How I learned to read and run on the treadmill

 Hi friends! How’s the day going?? It’s been back in the swing of things over here. It also felt good to get back into the routine. I woke up early (my internal clock is somewhere on the east coast after traveling so much the past month), grabbed a banana with almond butter,


and went to an Orangetheory class. I made it twice this week, and it felt AWESOME. Today was a strength day with hills, jump squats (we did 100!), and unilateral strength work, which I love.


Some eats from lately:


(oats with almond milk, walnuts, cinnamon and berries)


(awesome salad bar, quinoa, roasted veg, sandwich and baby chia pudding)

(apologies for the iPhone pics! I hardly took my camera out this week)

With traveling, it was fairly easy to stick with workouts since the hotel had a great gym. I didn’t think we’d have enough time to hit the gym -when I’m on another time zone, I like to sleep until the last possible second haha- but we had some downtime, which was great. I didn’t pack gym shoes, but wore these goofy fashion-y sneaks for a treadmill walk (25 minutes)


and got in a 30 minute Physique 57 online class in the hotel room. I am obsessed with Chad’s cardio blast class! He has an awesome energy.

Quite a while ago, when I mentioned that I finally learned how to read and run on the treadmill, a few of you asked me for some tips. This is something that I’d been wanting to be able to do for quite a while, and it always seemed like it was hard to keep my eyes on the lines of text. 

Here are some things that helped:

1) Go more slowly than usual until you get used to it. I used to get frustrated because I’d try to run at my normal base pace with the Kindle, and always felt I couldn’t concentrate. When I decided to go for it, I ran at a 6.0, and my usual bace pace is around a 6.3 or 6.5 depending on how I’m feeling.

2) Find something to read that you’re obsessed with and can’t put it down. I’m pretty sure Big Little Lies was how I learned how to read and run on the treadmill. Liv was in childcare at the gym, so I wanted it to make a quick cardio session, but wanted it to be sweatier than a power walk. I also had Big Little Lies on my Kindle and COULDN’TWAIT to know what happened. So I told myself I was going to read and run, and for some reason, it finally clicked. I think it’s less motivating if you’re reading a text book or something you’re kind of “meh” about. It needs to be a juicy “” type read. 😉

3) Use a treadmill or cardio machine that has the book or Kindle at an appropriate level that doesn’t compromise neck position. Make sure that you’re not looking down too much, or too high, so that you’re able to maintain proper breathing techniques.

4) Keep good form, and try to minimize a ton of bouncing. You want to be light on your feet of course, but if your torso is bopping all over the place, it’s going to be much harder to read. If anything, try for a couple of minutes, take a break to walk or do some strength, and try again.

5) BE CAREFUL. Make sure you can still focus on what you’re doing. I don’t want to hear about anyone falling off a treadmill haha.

Do you read while you do cardio, or watching movies? Or do you prefer to just zone out with your playlist? Anything you’re reading that you’re sucked into right now? I’m excited to finish The Book Thief. How’s the movie??

Time to get ready for barre. Hope you have a great night!



Something to do: this arm burner! When we shed our wool coats and sweaters, those guns are gonna pop 😉

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  1. Kelly S. on February 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    i also found making the font a little bit better helps too!

    In grad school I always studied or did note cards when I was running or on the ellitical. I’m convinced it someone how me special memorizing power!

  2. Linda @ The Fitty on February 19, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t think running and reading is good for the eyes–I think i’d rather do that on a bike and watch TV while running instead(uhm, the FOOD CHANNEL is amazing motivation, lol!)

  3. Anita on February 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Totally agree that it has to be something you LOVE to read… that makes the trouble learning worth it. 😉

    I also find that reading on a Kindle is much easier than reading a normal book — not sure why. Maybe it has to do with the brightness? It’s nice not to worry about turning the pages / keeping it flat, too.

    Always, Anita

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      i definitely think the flat surface helps!

  4. Allison @ Wine and the Wooden Spoon on February 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve always wanted to be able to run and read at the same time. I think I would kill myself trying though!

  5. Carrie Wright on February 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    The movie is good too. Definitely! You should see it. I haven’t tired the whole run and read thing but my gym just got new treadmills and I think they might be perfect for it. Hopefully it will warm up outside soon so I won’t even have to deal with it.

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      i hope so too!! i will definitely watch the movie 🙂

  6. Annie B on February 19, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I’m not a big treadmill-er anymore, but in college I would always study my class notes on the treadmill! It definitely takes a little practice, but works well for steady-state!

    I’m planning to pick up Big Little Lies after I finish The Husband’s Secret! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      you will love it, especially if you like the husband’s secret. i think it’s even better!

  7. Kandi on February 19, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I’m LOVING The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair right now…I’m almost 3/4 of the way through it and I can’t wait to find out what happens!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      ohhh i will have to check it out!

  8. Chicago Jogger on February 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I just finished Big Little Lies a few days ago and it was soo good! I always get a little dizzy trying to read on the treadmill, but I think it’s because I always tried holding a magazine and awkwardly bopping it around. Definitely trying your techniques using my phone/Kindle app 🙂

  9. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on February 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve been reading and walking on the treadmill more lately. It really helps crack the boredom once you can wing it!

  10. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola on February 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I cannot read and run on the treadmill. I would probably fall on my face 🙂 I’m not much of a treadmill person in general but if I’m on there then I like to just be able to zone out.

