I have come up with a few methods that have helped me over the way and maybe they can help you as you use the treadmill in the crappy weather.
The Towel- I will take a towel and cover the screen once I start my run. This will help prevent you from staying focused on the time. The towel also comes in handy if you’re sweating. Which for me seems to be a lot more when I am indoors.
Music to my ears- Listen to music while you run. Normally I tell people don’t listen to music when they run. That is if you are road running. You want to hear a car or a loose dog when you are running on the road. On a treadmill you don’t have the surrounding to worry about, so I say blast the music. Music can motivate you also, so it may work in more than one way for you. Just don’t be that person at the gym singing the wrong lyrics or thinking no one can hear you when we all can. Even I have had the embarrassment of this happening to me. What can I say sometimes I like jam.
Tune in the TV- If you are at your house set the treadmill up in front of your television and watch your favorite show. If you are at the gym chances are they have a few televisions and you can connect your headphones into the treadmill and tune in to each TV. I personally like when Big Bang Theory is on.
Change up the run- One easy way to not get bored is too run at different speeds. Use the treadmill as a speed workout. Intervals will keep you watching the time, but normally you are going at a faster speed and you are hoping the time goes by fast. A half hour of doing this and you can quickly log 3 miles and it will feel like 15 minutes when by.
The buddy system- Now not all runners are like me and can talk while they run, but if you are one of those people bring a friend. Go to the gym and have a friend hop on the treadmill next to you and get caught up on sports or gossip. To each their own.
Break it up- Sometimes when nothing is working and I can’t keep my attention I will break up the run. I will do a mile or 2, then I will lift some weights. Once I am done I will go back and do a few more miles. It’s not the most productive run, but you are still logging the miles and strengthening your muscles.
If these all fail you then you may want to just brave the elements. I know I would much rather face the cold than the treadmill, but sometimes even I say it is too cold.
At what temperature is it too cold for you to run outside?
How do you stay focused on the treadmill?