There are only three modes of treadmilling as far as I’m concerned

The Three Modes of Treadmilling: Sleeprunning || Illustration by Asti @

There are only three modes of treadmilling* as far as I’m concerned. No, I’m not talking about “warm up”, “fat burn”, or “cardio”. That is the normal answer and there’s never any type of normalcy here. No, the three modes of treadmilling I’ve had the most experience with are: sleep-running, dancing, and crapping.

C’mon, I know you want to know more.


The first mode I’ll mention is probably the most dangerous, but one I find myself turning to the most often: I sleep-run. Now, I don’t mean this in the sense that I actually get out of bed in the middle of the night and hop on the treadmill. I wouldn’t mind if my body was that productive and I just woke up feeling fit and toned, but no, I’m not that talented. Sleep-running for me is running on the treadmill with my eyes closed.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that my environment isn’t changing on a treadmill so is mostly boring or if the rhythm of the speed I set myself on lulls me into a daze, but something about jogging on a treadmill just makes me want to shut my eyes – and I usually do. I’ll hold onto the handles and just close my eyes, exiting my mind and just allowing my body to go, go, go. There’s something relaxing about doing so, just trusting my body to do its thing while my mind shuts off (though I do have to stay somewhat conscious so I don’t misstep and fall off).

It’s not something I’d recommend (that’s right, no doing it and then suing me thinking I recommended this – there’s no money to be had here), but it’s a staple of my own personal treadmilling experience.

The Three Modes of Treadmilling: Dancing and Crapping || Illustration by Asti @



My second treadmilling mode is devoted to dancing. And no, it doesn’t involve anything choreographed like what you might remember from OK Go’s Here It Goes Again video (though I’m sure I look just as fabulous). You see, I listen to music while on the treadmill and if I’m not passed out in my sleep-running mode, I’m usually singing and dancing to whatever song is playing via Spotify. I pump my arms in the air, do some fancy footwork, throw in a couple of shimmies. I feel absolutely ridiculous doing it but I can never resist the urge to break loose, especially since I’m just in a room by myself with no one to judge me.

That being said, this mode is most prevalent in my warm up and cool down stages. Once I’m actually going it’s a bit hard for me to both run and dance, I’m not that coordinated, though sometimes I still try.


Oh, this last stage. It’s the stage I always hope to avoid but one that sneaks up on me every so often: the crap stage where I literally feel like I’m going to crap myself. I’m sure it’s because the hour or two I wait after lunch to do the treadmill isn’t quite long enough to clear things up beforehand, but for some reason I can’t figure out a better time to do it. In the mornings I rather do yoga and I lose all motivation at night.

And it’s horrible! I can be running and feeling good and then suddenly cramps. Clenched butt cheeks. The worrisome question: can I make it until the end or am I going to shit myself? A majority of the time I can manage and then take care of business after my cool down, but I’m not going to lie, sometimes there’s just no choice and I have to quickly turn the treadmill off and run to the bathroom.

I know, I’m so attractive.

So there you are, my three modes of treadmilling. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Whether treadmill or not? Walking or running? I need to be assured I’m not completely alone in my ways (though let’s be real, I probably am, I’m a bit of a weirdo). If you don’t experience these, what DO you do on a treadmill? How do you keep yourself engaged without sleeping or dancing and how do you avoid the crap attacks? Let me know in the comments below!

*Also, I’m aware treadmilling isn’t actually a word but that’s too bad. I’m like Dr. Seuss, I work by my own rules here.

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11 thoughts on “There are only three modes of treadmilling as far as I’m concerned

    1. I can do a steady jog with my eyes closed, yes. I feel like once I get in a rhythm with my stride I can grab on and go without looking. I don’t think I could do it off a treadmill though. I feel like it’d be very easy for me to trip up on something. But as long as I can hold on, yes, impressive sleeprunning for the win 😉

  1. You had me at the crapping, so damn funny (and recognizable). Although there’s an easy enough solution for that when you’re on a treadmill… the bathroom is nearby. Not so much when you’ve only ran 5k out of 10 and the crapping mode comes on, lol. Then you’re a LONG way from home.

    1. Haha, remember the conversation we had? I told you I planned on writing a post about it in the future (well, not our convo specifically, but the crapping issue, haha). And yes, I do agree that it’s a bit more convenient if that strikes while on the treadmill. My biggest issue though is that I find once I get off the treadmill I have little to no motivation to get back on so I really try to push myself to stay on for my full thirty minutes or whatever before running off to the bathroom and sometimes putting it off like that is a bad, bad idea, haha.

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