Gym or Street ?



  • Hey there, I am also very new to all this running,but I am looking to take part in a half marathon.I am now able to run for 30mins on the treadmill, but I feel that I'm not getting the best out of my run. How can I improve?
  • Treadmills can be very useful if testing out after injury - you can stop if it hurts without having to worry about getting back home. I use both, but the treadmill is very booring - couldn't cope without the radio & Johnny Walker! It does help with speedwork & timed distance runs though.
  • I started on the treadmill, and think it's good if running is not something you've ever done much of. You can start off slowly (I walked on it for the first two weeks), and there are fewer things to worry about (cars, dogpoo, uneven surfaces, darkness, weather, being far from home, and just the unstructured style that outdoor running brings). There are also usually qualified people there to help you out, there are other fit/sexy people to look at and get motivated by, and there are usually TV's or entertainment, so you can distract yourself whilst your body builds up a tolerance.

    Having said all that, I agree with the majority of replies - being outside is great. Despite being a 45-minuter on the treadmill, I did have to start again when I went outdoors, getting used to all the elements mentioned above, aswell as the local pikeys watching me as they lurked outside Mothercare. But I did get used to it, and am now running 1hr20 outside, and did my first 10k race on Sunday.

    If you like gadgets and you've got some spare cash, try a Garmin Forerunner 201 - it tells you your speed, distance and time, so it's a bit like you're on a huge world-sized treadmill. Which of course we are.

    And the best advice has already been given - do what makes you happiest.
  • Roads are great, but with dark winter nights, poor road surfaces, waiting to cross roads, dog dirt and people walking or talking that would rather see you run through mud and puddles than make a little space for you to pass, I personally think tread mills have a useful place in any winter training program.
  • At the moment, the weather is simply horrid. I'm getting more confident on the treadmill, and will probably join the running group at my gym which is divided into groups (10 minute mile, 12 mins, 7 mins I think) as I would feel a lot safer going out and about in a group - the social aspect would also be good.
  • I started on roads, felt too self concious to go to the gym, and also the road is just there out the front door, and free. At this time of year though I have to run twice a week on a tready at the gym because its pitch black by the time i finish work and hae had a scary mopment with a wierdo in a car (I wasn't in the car btw!!)

    Agree that treadmills are useful for winter running, but you can't beat the road and the great outdoors!!
  • I can't stand treadmills...does anybody else just watch the seconds go by, its so frustrating i cant do more than 10 minutes. On the road time just flies by! I would recommend cross country at this time of year, its good for the knees and great fun
  • Just starting out on this 'running thing' too. Have completed one road run (walk 2 min, run 2 min) and was going to just stick to road running as I begrudge paying extortionate gym rates.

    However, as I have entered into the Great North Run (self-bullying to excercise and motivate!), should I also run / train on the threadmill or can I do it all with road / outside running.
  • Entering a race is the only way I get motivated! You can do it all outside if you want, I would if it was light in the evenings all year round but when its dark I use the treadmill more as a matter of personal safety than anything else!!

    Also there are NO hills where I live so the tready comes in handy for that, and since I've been usuing the treadmill I've found I can maintain an even pace better.

    Good luck with the GNR!!
  • Thanks Lottee, at the moment the hills are my foe!!! As someone has said earlier in the thread, for me runnig outside and having to get back to home under my own steam is better then going to the gym as I would give up too easily )-: GNR here I come.

    Good luck Rhino, this thread has been of help and motivation to me too.

