Treadmill v. outside


I am new to this forum.. have been quietly reading for the past couple of weeks but thought it was time to join in!

I keep being told that rnuning on the treadmill is much easier than running outside, however, my times are just as good outside as they are on the treadmill, and I in fact seem to find it harder on the treadmill sometimes (restrictive). Has anyone else encountered this? I am starting to wonder if the speedo measuring thing on my bike is wron and I am incoreectly recording my times outside??

Any thoughts??


  • General reckoning is that if you put about a 1% gradient on a tready, then that simulates the resistance of the road. Works pretty well for me anyway.

    I find treadys hard work just because of heat build up.
  • Different people prefer different things. I find it easier on a treadmill just cos there are no hills - unless you use an incline, no wind, no cars to stop for, no dog mess to avoid, no lumpy grass and an even, soft running base.

    But as a relative newby to outside running I love the feel of the wind/sun/rain on my face and the feeling of actually getting somewhere.

    I will continue to use the treadmill as I can combine weight and cross training too, but prefer the great outdoors.
  • tready - hard to go for long, they can knacker you fairly quickly where if you were outside, you would be able to continue on, I think its partly a psycological thing
  • Thanks for your replies.

    I find that my legs have to move much faster on the treadmill - more steps to go the same distance as outside. Maybe this is due to the freedom of movement outside, taking lkonger strides??

    I will try the 1% incline thing, thanks..
  • I've been a user of treadies for quite some time (used them for much of my FLM training in 2000 and this year), but I still find them pretty unsettling for a variety of reasons - see my moan on Wednesday Plodding thread. But for all that, will continue to use them, with all the above provisos (incline, speedwork mostly etc), as and when!
    Oh, and Domm, welcome to the madworld that is the Forum!
  • see the latest issue of RW (June - just through the post today) on page 30 for treadmill vs outside
  • Is it on the site too, only (don't shout this too loudly) I don't subscribe to the mag!
  • sorry, mag only!
  • Ah well.
  • i find it easier to watch tv on a treadmill
  • I find that treadmills have too much bounce and the running action is very repetitive - I also find it hard to maintain
    my motivation on them as the boredom
    factor kicks in - also if you've run 5k away from home on the road - then you've little choce but to run back - whereas with the
    tready you can just get off - but basically
    I think they are no fun
  • I love running outdoors because the country trail behind my flat has loads of interesting birds and small farms with donkeys, horses, and cows that peek over fences at you when you run by. Visiting (i.e. greeting them as a I plod on by) with the animals slightly distracts me from the "I'm going to die" feeling I get at the 1.5 mile mark!
  • Karen
    What are you doing awake at that time???????

  • Froggy
    I woke up at 4.30 for some reason! This is not a usual thing. :)
  • I've spent about the last 2-3 years running exclusively on treadmills at my gym, though having said that only for the last 6 months or so have I been doing it seriously putting in about 20km a week, with the odd outdoor run for good measure.

    The thing that I like about the treadmill is that its easy to set my pace and measure my performance - not to mention the ability to switch off my brain and listen to music.

    Lately I've been preparing to run in my first race - The Great Welsh Run on Monday - so I've been doing about 10km with a 2% incline. Fingers crossed I'll get through it OK.
  • Good luck Andrew. :o)
  • Jose.Jose. ✭✭✭
    Martin Fiz, European and World Marathon Champion, said on RW's Spanish version that he made one of his best seasons training during winter on treadmill.

    For me bad weather=treadmill
    good weather(doesn't mean sun)=outside
  • Thanks, Sam.

    Treadmills are definately nice when the weather's a bit dodgy. I reserve my rain drenchings for the gold course! ;-)
  • Whoops - that should be Golf course.
  • I used to enjoy the treadmill until I started going outdoors and the first time I went on the treadmill after a fortnight of outdoor walking/running both my knees were wrecked! I knew there was something wrong with my gait pattern on the treadmill at the time and it turned out I'd been laterally rotating my knees (which you can't do) as I ran on the treadmill. I'm sticking to outdoors despite the dodgy weather.
  • I am just starting to run again, I do actaully have a good commercial style treadmill in my conservatory and it would be tempting particularly in cold/poor weather to just use this. However I have recently taken to running outdoors offroad as my dog gets nothing out of watching me run on the treadmill.

     I was concerned to read above that the treadmill uses different muscles, does this mean it will be far less use in training for half marathons? Or would 2 outdoor runs and one treadmill run per week still be a good combined training schedule? I like the idea of running on the readmill when the weather is dodgy rather than postponing my planned run.

  • I have a treadmill at home. Its not too expensive £300 from argos.

    Outdoor runs are on the whole more fun than treamill runs. And the majority of my miles are logged outdoors. But then, there's real lfe. On winter nights when its snowing or raining, the treadmill is a real friend. Sure, you could put on some warm clothes & a waterproof, but I've tried it & its no fun!

    Or when you finish work late & want a 11pm run, then there are no drunks in the streets to contend with.For ladies, there is also a safety issue.

     So, the treadmill supplements my training & I have have found it very useful.  

  • Well - I have always used the treadmill at the gym but recently decided to buy one for home and quit the gym.  Since then my running has improved loads and I decided that now I can comfortably do 5K running on the treadmill I needed to venture outdoors.  I did this a week ago and ran about the same   5K distance and couldn't walk very well for 2 days haha so the difference in muscle use is very apparent.

    I think once I get use to running outdoors I will prefer it but I will always use the treadmill inbetween.  I am female and I know come the winter its not going to be easy getting outdoors so the tready will be very handy.  I think its all down to preference and if you have room for one at home as they are rather large image

  • I find running on a treadmill is good to mix up a gym session but I can't do it for long.  I also find it difficult to run at exactly the same pace for very long - when I run outside I can't stay at exactly 10.6km/h so in one way it's good for learning pacing, but on the other it doesn't feel very natural
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