The 2018 Treadmill Entertainment Awards

Row of Treadmills

One of the best things I read on Instagram in all of 2017 was Esther Atkins saying it’s not a “dreadmill,” it’s a “dreammill.” Yes, running outside is totes the best — I’m not sure anyone ever started running because the treadmill was so inspiring.

But the treadmill is a great tool to keep your training on track and your dreams in sight, especially in the winter months when it’s dark all the damn time and the weather stinks. Knowing it’s a great tool doesn’t make it less boring, though.

We rounded up our favorite podcast, show and movie recommendations — and we want to hear yours, too, so be sure to leave a comment!


S-Town — this podcast spread like a wildfire through the Salty contributor ranks and we had to dedicate a whole Slack channel just to podcasts with intense spoiler policies. It rocked our worlds.

Dirty John — A true-crime podcast from the LA Times that Olive binge-listened to in a week.

Heavyweight — “The podcast that goes back to when people’s lives went wrong.” Host Jonathan Goldstein tells the story of people who feel like their life took a wrong turn somewhere — leading them back to that point so they can confront it head-on. A little bit psychology, a lot “This American Life,” completely fascinating.

Sword and Scale — Okay, maybe we have a thing for true crime. Olive notes this one is creepy and not for dark solo runs.

Serial — just in case you missed the boat on this one. (You’re not the only one, it’s okay.)

Missing Richard Simmons — I (Chicory) am not an outdoor headphone wearer, and podcasts don’t do it for me on the treadmill. But this one? I ran with my headphones every chance I could until I finished it. Don’t read about it before you listen to it.

How I Built This — an NPR podcast in which Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies.

Make Me Smart — another NPR podcast, this one with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood, about the economy, technology, and culture. It’s somewhat news-based, but not entirely, so you can listen to current episodes or backtrack to ones with interesting topics (like the avocado toast episode)

Shows and Series

Will & Grace — the reboot is just as campy as the original.

This is Us — On my list because Mr. Chic doesn’t like it, but better if you can watch on a home treadmill with your box of tissues because crying on the gym ‘mill is tres awkward.

The Crown — A Netflix drama that follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. Two seasons!

Friends reruns — this one gets nominated by Saltines each year. You can add Sex and the City to that mix, too. Also Buffy.

Reign — similar to The Crown, a Netflix historical drama series tells of the rise to power of Mary, Queen of Scots, amid a court full of sexual and political intrigue.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace — the second season from American Crime Story (who did The People v. OJ Simpson last year), premiers Jan. 17, 2018. Did you know Versace was murdered? I didn’t. And, Darren Criss from Glee is the bad guy. Can’t wait for this to start.

Fixer Upper — We’re about to say goodbye to Chip & Jo but thankfully there are five seasons of this show to watch. And it is almost always rerunning on HGTV. When in doubt, I turns on HGTV at the gym.

Orphan Black — A sci-fi kinda action thriller. Hard to explain without giving anything away. I blasted through four seasons on the treadmill last winter.

Shameless — A dramedy based on a British series centers on siblings in a dysfunctional Chicago family who struggle while coping with their alcoholic father.

Bloodline — Avocado is digging this Netflix series about “when the black sheep son of a respected family threatens to expose dark secrets from their past, sibling loyalties are put to the test.”

UTMB Ultra Trail World Tour series — free on YouTube.

Flotrack documentaries — also free on YouTube, including features on Shalane, the Colorado Buffaloes, Kara Goucher, Alana Hadley, and more.


I Am Bolt — a 2016 bio pic about Usain Bolt.

Tracktown — Alexi Pappas co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in this coming-of-age sports movie.

Wonder Woman — because what’s more motivating than watching freaking Wonder Woman on your long run?

Breaking2 — the documentary special on Nike’s attempt to break 2 hours in the marathon.

And, Anise reminds us you can get your favorite ’90s movies on the cheap from Amazon — that’s what she does when she’s on the bike trainer.

Looking for more recommendations? Check out our post from 2017! 

Let us know what you’re watching and listening to!

Started running in my early 20s and ended up running my first marathon 15 months later. Managed to break 3 hours in my 12th marathon. Pilates instructor passionate about the importance of your powerhouse in running and the mind/body connection. One husband, zero kids, mama to one Australian Shepherd.

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  1. “Crying on the gym ‘mill is tres awkward.” Hee, that made me giggle. For that reason, Call the Midwife def at home, and I’m also really digging The Magicians (loved the books) and for more girly brain candy, Drop Dead Diva (not as silly as it comes off as, and I love me some Brooke Elliott.
    Ohmigsoh, S-town was insane. As always, podcast favorites include Ask me Another (NPR). Oh, and for something completely different, BBC radioplays of Agatha Christie novels have made my long runs something I look forward to. They’re on

    Thanks for the tips, and happy milling!

    1. YA dramas are the best! And running makes me feel less like I’m losing brain cells when I watch them, ha! Have you done reruns of Gossip Girl? I worked on it years ago and recently went back … OH SO GOOD.