Running a half-marathon is no small feat (just ask any runner out there!). Weeks upon weeks of training are crucial to successfully complete a race injury-free and with a time you’re happy with. Follow YouBeauty staffers Julie Ricevutoand Amy Marturana as we train, interview professionals and address every running concern we can think of to prepare for our very first half-marathon on April 19!

Bored of your daily treadmill workout? We are too. The endless running can feel like you’re going nowhere with your workout, and in reality, you’re not exactly moving forward on that stationary machine. But if it’s a bone chilling -10 degrees outside or if you live in a city full of perilous cab drivers and never ending stoplights, treadmills might be your only option for a good ol’ cardio workout.

Being in New York City, the above problems are as real as it gets, but treadmills just seem so…dull. Desperate for some way to liven up our workouts (and train for our long-anticipated half-marathon!), we spoke with Olympic runner and class instructor at Mile High Run Club in NYC, Michael Stember. Having competed in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, he seemed like the ideal person to help put some pep in our step.

Mile High Run Club is essentially the same as the cult-favorite spinning studio SoulCycle, but instead of stationary bikes, treadmills line the room.  The workout we tried was “The Distance” which is their more advanced class targeted at people looking to focus on longer runs (marathon trainers, etc.). As Michael kindly reminded us, “Mile High Run Club has cracked the code to making your indoor runs more enjoyable.” After putting their class to the test, here’s what we learned about livening up your treadmill workout.

1.    Incorporate Hills and Sprints

Increased inclines and short bursts of sprinting kept every runner in the room focused. Let’s be honest, running at the same pace for an hour would bore anyone to tears. The short intervals gave each of us a goal to work towards (sprint for one minute, a jog for two, etc.). If sprints aren’t your thing, raise the incline and lower the speed to switch things up in your run. Either way, the intervals will keep your mind from wondering on your run.

2.    Use Sturdy Equipment

Using old or run-down equipment could make your run feel forced or could lead to an injury. Michael confirms, “the machines at MHRC are very high quality and are a sturdy responsive machine, versus a 1980s treadmill that you see in many gyms. It works with you to enhance your payoff from the workout.”

3.    Find Your Run Partner(s)

Every trainer will tell you that a workout buddy increases your performance and the likelihood of actually working out, but with treadmill running, it’s especially important. “When running with a partner outside, you must find your exact match to run at the same tempo. On treadmills that’s not the case. Running in a collective group indoors stimulates the mind to beat the monotony or running indoors.” Michael states. So next time you hit the gym, bring a run buddy at any level of fitness. Running with people directly next to you can help build a competitive edge.

4.    Perfect Your Form

Running outdoors can be very distracting and difficult to perfect your running form. But running indoors allows you to focus on finding a comfortable rhythm for your run and to really think about your form. The mirrors allow you to see yourself and ensure your form isn’t off (which could lead to injury). Keep a bend at your elbows at about a 90-degree angle, and keep your legs centered and your stride streamlined. Time will breeze by as you spend time focusing on fixing your form!

5.    Minimize Indoor Workouts

Michael also recommends doing both outdoor and indoor running if possible. “Outdoor running is beautiful and will definitely break up the dullness in your treadmill runs.” By kicking in the occasional outdoor run (even if it’s a short one out in the cold!) you won’t dread your treadmill run as much.

Ultimately, the key is to remember why you started running in the first place. “I chose running for it’s objectivity and absolute results that are mathematically based. It is a solitary climb that allows you to attribute your own successes to yourself.” Whether you’re training for a half-marathon, or simply trying to be heart healthy, keep your original motivation and these treadmill tips in mind so you’ll never get bored while running again!