Treadmill vs outside



  • I've been running for many years and did start on the treadmill and have to say from memory that it was hard to start running outside again after using the treadmill. Now after 4 years of running outside I only use the treadmill during the winter as it gets very cold here and icy. I also love doing my speed sessions on the treadmill as I seriously push myself and it seems to work wonders for my outside running. I think the best thing to do is a bit of both when you are training, it also keeps boredom at bay in both areas because I do find that if you don't have time to find a new route outside, you get bored of your usual outside route (hope I make sense there) However I do hate the fact that I always come back to work bright red after my speed sessions on the treadmill as I feel as though I look considerably unfit but then I think its me being silly!
  • I'm sure one of the top womens marathonners won London after almost exclusively running on treadmills.

     Greta Waitz did nearly all her training on a  treadmill

  • Just to add my two pence. I run on road and treadmill.Run on treadmill at more than one gym.

    I get the feeling not all tread mills are calibrated accurately, for example 10 km feels harder on some than on thers, at same incline. So, I would not take the actual speed as gospel. Think this may account for some people finding it easier others harder than running on road, at what is thought to be same speed.

    From a personal point of view I find it tougher after about 40 mins on tread mill, due to lack of cooling/looking at same wall all time.But, as someone else pointed out I think it is good doing long times on one for mental training.


  • I have a tougher time on the treadmill than I do outdoors.  I love running outdoors even below 0 degrees.

     I agree with NiftyAMP.   I think the machines are calibrated differently.  Being petite and a competitive racer, I have a tougher time on the treadmills than my friends who are taller and absolutely out of shape!  Maybe its the monotony or the dizziness from 40 min +  on the machines, but I need to get outside unless it is icy.

  • I thought it was Ingrid Kristiansen who did the majority of her training on the treadmill, perhaps both Ingrid and Grete Waitz did!

    And I wish I could add 15 seconds a mile to my treadmill time to equal my outdoor time. My 10km best on the treadmill is 33m 34s, and my outdoor best is 38m 29s! Both of these were within a few weeks of each other last year. I was probably doing 75% of my training on the treadmill though...

  • (Waves hello to BO)

    Wolfy, I've had similar discussions over the years but I'm not so confident when it comes to an incline. My rudimentary physics tells me that this is the same as running uphill but when I run up a hill outdoors it does feel as though I'm using my quads more than when I set an incline on the treadmill. I suspect that the hills I run up are much steeper than the incline of a treadmill - what do you think? 

  • I can't work out if my treadmill speed is in mph or kph. Reading the thread i would have said mph which would make me quicker on the treadmill than outside. But i'm wondering if i am actually slower on the treadmill as i have previously done all of my running on the roads. I know...I'm confused. I have a half marathon pb of 1hr 31 and a 10k of 41.43 which roughly means i race at 7 min miles, but when i run for 30 minutes on the treadmill at a testing but comfortable pace i cover 5.5, but of what miles or kilometres???? if miles this means i'm running under 6 min miles but if kilometres this means i am very slow on the treadmill, any tips for how i can work this one out as i could do with knowing how far i am running in what time as i am training towards a sub 3.30 London marathon.
  • I use a gym once a week but probably would never have bothered if it hadn't have been for snow and ice stopping me running for about a week and a half a couple of winters back. I have kept it up because I end up doing a greater range of stuff in the gym which can't be a bad thing. I use it more in winter than summer although the weather has to be pretty evil to keep me indoors.

    Treadmill running is dull and hot but I like that it's flat and paces me, which becomes a transferable skill and helps me to be more "metronomic" outside. 

    In comparison to running outdoors I think it depends where you live. I'm lucky that I have a beautiful country park to run in (Sutton), but when I lived in inner Birmingham I think I might have preferred the treadmill! 

    One thought that occurs to me reading this thread is the complaint about treadmills being placed opposite mirrors. I have always thought this is an attempt to combat the psychological impact of "running into a wall" as it were. If the treadmill is in the middle of the room thats fine, but if it faces a wall, give me a mirror every time!

  • Deffo outside, unless it is absolutely chucking it down, then go for the treadie.

  • Outside rain or shine.  Do a rural route and watch the nature/seasons change. No apologies, I'm a definite tree-hugger.

    Treadmills are only ever good if you absolutely can't get out - i.e pitch dark and dangerous. 

    Best run = freezing cold, virgin snow, out in the countryside - what a buzz.

     Roll on a proper Winter ! 

  • Most find it the other way around.  this happened to a friend of mine, but his GPS was MPH and his treadmil was in KPH!!  He was shocked to find he could not sustain 10 mph on the road!!! Easy mistake to make i guess?  Well maybe not!!
  • Outside all the way!

    I trained from (begginer) on a treadmill until i could run 30 minutes and then i started running outside and almost died on my first run after about 10 minutes image but it does get easier quickly outside.

    I am easily running 5/10k on the roads now and have not touched a treadmill for weeks/months and i would not go back to one even if it was a blizzard...

  • Outside is most definitely best IMO . . . one thing I look forward to at the weekends, getting out and running image rather than having to resort to the dreaded treadmill as I have to during the week image

  • Teadmill - shite

    Outside - just right.

  • Treadmills are great - simply put yer hands on the side rails and push just fly along.  I managed 45 mph the other day.  Dismounting was a wee bit of a bugger though!!

  • Just in case it hasn't already been mentioned.  Studies have identified that running on a treadmill is equal to 1% downhill; therefore that could be one reason why the treadmill seems easier to get up to and maintain a good pace.

    I run on a treadmill and also outdoors.  To make the treadmill session a worthwhile one, I always use the "random" program option which basically alters the gradient between every 30 seconds or after a maximum of 2 minutes.  Doing this makes the run a lot more interesting and varied.

  • I started on a treadmill doing 10k in an hour as training for my first 10k which I went through in about 54 minutes even though it was partly off road, so I find outside a lot easier cause I was knackered after the treadmill but felt pretty good after the race, so the treadmill doesn't even give me any indication of how good I am at running outside.

    Went back to the treadmill after the run and I agree with everyone who says it's boring, I just can't stand it for more than 2 or 3 minutes now so trying to do any kind of running is just impossible unless I'm outside, wind rain or snow.

     Even as a math geek and all the numbers in front of me on a treadmill there's only so much I can do to entertain myself before I just get fed up.

  • I must be weird as I find it much easier to run faster outside!! May have something to do with my gym is very hot due to the daft temp they set the aircon to! Stupid DW Fitness!! I sweat buckets on that darn treadmill but just find it much easier to run at a faster pace outside as you don't get bored and go through spells of faster pace on downhills etc
  • True true how can you get bored with all the ladies in lyrca too!
  • Treadmill was definitely 'easier' for me, but utterly boring. When I started out running, I started on the treadmill, I was 2 stone overweight and didn't feel confident running outside with all my wobbly bits image When I did my first run outside it was incredibly difficult, and I questioned whether I could keep it up! But a few weeks later I was fine and it didn't feel such a struggle. I still sometimes use the treadmill, but only to do intervals. If I really have to, I also use it during the winter when it's icy outside.
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