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I think that treadmill running is inherently boring and that lack of mental stimulation is the price of avoiding the weather. That said, if you're a competitive or performance-oriented person, it might help to focus on racing and how the workout will help you in your races. I often think about races past and future and of how I might react if a certain situation arises in a race. Be careful if you try this on the roads, thoughts of racing often lead to subconscious increases of pace which won't help if the goal of the workout is recovery.
Definitely and there is also benefit in controlling pace – effort, really – consciously and not relying on a machine for that. I often see the fact that a treadmill can be used to 'lock into' a certain pace touted as a benefit yet I see that as missing out on a large benefit of training, the mental aspect of having to fully stay on task and hold effort to an appropriate level. Just like the neuro-muscular issues between treadmill and dry land running are not going to just resolve themselves (and why I shake my head in wonder at Galen Rupp preparing for a European cc race on carpet in a climate-controlled hallway), the mental differences are not going to just have some magically perfect crossover, there is a significant disconnect.