Treadmill Thoughts

Yesterday, I only had an hour to fit in a running session before my review meeting. This lack of time meant that heading to the university gym for a dreadmill sorry treadmill session was my only option.


I’m lucky that my university has a great gym with a decent variety of cardio equipment. I was aware that the gym had taken delivery of some new treadmills and was looking forward to testing one out.

I arrive at the gym, pay my £7 entry fees and get changed. Bonus Emma points; I had remembered my padlock, trainers, socks, sports bra, running shorts and running top. Unfortunately I had forgotten my towel, again.

I was feeling really pleased that Emma the technophobe had managed to workout how to use the new treadmill. Go me! However, always double-check the units in the settings. I started running at what I thought was a sedate 10 kph, after nearly falling off the back of the treadmill I realised that the settings were actually in mph.

I soon settled into a decent running rhythm, and before I knew it I had been running for almost 10 minutes. After 10 minutes had passed I started to get bored and my thoughts were totally random.

“I’ve got to run faster and for longer than the bloke on the treadmill next to me. He’s cheating because he’s holding onto the front of the machine pulling himself along”

“Stop interfering with other people’s training Emma. Just concentrate on what you are doing”

“Bugger, have I only been running for 12 minutes”

“Which idiot put the treadmills right next to the toilets? The smell is making me feel sick”

“I think I need a wee”

“My thighs are rubbing together, this never used to happen”

“Why don’t the new treadmills have TVs. Why didn’t I run on a treadmill with a TV?”

“God this is so boring”

“I’m too hot, I need a drink”

“This gym really needs better air-conditioning”

“Ohhhh. My foot isn’t hurting, perhaps I will be able to complete a marathon again”

“Should I enter the Great Winter Run?”

“Don’t be stupid Emma you might not even be in the country next year”

“Let’s think of an animal beginning with A *struggles* I know, I’ll recite the alphabet backwards”

“Bugger that I’ll count to 100. I remember reading that Paula Radcliffe did this during marathons. When she had reached 100 she knew she’d run another mile.”

“I really need a drink”

“Why didn’t I run outside”

“This Nike hairband is rubbish”

“My hair is really starting to irritate me”

“I’m boiling”

“I hope my review meeting goes well”

“Was I meant to prepare anything for my meeting? I hope not”

“I really need to update my CV”

“Shit! My meeting is in less than 10 minutes’ time and I can tell that I’m going to look like a beetroot”

After 20 minutes of completely random thoughts I’d finally reached my target distance. I looked like a beetroot, but I made it to my review meeting on time. Although I looked terrible I felt amazing after my run, the meeting also went well.The beetroot runnerPlease tell me I’m not the only person who has completely random/pointless thoughts while training on the treadmill.

After three years as a PhD research student have I finally lost the plot?

Do you have any tips for staying sane on the treadmill?


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