Treadmill Vs Outdoors Running
There is no denying that running is a great way to expend some pent up energy and it helps us stay in great shape. However, there is a lot of talk among dedicated runners about the benefits of running on a treadmill compared to running outdoors. While it may come down to personal preferences there are certain benefits of treadmill running Vs. outdoors running.
1. It’s All About The Weather
Running outside on a cool autumn morning is energizing. The landscape is stunning at this time of year, the stifling heat of summer has passed and the freezing cold has not yet begun. Unfortunately, the weather can’t always be this idyllic for runners which is where running on a treadmill is a definite advantage. Treadmill exercising has no limitations on the weather. Rain, hail or sunshine, the treadmill is always there, ready and waiting.
2. Day Or Night? No Problem
Any time of the day or night may be ideal for running but in some city or suburban areas, it may not be safe to run after dark. Having a treadmill means you can run whenever you want to regardless of the time of day. This is a definite benefit if you work long hours or if you’re a shift worker. Having a treadmill means you can always sneak in a run before you hit the shower and go to bed. It also means you can go for a run at any time if you find you can’t sleep in the middle of the night.
3. A Safe Place To Run
Running in the city or suburbs may not always be an option. There may not be a decent pedestrian path and running on busy roads can be downright dangerous. Then too, you may have running trails in local parks and forests but these paths are often an obstacle course of rocks and exposed roots. If you lose your footing even for a moment you can topple over and injure yourself. You don’t have this problem with a treadmill as the track is always smooth and obstacle-free. There are also no cars to worry about so you can run with total safety and security.
A treadmill is also a great device for runners who have sustained an injury. Running outdoors can be a little too challenging after an injury and you find yourself in pain, you face the dilemma of having to get yourself home. This can be a real problem if you somehow manage to get a considerable distance away. Running on a treadmill means you can stop and relax if you feel pain or discomfort and you can always wait for the pain to ebb before you keep going.
4. Incorporating Other Workouts
Treadmills are great to incorporate with workouts such as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Workouts) like Tabata training. You can use the treadmill to either include a high-intensity burst or use it to transition from one workout to another. You can also grab weights and other implements and give yourself a really good workout and use the treadmill at the same time.
1. Training For The Big Race
If you’ve signed up for a marathon or ultra marathon you need to train every single day. While training on a treadmill is fine for fitness, it’s not the best option if you are training for a race of any description. It’s almost impossible to match the conditions of running outdoors, even if your treadmill does have different incline and decline options. You will also not get used to different weather conditions on a treadmill. When you run outdoors, you will have moments when you are running against the wind and other times the wind will be pushing you forward.
2. There Are No Limits On Your Stride
When you go for a run outdoors, you can really give your legs a good stretch and run. You can alternate your stride and lengthen it or shorten it depending on how you feel and where you are running. This is something you can’t do on a treadmill. If you really like to fly on a run, you are better off running outdoors.
3. Running Outdoors Is Rarely Dull
Running along the river, a forest trail or the running track at the park offers some really spectacular views which makes running more enjoyable. Many people can run for hours in these settings. On the other hand, running on a treadmill can be pretty boring at times. Unless you can set up your treadmill next to a large window with a stunning view, you may find that 10 minutes on the treadmill feels more like an hour, compared to an hour running outdoors that simply seems to pass in a moment. Some people have even compared running on a treadmill to a hamster running in a wheel. The hamster is constantly moving, but he isn’t’ going anywhere.
4. You Can’t Beat Fresh Air
Very few people work within normal working hours anymore and it is not uncommon for a normal 8-hour shift to go longer. These working hours really limit our outdoor activity time and over time, our bodies crave fresh air and sunshine. While running on a treadmill is better not running at all, it’s important to get outside as often as possible. While it is not recommended to run in the heat and during the hottest part of a summer day, early mornings and evenings are ideal for runners. If you can find a running trail that goes through a forest, all the better. Nothing will rejuvenate you more than putting on your trail running shoes and running through nature. The views will relax your mind and the fresh air will do wonders for your respiratory system.
Treadmill running and outdoor running both have their advantages and disadvantages and what works for one runner, doesn’t necessarily work for another. In an ideal world, an avid runner will have access to both and alternating one with the other will come with added benefits. At the end of the day, the most important thing for a runner is to keep going. Choose what works best for you and, if possible, alternate between the treadmill and outdoors so you can enjoy the best of both.
- 14 Tips For Treadmill Running – Verywell Fit