Treadmill or Rower??

I want to hire a machine to use in between school runs etc. I run outside at the mo but will find it harder during winter when it's dark. I will still go outdoor running when possible though as I love it. as I have a busy daily schedule and want to lose weight would it be better for me to get a rowing machine or a treadmill that I can do 30mins am and 30mins pm and also vary the programs (hills, sprint etc)????
I really want to do proper training as I want to enter a full marathon. I have done 3 half in the past.


  • Is this a trick question?

    (If not, I'd say definitely a treadmill, and the best one you can afford.)
  • Deffo treadmill but get a good one !
  • Someone said to me that a rowing machine worked out every part of your body better than a treadmill would. My key goal is to lose 2 stone you see. I think I would use a treadmill more as I do love to run. Know of a good make?? I've been told that it should be no less than 2HP with good cushioning and a decent size belt. Sorry if you think this is a joke question but I don't know where to start. saying that I'm going out running in a few mins as I've got a babysiter in!!!
  • Rowing can give you a brilliant cardiovascular workout, but the only way to get fit to run a marathon is to do lots of running, and the musculoskeletal effects of rowing just don't mimic those of running.
  • i'm a rower and a bit of a runner for triathlon purposes. i have a concept 2 rower and is deemed an industry standard as it is a bloody good machine. but in your case i have to say if your overall goal is to run a marathon then a treadmill will be the thing for you, you want to be fit for running not rowing.
    everytime you run (or any activity) you are acting to get your muscles fitter in THAT sport, i.e increasing muscle efficency, and if you are planning to do a marathon the efficency is going to be very important.
    rowing does use about a huge amount of the muscles in the body, and mainly the large muscles (quads, arse and shoulders), thus providing a good overall work out for the heart as rowing produces a good load on the body. however rowing is not a load bearing sport and as such your heart rate isn't as high as when you run. in general i burn more energy per hour in running than i do when i row, though this maybe because i am fit for rowing and not running. the only problem maybe that you are running to lose 2 stone, you say you have run before, would be that would your body be able to take the strain of running twice a day?
    but anyway i would go for the treadmill over the rower
  • I agree with what the others say. If you've only got the room for one then a treadie's the way to go but you really need to make sure you get the best you can afford. The only one I use is the one at the gym which would be far too big and too expensive for most homes. Your best bet is to go to a decent sports shop - somewhere like Decathlon - where they have lots of models and you can try them out. You need to think about the size of the running belt(both width and length) and the max speed it'll go up to.
  • Unless you intend to run your marathon on a treadmill you should run mainly outside. Gym machinery can help vary the training but IMHO there is no substitute for running outside.

    People keep running outside right through the winter by either finding a running partner and/or joining a club for safety and some company. Running with someone else really does help.

    We get gym bunnies joining my club who claim fast 10k times on a treadmill but grind to a halt in wind, rain, off road trails and especially on hills. You have to gradually acclimatise your cardio vascular system to cope with the considerable stress of racing 26.2 miles
  • gizzalou - training on a treadmill is better than no training....but as OOK says, you do need to mix it up with some outside running. That said for my (so far) only marathon, I did 2 of my 3 longest runs on the treadmill while watching Formula One races!

    No-one minds you asking the question....the suspicion of a joke was because the idea of training for a marathon by rowing seems *ahem* a little bizarre! But with your extra info on weight loss/total body workout the question makes more sense

    Go for what you enjoy more - that way you'll use it!
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