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A Small Adjustment and a Plan Made All the Difference

Mindset Made Simple Tip #61 - To watch or listen, click HERE!

Treadmill running. Ugh! Some say it is good.

Some say it cause injury and then some.

No matter what camp you believe about running on a treadmill, we can all agree that it is best to stay on it to avoid the real injuries that could occur!

I often quickly reflect on the positioning of the treadmills in my home gym. Behind them is a brick wall. Because of this, staying on the treadmill is a must!

I really contemplated the wall in my workout room on Sunday as I dove into my morning workout.

I often do interval training - running minute or so on the treadmill, hopping off to do the same on the rower, maybe throw in a weight training exercise for the same amount of time, and so on. Fun stuff.

I normally listen to a podcast while running, but since it was Sunday and my commitments were going to keep me from going to church, I pulled up a sermon by my cousin Mark (Discover Church/Wadsworth in case you are interested in a good message – you’re welcome, Mark 😊) on Facebook.

For some reason, Facebook closes when you open other apps, so I had to use my interval timer without seeing the running clock on my phone.

No big deal. UNTIL…the timer “dinged” at the end of my interval and I almost fell off the treadmill.

Skittish runner, I guess!

After this happened more than once, I decided an adjustment and plan to implement the adjustment might be in order.

I have my intervals set at 1:07 to allow for transition from one machine to another. This is normally a great setup for me…until I realized I now had to add and subtract while sprinting to determine when the “dinger” was going to sound.

I tell this story because as I ran, rowed, and did math, I began to think about how our mind works when it expects something (or it doesn't) and when our environment changes.

The unexpected “ding” almost sent me into the wall. The expected “ding” , when I can see the timer, is simply a signal to move to the next exercise.

What does this mean for performance?


I experienced something that quickly threw me off my pace…it made me think about my steps…it even got me all screwed up getting ON the treadmill.

Once I started thinking about the chances of falling off the treadmill, I began to analyze everything about my running…which made me even more skittish and decreased my performance almost immediately. I was slow to get on and hung on a second or two longer than when I just hop on like

I do hundreds of times a week. I anticipated the ding which screwed up my pacing and I was tentative getting off, which slowed me down and wasted time!

WHAT THE HECK? All because a “ding” startled me once or twice!

Had I continued running just anticipating the ding…whenever it came along…I would have had a horrible workout, could have caused myself an injury (at my age, this is not hard 😊) and would probably have caused a tentative approach or my next treadmill workout. (Don't try this at home, but the more you think about hopping on a moving belt, the harder it is!).

BUT, adjusting for the “ding” changed everything.

I quickly identified the obstacle and got back on track pretty quickly.

By creating a plan to anticipate the “ding” with intention and information, I improved my workout almost immediately.

This plan may have had a more significant effect than first anticipated.

My counting FORCED ME TO BE PRESENT. I was into my run…fast and smooth…knowing when it was time to stop!

Anticipating the “ding” without a plan had me time-traveling and worrying about what might happen if I got startled. It forced tentative steps in anticipation which slowed down my pace and aerobic conditioning and it made my body tense, ready to grab the rails to avoid a jolt when I heard the sound.


We get tentative, tense, and then…terrible!

I am normally very confident in the fact that I can get on the treadmill, sprint, and hop off at any time. However, there are times when things in our environment change, and they can mess with even our most ingrained skills.

To avoid a decrease in our performance, it can be very helpful to have a plan…for the unexpected as well as the expected!

The old Excel formula of “if X, then Y” works in performance as well as in setting up your spreadsheet (I act as if I know about spreadsheets😊).

Anticipating a problem does not mean you are taking your eye off the goal or looking for obstacles to trip you up. It means that you are ready to attack anything that stands between you and that goal.

I do these minute intervals often. But my environment changed which changed my performance.

I had a choice. I could figure out how to adjust or allow it to ruin the workout.

This is a simple and almost silly example, but so many times we don’t adjust. We don’t plan. We just plow ahead and accept the outcome.

Making a choice to make an “if X, then Y” plan. Making a choice to be present and attack the situation, no matter how simple or complex. Making a choice to control what we can control improves EVERYTHING we do!

I cannot control the fact that Facebook will not allow me to see the running time on the clock.

But I can control how I use the other clocks in front of me to ensure I am performing at my best.

Adjusting, having a plan, and controlling what we can is a sure-fire way to get better whether you are just trying to have a good morning workout or win a championship.

Things never go exactly as planned. How we choose to face those the things around us that throw us off our game makes all the difference.

Plan. Adjust. And figure out what you can control! You decide which order these things occur and watch your performance improve!

Here’s to present-minded and injury-free treadmill workouts!

Have a great week!


P.S. I would love to help your team increase its performance. Give me a call or text at 234-206-0946 or send me an email at to set up a team session!

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946




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