why so much slower on the treadmill???

I was just wondering if anyone could explain image why I cant seem to run as fast on the treadmill as I can outside? My pb for 5k outdoors is 33.43 but I cant seem to get a pb below 38.00 on the treadmill? I really thought it would be the opposite and I would find it harder outside (weather etc)! If I speed up the treadmill to match my speed outside I feel like im sprinting and could never maintain it without falling off the back of the treadmill as its way too fast for me!image I suppose its not a big deal but if any1 has any theories I would be very interested to hear them! Thanksimage


  • DLDL ✭✭✭

    It's because treadmills are evil little buggers that are designed to make running miserable - that's a scientific fact.

    Glad to be of help image

  • I don't think its just the treadmill where this happens. When you think about it, Usain Bolt never gets a WR in training. Its difficult to keep up race pace for a whloe training session.

    I never get anywhere near my Parkrun times in training.... and I dont really count a PR as a race, more of a trial.

    Think its a bit psycological too... pumped up for a race, more adrenaline etc.

    Don't worry that you are not hitting race times in training, just look for consistancy, and a slow improvement. Race day will sort itself out.

  • Thats all very true, I think i'll just carry on as I am and stop being so obsessive about times etc! It is much more motivating when u have other people around you and you have a destinaton ahead. I much prefer running outside but unfortunately I live in a not very nice area & its not very 'pedestrian friendly' eg. lots of underpasses etc (if i want mugged!), I dont always have the time to drive somewhere to run but I do try and keep treadmill training at a minimum! Thanks image

  • DL wrote (see)

    It's because treadmills are evil little buggers that are designed to make running miserable - that's a scientific fact.

    Glad to be of help image

    Love it image

  • Are you sure that the distance is the same?

    It may sound stupid, but is your outdoor 5k really the same distance as the treadmill 5k?

  • Im not sure there's any way of measuring how accurate the treadmill 5k is?, Im assuming my outdoor 5k is accurate as its my local Parkrun!

  • An outdoor 5k is 3.1 miles where a treadmill 5k is 0 miles.
  • JamesBJamesB ✭✭✭

    It is psychological - running on a treadmill is physically easier, but so very very dull - your brain tells your body sod this for a game of soldiers.

  • Your treadmill COULD be calibrated wrongly.

    But if you're racing its always easier to push yourself. Its harder alone, on a treadmill - theres nobody to keep up with or chase.

    Chain up a fierce barking dog just behind the treadmill, who will bite you if you fall off the back.  Set the tready to do 5k at your parkrun pace and off you go. Perfect.

  • madmickiemadmickie ✭✭✭

    i'd go with the calibration and/or you just are unhappy running on the treadmill. I don't think parkrun motivation can account for 5mins.

    Get someone else to do run on it and see how their times work out or go and run on a different treadmill.

  • This is very interesting because it's exactly my experience. When I'm on the treadmill, I'm amazed that I run at the speed I do outside.

    Apart from any physiological factors - that paradoxically are supposed to work in favour of treadmill running - I think it's mainly about distraction.

    There are so many things to look at and people to talk to outside. Also, when I am running on a treadmill with good music or - even better a TV screen - it seems easier.

    Three friends recently ran 7 marathons in 7 days on treadmills for charity!

  • i think its all in the mind. what i mean by that is...... on the treadmill you know there are no bumps in the road so you can run and look around the gym, have a chat with someone and actually pay no attention to your feet at all. when you're road running your inner risk analysis kicks in and thinks 'wait a min, i could get hurt here' ergo, harder work and slower pace.

    i find it easier to run at a faster pace on the road. I also find it easier to forefoot run. On the treadmill i heel strike alot because i think my body is lazy and too relaxed in knowing on the treadmill its a smooth surface, on the road my upper leg works harder which in turn gives me good running form (which is good for me because i'm recovering from shin splints)

    I have come to realse I only get shin splints when i do alot of running on the treadmill. FACT!


  • Treadmill calibration can be very unreliable. Another logical factor is that your muscles get less cooling when inside as there is no fresh air. If you are getting hot, then more blood is diverted to your skin to aid cooling, which means less delivery of oxygen to help your muscles work effectively.

    On the few times I've run on a treadie, I've always brought along a dirty great fan and turned it on to full power. I normally always prefer to run outside, except in the most extreme of weather (high winds or below -10C).

  • Yes, i'll have some of that! i was pretty chilly when i ran outside pain free

    some 6 months ago all i thought i had to do was wear a decent pair of insoles! silly girl!

    dirty great fan lol!


  • baldblokebaldbloke ✭✭✭

    probably because treadmils are really boring!

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