Running outdoors was so hard

19 messages
25/03/2008 at 20:22

Hi all, I'm new to this site and a beginner!

I have been able to run on a treadmill for 45 minutes for months now.

Today, I decided that I should try to run outdoors. This was a first for me. Anyway, I was unable to run!! I had to stop and walk fast a few times. I managed to stay on my feet for 35 minutes. Feel like I've let myself down a bit. I knew that it would be harder, but didnt expect to that.

Really want to ditch the treadmill for good.

Maybe I need to go back to basics, and not to expect it to 'happen overnight'

Any tips? Thanks in advance!

25/03/2008 at 20:35

Hi Diane

I was like you - started on a treadmill and was terrified of taking my first steps outside.  Now I hate the treadmill and find it much harder than running outside.  You may have run faster today than you usually do on the treadmill - also if you run on a flat treadmill it doesn't simulate running ouside which has more ups and downs and even the odd hill !

 Dont give yourself a hard time - check how fast you are running and slow down if necessary.  Make sure you measure how far you run outside so you can compare with the distance you usually do on the treadmill - you might be surprised.  I reckon that treadmills are not very accurate re distance, pace and time anyway.

Dont give up - you will soon get used to it.  Wont be long and you will be having a go at a race or two.

Good luck

25/03/2008 at 20:37

Hi Diane

I am fairly new to running and this forum but this is my progress so far....

I started using the treadmill at home last September, increasing my walking speed to lose weight with success. Last month, after bursts of jogging on the treadmill, I ventured outside.... What a shock! 1minute was torture...

So I started a run/walk programme and am making slow but steady progress, but still only manage 5 minutes before I have to walk some. I still use the treadmill in really bad weather and for workouts to compliment my run/walk programme.

I would say don't ditch the treadmill completely but certainly get outside regularly ~ running on the treadmill is easier, maybe because your upper body in particular doesn't meet with any resistance. Wind, rain and snow don't help either but spring is just around the corner....

Best wishes

25/03/2008 at 21:23

You may have run faster on the road as you dont have the sponginess of the treadmill which absorbs impact and can make the rebound of each step slower.

Try going slower next time but persevere because absolutely nothing can compare with running outside, especially once you get off road and can run amongst 'nature'.  This is one of the best times of year to venture outside, loads of daffodils etc and the bluebells will be out soon.  Try to find a bit of woodland and just how the surroundings change with the seasons, bliss.

Good luck and well done on your great progress so far.

25/03/2008 at 22:07

Thanks all! The advice and thoughts makes sense. Looking forward to tomorrow now. I can only get better eh?

(P.S I'm so glad somebody answered my thread!!)

25/03/2008 at 22:14
Good luck with your run tomorrow, Diane, I hope the weather is kind to you ~ I'll be out at midday too..
25/03/2008 at 22:17

Thanks FairyFeet. I'm going to go slower tomorrow. Enjoy your run.

27/03/2008 at 11:25

Outside is so invigorating but then I've run once on a treadmill and find them frightening!

The fact you can do 45 mins on a treadmill is good - you know you can run!  You've just got to get used to changing terrain now.  It will come - you've just got to have faith!

27/03/2008 at 11:48
Hi diane I've just run outside and I also find it very hard too but great sense of achievement when completed and I only managed 25mins so you did really well!paula
27/03/2008 at 12:08

Hi Diane,

 I ran outside on Tuesday for the first time, like you I have ran on a treadmill before.  Has been a while since I have ran but used to be able to do 45 min solid running on the treadmill and I didn't ache at all afterwards.  after doing 1 min walk and 1 min run for 28 mins the other night my thighs, calfs and stomach muscles (not that you can see them!) are still aching! 

 You are not alone, we shall all continue down the path to road running together!


27/03/2008 at 12:16

Someone explained it to me once about how dreadmills don't really prepare you for out door running... something to do with upward and forward propulsion, and the way you use less forward propulsion (?) because the ground effectively artificially flies from beneath your feet.

Some people also say dreadmills mess with your gait.

I never liked them. 

