn a lot of calories. Switch up your incline and speed, such as jogging at a pace that is comfortable for two minutes then sprinting for 30 seconds. You can also alternate between running and doing weight lifting bursts.

Watch a TV Show

One of the benefits of indoor treadmill workouts is that many gyms have televisions near the treadmills (or on them) to distract you. Look for a movie that interests you or a TV show to occupy your mind while you run so you don’t get bored watching the clock or mileage slowly creep by. This is a great option if you have a show you love to watch. Make a deal with yourself that instead of watching the show at home on the couch, watch it at the gym. You can also download the show on your phone or iPod if you do not have TV access on a treadmill.

Workout Playlists

Music is an excellent way to pump you up for a workout, but listening to the same playlist day in and day out can be a drag. Make a specific playlist for your workouts to keep you from getting tired of the same tunes. Look for upbeat music that will not only distract you from the treadmill but will keep you motivated and going at a faster pace.

Play a Card Game

This is not a joke. Play a treadmill card game to keep things fun, like this treadmill game. Grab four index cards and write the words “jog,” “sprint,” “run” or “walk” on each card. Warm up for a mile or so and draw a card. Do whatever it says for three to four minutes until you have made it through all four.

Hit the Gym with a Friend

Take a friend with you to the gym. Chat while you work out and spend time together. Challenge each other too with fun interval workouts or races. Having a friend alongside you will make your workout more fun while inspiring you to keep pushing!