Killing time during a long workout

Since I started logging my time for 168 Hours, I’ve been trying to exercise 5-7 hours per week. This used to be relatively straightforward — I’d run 5 miles 5 times per week and maybe do one day of cross-training.

But as I’m well into my third trimester right now, I’ve cut down my running mileage a bit. I’ve started logging more hours on the bike, and am also running more inside (since I overheat when running at noon outdoors in the summer). While 5 miles outside is pleasant as I watch the city scenery go by, 5 miles on the treadmill is deadly boring, even if I try to focus my mind on  a certain issue or problem and listen to music. So is 60 minutes on the bike. I have been hunting for ways not to feel like I’m wasting time.

One solution I’ve hit upon is to read the books I’m reviewing or citing on the bike. While I know this means I’m not pedaling full out (if you can read, your heart rate is probably not higher than 155 beats per minute), I figure by adding another 10-15 minutes I can make up for that. If I’m reading something I enjoy, the time goes quickly.

I’ve also been trying to time my treadmill runs to when there’s a TV show on that I might be tempted to watch while not exercising (which is truly a waste of time).

Eventually, when I get back to running more outside, I’d like to find a running buddy to make the miles go faster. I ran a couple of times with my sister-in-law during a family vacation in Florida a few months ago, and enjoyed that. I used to run with my husband, but he’s faster than I am, and plus I log most of my mileage during the “usual” workday. Ideally, my running buddy could be a professional colleague, and we could bounce ideas off each other.

I’m curious if other people have good ways to make the most of their longer, but less intense workouts.

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