27/03/2008 at 14:17
hi guys,

I have just been reading your messages, i am a newbi as well. i have been doing the same as Diane, running on tread mills and now venturing out side. It is nice to hear i am not the only one that found it really difficult. i will follow you advise as given to Diane.

thank you.
27/03/2008 at 20:32

Hi everyone,

I've been running outside but am going to try a treadmill over the weekend as the hotel where we are going for a break just happens to have one.........what a coincidence who booked that i wonder.......

I'm assuming its easier on a treadmill partly because its softer on the legs and also because it moves you kind of just have to lift your legs rather than propelling your body forward. I'll let you know....

Have visions of falling off though...

27/03/2008 at 21:11
Nam & Julia - NOOO!!!!! It's a myth that you don't have to propel yourself forward. Just try standing still on one if you don't believe me. The only physical difference (assuming it's not under-powered and slows down when you land on it) is the lack of wind resistance. Mind you, psychology can have a significant influence on how you run too.
28/03/2008 at 08:40

I think that this is quite a common problem.

However, by being able to run for 45 mins on a treadmill, you know that you can run. Simply a case of adaptation. Just relax, take it easy and enjoy the fresh air. Try and run in the country, where you can enjoy the sights. Drive to a country park with a friend. Lots of options but stick at it and you will never look back.

As for me? Haven't been on a treadmill for years. Never will. 

28/03/2008 at 09:38

Swerve, I disagree. My understanding is:

Treadmill running is way different to road running - muscle activation patterns and neuromuscular too. Numerous studies on it etc. The main difference biomechanically is in where the body's centre of gravity (COG) is during the running cycle. 

On road the COG is continually being accelerated and decelerated in the sagittal plane because the runner has to propel themselves forward and apply a braking mechanism as a natural part of the gait cycle. This continuous alteration in COG affects the body's muscles as they contract, relax and stabilise.

However on the mill, the COG remains static in the sagittal plane because the belt moves the runner's legs and feet under and behind their COG. So to maintain stability, you have to move the support leg back in front of the COG for the next impact with the belt at footstrike.

During treadmill running the main function of the leg muscles is not to produce propulsive forces like in road running, but to re-position the legs to keep the COG stable with each stride. Basically on a road you run forwards and on a mill you have to run upwards and forwards.

The reason they feel so different is partly the psychological aspect.  On road you don't run at exactly the same speed like on a mill. There's no cooling effect on a mill so your body either because you'e not moving forward.

Same run on a mill will raise HR more than same run on road. Wear a HR monitor and test it - the mill run will have your HR higher as your bod's working to shift blood, sweat more to maintain its temp.

So for all noobs, get outside!

Sorry for long post and geek  thread hijack.

28/03/2008 at 12:10

Excellent advise from everyone!  Thanks a lot. It seems I'm not alone with this struggle. Good luck to all who's new to outdoor running.

  Went outside yesterday for a run. I realy enjoyed it. Took it a little slower this time, and ended up running for longer. I was so pleased with myself.

28/03/2008 at 14:35

Gosh Siance you sound clever  but i think i understand. I think the wind has a lot to do with outside running, i turned the corner this morning and it was a battle! Only trying a treadmill as the hotel where we are going this weekend has one, it will be interesting to compare.

Hello Kevin, i'm new too but having a fantastic time learning to run after all those nightmare PE lessons at school! Everyone here has been very friendly and it's very motivational to chat to other people in the same boat.

Well done Diane, do you get a kind of happiness whoosh when you stagger in through the door after running and you want to punch the air and go YES! ?

Hello the mystery man, parks sound good but in my local one i keep getting tripped over by dogs not on leads.or stepping in something nasty...

Swerve i hope i don't fall off like one of those comedy sketches that everyone seems to find so funny  

28/03/2008 at 16:42

Hi, another newbie here.  I've been running on a treadmill since October and am now trying to get outside.  The first run outdoors was a real eye opener.  Physically it was much harder, but psychologically, much much easier. 

My thighs ached for about three days afterwards but time passed much more quickly while I was running.  I find myself constantly clock watching while I'm on the mill, but when I got back from my outdoor run I couldn't believe I'd been out for as long as I had. 

When I first started running I found that I improved really quite quickly and fingers crossed it will be the same with running outside, but it does feel a bit like I'm starting all over again. 

Good luck to everyone heading out this spring.

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