  11. Cindy on February 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    We did the same workout at OTF but with normal squats. It was a killer workout but felt so good! Wish you lived closer to OC so we could meet up for a class one day

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      ahhh i wish we could, too!

  12. kristin | W [H] A T C H on February 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    i’ve never been able to read on a treadmill, but do enjoy it on a long ride on a stationary bike. props to you for being coordinated enough to do so!

  13. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on February 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Oh wow where is that salad bar from? It looks amazing!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      it was one of the lunches we enjoyed this week- i need to ask again who catered it, because the food was awesome

  14. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on February 19, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I’ll sometimes do some review for class on the treadmill, especially walking. It’s a great way to not sit all day!

  15. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger on February 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve been reading Wild on the treadmill by making the letters HUGE on my Kindle, and just zoning out. Has made this cold weather a little more bearable!

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      i’ve been wanting to read that! excited for the movie, too!

  16. Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz on February 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I read my kindle on the stair master and I swear it makes my cardio FLY by! People ask me all the time how I do it? and I respond with: How don’t you? The days that I forget to charge it or leave it at home I am so bored! Back in the day before eReaders were all the rage, I would read magazines and books and they would be so trashed and half stuck to my forearms after one session. Just another reason I am so thankful for modern technology! 😉

    • Fitnessista on February 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      amen to that!

  17. Bethany on February 20, 2015 at 1:29 am

    I love to listen to podcast while working out. It is a great opportunity to learn, plus I totally zone out all the stresses while listening. Keeps me too busy to think 😉

  18. Addison on February 20, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I love watching Friends or Sex and the City while I’m on the treadmill haha. I have fallen off treadmills before though!

  19. Nicole on February 20, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I never read while doing cardio–I love just listening to the music and zoning out, it gives my brain a break. Maybe someday!

  20. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on February 20, 2015 at 7:40 am

    My problem is the treadmills at my gym do not keep the kindle at eye level I have to be looking down and find myself trying to keep my head level but peering down to read, it’s not a good situation. Considering I just downloaded 6 books on Kindle Unlimited it would be super helpful to be able to read and run!

  21. Kathy on February 20, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I have “read” on the treadmill (or any equipment really) and on dog walks forever! …with my ears LOL I always have one regular book going on my kindle and one going on my Nano from Audible. Having a great book to listen to solves all of this for me.

  22. Melissa Sternenberg on February 20, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Nice to see a blogger that also does Orange Theory! I started them last month and WOW, do they kick my butt!! Great blog post!

  23. mary on February 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Incline walking is great for you and an easier option for the clumsier of us.

    The Kindle Paperwhite is a little easier than the keyboard one, too, I think, because it’s bright and you can just tap the screen to advance the page. Though I miss the text-to-speech option that the keyboard Kindle has, for the occasional outdoor walk with ‘reading’ combo.

  24. Tracy on February 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I’ve read on the elliptical and stairs for years but have never tried the treadmill. I’m afraid I’d wipe out!

    The movie is very good. I recommend!!

  25. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on February 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I must admit, I’ve fallen off of a treadmill before at top speed, so I am EXTRA cautious. I don’t think I’ll dare try reading. 🙂 Glad you’ve figured it out though, and thanks for the tips!

  26. Nicole @ Runs & WODs on February 20, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Reading while running on the treadmill takes some serious skill! I can barely run on the treadmill without worrying about falling off!

  27. susie on February 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I think I may have gone blind from reading while running 🙂 however I have now discovered the most amazing invention in the world – if you’re a kindle reader you can add narration to your book ( you can even add narration after you’ve already bought a book!) And that way you can actually listen to the book off your kindle (depending on if your kindle plays audio) or even on your iPhone through the kindle app! But the best (seriously, the BEST) part is that you can actually read and listen at the same time so even if you’re going too fast for your eyes to focus perfectly you’re keeping track of the story because of the narration. If you’re on an android or kindle device I think it even highlights the words to sync with the narration. You can usually add the audio for like 5-10 bucks (which admittedly is not exactly cheap) but there are tons of books where you get the audio for like 1.99 extra. I cannot tell you how I love my long runs now … Its like reading time and running time got married and had an amazing baby.

  28. Mariah on February 23, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Reading my Kindle is the only thing that keeps me going on the treadmill! If it’s a good book, I can totally zone out. With 3 kids at home, it’s hard to get time to myself so it’s awesome when I can go for a run AND read something good! I read the Book Thief last year, mostly while running on the treadmill and really enjoyed it! I’m reading the Outlander series now and really like it. A couple other books to check out are Orphan Train and Unbroken. 🙂

  29. Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me on March 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I have never thought to put cinnamon on my bananas + peanut/almond butter. I need to try this now- thank you for the idea Gina! I keep forgetting that you live in San Diego as well! I am currently a freshman at SDSU, and I would be honored if I got to take one of your classes sometime or meet you! Do you ever do meet ups?

    I was never been a member of a gym until I got to college. It’s included in my housing, and I found I love running on a treadmill for the set pace! With that said however, I get so bored on treadmills! I find myself stopping early not because I am tired, but because my mind is tired. I’ll have to give some of these tips a shot. Thank you for the blog post of resourceful information. #5 is certainly most important!

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