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Treadmill versus Outside Running. Inside, Outside – Get Out There

January 10, 2013

What’s better for me, treadmill or outside?

Okay so this is off the back of my first question for #trainwithlouis

Lets look into this

Benefits of treadmill

  • No worries about waiting for traffic, dogs.

This is annoying stopping your stride to wait to cross a road and having to bounce on the spot. Also if your running around a park as your routine you have always got to be wary of pesky dogs

  • All weather conditions

Sometimes if you look out the window and it is raining heavily, the thought of running outside is the last thing on your mind. Also if it is snowing/icy the conditions may be dangerous and could lead to slipping injuries. Also there is no wind resistance meaning you are more efficient.

  • Guilt free TV

If you can’t go outside and your barrier is “I need to watch the final episode of a crime drama” Right first of all most people can record TV or watch it on catch up online, but if you need to watch this then why not run at the same time. Most gyms have monitors or TVs nearby

  • Easier to carrier drinks on runs

If you doing longer runs than 5k it is always best to take on some fluids and most half marathons provide re-fueling stations . Obviously you need to practice this in your training, people find it difficult/annoying carrying when out running and running machines normally provide a drinks holder.

  • Easy to set your pace and measure your performance

When you are out running, unless you run at your “normal” pace it is difficult to understand what pace you are running unless you have an expensive watch that breaks down lap times like a Garmin (I have the Forerunner 405x) With a treadmill you can set the pace and stick to it, this is great for speed sessions, as I find it difficult to run at my maximum pace pushing myself.

  • Softer, less impact on the knees

The running belt is lot better on the knees as it gives more than the concrete of the roads and pavements, also you can be confident you will not encounter pot holes or lose slabs.

  • Testing your new trainers out before you run

This allows you to go for a 5k run testing your new shoes and if you have any blisters/dont get on with them you can take them back without wearing them….


Benefits of outdoor running

  • You can walk drop pace instantly

If you get too hot when on the treadmill it is difficult to take items off as you can not drop pace quickly especially if you are on a routine on the treadmill. Also you are never relaxed because you have to run in a line and make sure you are not near the edges of the machine, you are also more likely to lean forwards to catch up. All this means your form could be compromised. With outside you can look into the distance and keep your tourso upright maximising your lung capacity ability

  • Soft Tissue conditioning

Sorry to break your bubble if you are training for a race or fun run then you will have to eventually run outside. So when it comes to race day it will be a massive shock to your body. Your joints will not thank you for solely using the treadmill as running outside will condition your legs.

  • Boredom as repetition

Some people get bored running on the treadmill because you are constantly looking at the same wall and the same people next to you. After all variety is the spice of life. Also it can be very boring running at the same pace.  Plus it always good to get fresh air gyms are a breeding ground for germs all that sweat.

  • Cost of treadmill

You need to have a gym membership/signing on fee or be lucky to own a treadmill yourself, sophisticated ones cost over £1000

  • Break free from staring eyes

Okay so people will still see you outside but the lighting will be less extreme, also in the gym people will see you for a long period. This is good if you are just starting out or self conscious, you can always take a left then a quick right whereas on the treadmill you are there for all and sundry to see.

  • Use training to explore your local area

I find it fun to explore and know different areas of Bristol as I have only lived here for 13 years there is still areas I know little of. Also it is good if you run near restuarants to see if there is a deal on at the moment!!

  • You can run at a pace that is comfortable to you

With outdoor running you are listening to your body not the treadmill and with everything related to running you need to listen to how you are reacting to paces because you could end up doing more damage than its worth by running to fast.


My thoughts

I prefer outdoor running and the freedom it provides I can change my course, see the sights of Bristol. However I am pretty hardcore and would go out running in every condition. I am trying to encourage people to get into running so whichever works for you. One word of advice if you are looking to treadmill run it will be easier, so to replicate outdoor running you will need to set the resistance to between 1-1.5%.


Happy (Indoor/Outdoor) Running!!

Thanks for reading all comments on your views are welcomed  


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