    On a seperate topic, does anyone know how I shrink an image from 114kb (gif) to the 12kb so that I can insert in my profile?
  • I too am very new to running and started training on the treadmill having given it a wide berth for a year. I thought that by starting on the treadmill it would boost my confidence a bit and I got to the point where I was running for 4 mins rest for 1 min for a total of 24 mins, really thought I was making progress I then realised that I needed to start running outside, what a shock I got, I couldn't run for more than a minute and probably had to walk for about 3mins for a total of 24 mins. My confidence was shattered and I ve been out twice now and its not getting any easier. I ve been on nights the last 2 weeks so havent been able to get out and try and improve. I dont find running particularly easy so if your like me I would say start running outside as soon as you can because it is much harder than the treadmill. I can see the benefits of using the treadmill but perhaps they are of more benefit when you are able to run a decent length of time and use them when the weather is not so good or its too dark.Next run ( i use the term very loosely) for me is on saturday. I ve put my name down for a 5 km fun run in the hope that it will give some impetus to my training. Any top tips gratefully appreciated

    Mary T
  • dear Tufty

    I too would like to be able to change my photo but have been unsuccessful the picture looks like some dodgy bloke which is allright if your dodgy and a bloke but im not either

    mary t
  • I'm tryin to put on a photo of my Guinea Pig, so god knows how that will be intrepreted!!

    I did my second run tonight (so far to go!) and feel it has been of better benefit than the first. On Monday I did running for 2 mins and walking for 2 mins and could only do 4 repetitions - it knackered me. I hate excercise and am completely unfit so tonight changed to running for 1 min and walking for 1 min and managed 9 - feel much better after it. For me it is going to be a very slow gradual ramp up. I also got a cheap running watch from Argos and find the repeat countdown on it (1 min) invaluable for sticking to the regime.

  • I got the free watch with running world but have yet to fathom out how to use it so at the moment its lamp post to lamp post I also find listening to music helps and blots out the pain adn certain songs seemto spur you on up that hill

    Mary T

  • Mary - you will get the hang of outdoor running, I assure you, and it's so much more fun than a treadmill. Just give it some time.

    As for the photos, you can upload a new photo, but Runners World approve them first, incase you've put anything dodgy in your pic. So wait until tomorrow during working hours, and your pic might well appear.
  • Mary - I think its easy to run faster outside than on the tready, as in you tend to run faster without realising and therefore can't run for as long, if that makes any sense. On the treadmill you can set the pace and just plod along. (thats what I find) Try to slow down if you can, I struggled to run slow enough outside to start with. I have the free watch which is good but I have lost the instructions so any tips on how to change the hour (when the clocks go forward/back) would be appreciated. I only use the timer, as can't remeber any other instructions.

    Well done Tufty on the 2nd run, its good that you managed more time running this time.

    I did my first 'speed' work session on the tready this week, god it was hard. When I started running I was knackered after about half a mile, but have built up to 10K over time and am now starting to add some 'speed' sessions and it reminded me of when I first started it was that hard, but good also. Nice to have a variation and to push myself again!! Anyway, better get to work, good luck with continuing the running everyone!

  • Hi Everybody

    New to this forum and thought I would throw mt twopence in. Many moons ago (1991) I ran outdoors and even managed to do the half marathon in Jersey in 1 hour 57. Now at the age of 46 my confidence isn't what it once was. About two years ago I bought a Tunturi Rowing machine to try to lose weight. It did the biz well and my CV improved immensely. I then thought about buying a treadmill a couple of months back as I still yearned for the day when I could get back out jogging in the great outdoors, especially as I have a country park at the back of me. Well it is a bit of a grandiose term for what was a local landfill site :-). For all of that, it has got about 25 miles of paths so you would never get sick of the scenery, and no cars to boot! Anyway I digress, stay awake at the back. To cut a long story short I bought a treadmill and I have never looked back. I manage 50 minutes at six MPH and love blasting out my hifi whilst doing so. I alternate the treadmill with the rowing machine so as I don't get bored. However, now that I have got my confidence to run again and the light night are here, I am going to have a go outdoors. Although I know it will be harder out there, I'll keep you all posted...if I survive and you are interested :-).

  • nice article

     so basically it says

     softer surfaces (grass, mud etc) = slower but less risk of injury

     track and road = quicker and medium risk of injury

     pavement and = slower and high risk of injury 

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