Gym or Street ?

Hi all, I'm a complete newbie to all this, so i plan to follow the walk a bit/run a bit progression, untill i can do a 30 min run. Is it better to do all this on the gym treadmill or all out on the roads, or, a bit of both ?


  • wherever you feel more comfortable
    personally I'd hit them streets asap
    good luck

  • The title of this was "Street or Gym" or something like that ? The answer is "STREET" unless the recent snow means it's too slippy to run there - it can never be just too muddy or too cold (not in England/Britain - are you in England/Britain ? ) - do it in the street unless there is a good reason for doing it somewhere else (being too DARK could be a valid reason for doing it somewhere else by the way)

    Ciao, ciao

  • If you can hack the cold, then go for the Street, the treadmill does not use the same muscles as normal street/road running, and so the sooner you take the plunge the better.

    Best wishes, NN
  • Agree - definitely better to take to the road as soon as possible.

    It is much easier to walk/run on the road where you simply have to change the speed your legs are moving at than on the treadmill where you keep having to adjust the speed of the belt and where you always have half an eye on the console.

    It's also far more interesting being out and about. And, as NattyNoodle has already said, treadmill running does not provide quite the same training for your legs as road running.

  • Definitely Street!!
  • Well I will play devils advocate and disagree a little. If you are already a member of a gym then by all means use the treadmill to gain some experience of running. Put it on a 1 degree incline and away you go, also treadmills are generally a bit gentler on the legs.

    BUT treadmills are no substitute for getting outside, so do this when you are feeling more confident.

    Oh, and get some decent running shoes whether running outside or on a treadmill.
  • Hi Rhino - I agree with everyone who's said 'street''s much more interesting, I think, that running on a treadmill. BUT I'd qualify that by saying if you'd rather start on a treadmill, just to get you going, then go for it.
  • Again, I do agree that street is 'better', but for a real newbie, I think a treadmill (being easier), is perhaps the best place to start building aerobic and cv fitness levels.

    Then move onto the street when you feel more confident about achieving the distance/time you wish to do on a certain run.


  • Both.

    Treadmill can be useful for judging pace and building on your CV work. Also, whilst at the gym you can do a bit of cross training and resistance work. I find the gym useful when my marathon training says "2 miles fast" because i can't be bothered to get changed to just do 2 miles so I go to the gym and do the mileage on the treadmill and then chuck some weights around or use the rower.

    Street, well you really just can't beat it, unless you use trails as well. You get to see other runners and there's always somewhere to spit. Plus, it's more interesting, gives your legs a better all round test and makes other people realise that you can actually run. My favourite time to run is about five o'clock at night so I'm moving faster than all the sad commuters stuck in their car. makes me glad to be alive, even when it's raining.
  • Thanks 4 all this advice. It's given me a bit more confidence to get out there earlier than i otherwise might have. Think i'll try day runs outside and night sessions in the gym.
  • I'm an opinionated old b*gg^r but I would go straight for the street myself. I tried the gym first off and couldn't get on with it at all, weights etc., great, but running no.

    The street is much more interesting and serves to keep your motivation up even on a slight negative eg.

    Running on treadmill, feel like stopping = stop and get off!

    Run a mile or so from home, feel like stopping = you've still got to get home and whether you walk or run it's still good exercise!!

    And in the confidence stakes, (just read you other thread re weightloss) don't forget;

    You could easily be fitter than most of the people you see out there even if you've just started

    Not all slim people are fit, they just like to think they are

    Most of those you see max exercise is a walk to the station

    If other runners see you, they'll be as pleased as the people on the thread that you are doing something!!

    Go get em

  • Rhino--it all depends on how good the totty is in your gym. If there's loads, stick with the treadmill. If not, head out . . . !

    Ahem. If you're already going to the gym, or the weather is inutterably vile, run in the gym. If not, run outside. You'll soon find out which you prefer (and it'll probably be outside).

    I used to find treadmill running much easier than running outdoors, til I realised I was going at half the speed on the treadmill because I was afraid of falling off! So I could go twice as far. In theory treadmills do teach you how to run at exact speeds, 6 min mile or 8, or whatever, so they are useful for that too.

    Happy running!
  • I hear what everyone says about Streets being the best. But personally as a beginner I have found treadmill a much better start. FOr me anyway...not having done ANY exercise for years and with zero running experience...I found the treadmill better in terms of a) removing uncertainty re: which routes to run on the street b) it was bit easier physically c) I could carefully monitor speed and distance.

