Treadmill Versus Road. Easier, Harder or Just Different?


  • Personally although I do some short training on the treadmill I find it really boring. I seem to get obsessed with how far and how long i've got left to go. Don't seem to have this problem on the roads.

    I guess its easier coz you don't have to have hills unless you want them, the weather isn't a problem and theres no traffic. But I still prefer to be outside even if it is p***ing down and blowing a gale.

    If running on the treadmill remember to put it on a slight incline (1%). This makes it more comparable to running on the road (the road doesn't move, the treadmill does).

    Give it a go - I know alot of people who do the majority of their on a treadmill. I guess its down to personal preference.
  • Lanny is right there - I use 1 or 1.5% gradient and my times are the same as running outside.

    It is great for short measured runs, when it's horrible outside, interval training, when your longs are in the wash etc....

    I can only do about 40 mins max though - I get too hot, so I do the long runs on the outside.
  • Once did 2hrs on treadmill....blew my mind..never EVER again!!!!
  • 2 hrs !

    Must have been a Kylie weekend on MTV ?
  • I once did three hours! Can you imagine doing a marathon on a treadmill? Not even Kylie can save your brain from frying.
    The floor all around the treadmill was covered in lucozade bottles. The gym instructors gave me some funny looks but no one said any thing.
  • Wasn't there some bloke a year or two back who missed the start of the London Marathon having overslept. D'oh. So he pegged it to the gym and did the 26.2 on the treadmill while watching the race on telly so that he could still get his sponsors to cough up.

    Am I making this up?
  • 2 hours - 3 hours

    You must be mad!!!!!!!!!!
  • The treadmill is ok if you can't run anywhere else for whatever reason and you are only going to do a short distance, but it can't ever replace running outside.

    Having run on a wide variety of surfaces I would say that you can still work hard on the treadmill. However, it is easier in some repsects as the belt moves you along, but in other ways it's harder as you get bored quickly and I personally always find there isn't enough air in gyms-especially when there are lots of people in there.
  • I find treadmill good for intervals.
    I know it is sl easier than road but i find it harder simply by fact it is more boring.
    Is good though when someone thinks they are really speedy and run next to you - run faster but only last 5 mins ! sorry- competitive streak.......
  • I'm now fully converted to outside..rain,sleet or snow
    Only use T/M for 2miles after weight training.
    Can't imagine why i did 2hrs was a long time a solar system far away(the force was not with me)

  • I still use mine once a week. 1 hour @ 70% MHR, just to gauge fitness levels. As for another 3 hour session, once bitten .......
  • It the combination of beating all the other people (who are generally awful in gyms) and the fine ladies to be found running (theres something about a swishing pony tail)
  • I used to only use the Treadmill an hour at a time but now can only have long runs outside. I still use the Treadmill at the gym but only for speed work- 400metres fast, 400m recovery as speed/distance is easier to monitor.

    Anyway, you can't get lost on a Treadmill which is half the fun of running anyway!
  • There is no comparison to running in the lashing rain and howling winds and resultant total solitude !
    However, being lazy by nature, I do find intervals better done on the treadmill for two reasons. there is the accuracy of distance and pace ( although proper use of heart rate moniters will overcome that ) and its much easier to go the distance and not slow or stop short of the distance or time !
  • I find the treadmill harder, my best 10k time on the road is 50.26, however if I try to run 5min KM on the treadmill I feel as if I'm sprinting - so bizarre! Why is that? I always thought the treamill was easier but I am now converted to running outside.
  • I always feel like I'm running much faster on the treadmill than I really am - I think its coz your not actually getting anywhere
  • Kermy - I thought it was just me that gets competitive on the treadmill. Glancing over to see what speed the next guy is running at and then making sure you are running about 2k faster.

    Sometimes a good recipe for throwing up though.

    I agree on the ponytails, and don't forget the wide range of mainly tasteful tatoos on show these days in the local gym.
  • Velociraptor made me do 30 hours on a treadmill once, as part of his training of crosses. Velociraptor is a meanie! Treadmills are dead easy compared to outside. For starters the track 'pulls' your legs along so you don't have to push of as much. Curious, what's the max speed (minute miling) on most peoples gyms' treadmills? Mine's 5 minute miling.
  • Agree with others about speedwork. Can keep a higher speed for my tempo run on the treadmill which then does translate to speed on the road.
  • Longlegs,
    If you go to my gym ( not mine I mean where I go), I find it more difficult. Why ?
    The treadmills are just behind the windows where the sun shine thru & there is no air conditionning. I always find it a lot easier to do a 5K on road.
    But in the other hand, you can do exatly what you plan to do on the treadmill using the different programes.

    I find treadmills useful & convenient during the winter but I would say outdoor is the best.
    Treadmills are probably harder for yourself(Or myself) as it's boring, you can't let your mind be free you are very aware of where you are.
    I am sorry if it doesn't make any sense I'm on cider... but I hope you know what I mean?
  • Reading thru everybody else messages, most people agreed that treadmills are boring!
    But we need them!
  • Treadmills are brilliant for speedwork. After months of weekly sessions I've just cracked a very important mental (and physical) barrier 12 x 3min at 16kph. I know I run much better in races if I do two weekly sessions on the mill
  • the editor,
    16kph... and I thought 12 was vey fast!
  • Thanks. And I'm very, very old but still determined to get even faster in races
  • I am using the treadmill now for my interval sessions and Hill sessions and my easy Off Road sessions the rest I am doing outside
  • Seems there are some inportant differences in terms of running form between treadm9ill and road.

    have a look at this link for a fairly in depth research based article. certainly worth alook if you are serious about this stuff.

    Personally I think £40 a month is a bit expensive for gym membership, for hill sessions and intervals I still think the road is best, and much more specific.

    Hope this helps

  • You've probably guessed by now that my typing is dreadful.

  • My Gym memebership is only £20 a month this includes unlimited access to the Gym and Pool, I don't think this is too bad.
  • Interesting link Chamac.

    Basicaly then, treadmill running is not as good for you as running on outside.
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