    This is the problem I still have with streets running (the little I have done)...I have no clue whatsoever re: how fast I am going (I like to aim for a specific speed to maintain) and I have no clue re distance run.
  • Just come back from my gym running sesion. As far as i've found, the benefits of this are;
    I get to watch totty while running
    I can watch tv while running
    I can run plugged into my walkman and not get mugged
    I can tell exactly how quickly i'm going
    The downside;
    I have to pay for the pleasure
    It's dam hot

    Still the main thing is i ran, i enjoyed it and i plan to run again
  • I've just tried a treadmill for the first time, (I usually run around the streets). It was completely knackering even at a lower speed than I usually run. I'm also very stiff!
    Either I had the incline on without realising or running outside hasn't made me as fit as I thought!
    I think running on the road allows you to subconsciously alter your speed to suit your knackeredness rather than having to run at a constant speed.
    If that helps!
  • Rhino - great stuff. As you say, the main thing is you ran and enjoyed it...that, in the end, is the bit that matters.
  • If you are going to run outdoors try and run off road,grass is more forgiving on the joints than tarmac.
  • Hi Rhino

    When I started running, I did a bit of each: treadmill, roads and grass. But definitely outdoors now!! But as beginner, definitely start off slow, I used to run too quickly and I was knackered after 10 minutes. This put me off and I didn't run for ages because I thought I was too unfit to run! Two and half years on, I just love it, I can't believe that I can run over 10 miles CONTINUOUSLY, I'd never think it would be possible....once you get used to the outdoors, spring and summer will be a good time to do outdoors, you'll never go back to the treadmill, unless you really have to!

    Happy Running!

  • I'm a complete novice -only been 'running'( I use the term loosely at this stage) two months -but never on the street - yet. Frankly the thought terrifies me, but I know it's got to come - good to know hto' that so many of you much prefer running outside - get the feeling I'm missing out on something!

  • I do have to agree with everyone that says Street is best.

    No matter how many sarcastic comments I've had, I'm just happy in the knowledge that I'm out there doing something to improve my fitness whereas the people making any comments are probably couch potatoes out to get more crisps from the local corner shop. And they probably used the car to get the 100 metres to the shop as well!
  • I would definatley have to say outside running is best. The major problem that I ahve encountered with treadmills is that they are sooooo boring. I usually run with an MP£ player on anyway but any mre than half an hour on the treadmill and it just get a wee bit too dull.
    One of the main advantages of the treadmill though is that you do have all the correct distances etc (Im sure some of them are wrong though) but this can be countered if you buy a heart rate monitor and you could drive the routes that you take to mearsure the distance and from that you can get your speed etc)
    If you are running outside though I would definatley reccomend that you first get a good pair of running shoes, the roads can be horrendous for dishing out injuries like shin splints and the like. Your body will let you know if you have done too much too soon.
  • Nooooo Hooose - that's number isn't to tell us that he is version 17 of David Taylor, it's one of those cinema age restriction doobries. Anything he says is only suitable for people of 17 years of age and above!
  • Personally I can never run on a treadmill. I find it sooo boring.

    Outside you can get out into the countryside, see the wildlife nad breathe in the fresh air.

    I think it is the difference between exercising for exercise sake and exercise for enjoyment. Just get out there and enjoy the ourdoors, sprint to a tree if you want to, stop and look and the badgers if you want to. The time just flies
  • As a new runner myself I started on a treadmill for the 1st week, now on week 6, this was mainly as it was easier on my poor legs and also because I felt so shockingly unfit when I started. Though once i could run for 20 minutes I started outdoors.

    I'm lucky enough to be only 2 minutes from a 3mile off road trail, so no vehicles to worry about.
  • Well, I can only speak from my own experience, but I'd recommend starting on the treadmill. I was far too fat and self conscious to go outside at first, so I made sure I could do 5k at a reasonable pace before I ventured outdoors! All depends on self-confidence and the route you're planning on running. I found it easier in the gym because the treadmill is so controllable and I worried about pacing myself outside. After I ventured out, I found I love running outdoors, but for me treadmills still have their place. I use them for interval training and speed work and like long runs outdoors.
  • I agree with Twinklemel.

    I realised my love for the running game on the treadmill. I train about 4 times a week. Usually 3 times on the treadmill and at the weekend outside.

    Sometimes the other way round, but these mornings are even too hot for me at the mo.

    The treadmill helps me with my pace, although it is harder outside, but more exciting x

    I too use them for interval training x

Sign In or Register to comment.