Treadmill vs outside

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Holly_Golightly    pirate
27/07/2007 at 20:32
I like both, depends on my state of mind. I find the tready easier in some ways because I can just shut off and I feel safe. It's also easy to stick to a speed.

I don't feel so much of an achievement though running on a treadmill as I do outside because I haven't covered any distance per se
28/07/2007 at 15:52
Hi JJ,:o)

I have head that lots of high class athletes do their winter training on the tready.

I know this is true here during the summer.
31/07/2007 at 09:52
Hi guys

As a question that pops up quite a bit here on the forum, I thought this would make a good Reader to Reader question this week.

Look forward to hearing more of your advice...


Catherine :o)
31/07/2007 at 10:41
Hi, I use a tready as a handy way to break up my training. It is alot easier on the legs and i also find the hill programmes on them quiet good fun.
I would never replace outside with a tready but as I go to the gym with a friend also has more social ideals attached (ie she can walk while I run and still chat).
It is alot hotter in the gym which I think has helped my endurance. And yes it can be boring but I usually use the time to zone out, chat to my friend or "people watch" - how does that lady mange to make it look like she is dancing on the stepper................
31/07/2007 at 10:51
...or how can she read Harry Potter whilst she's running!
31/07/2007 at 11:14
I currently do most my training on a treadmill and actually find the pace transfers pretty much the same when running/racing outdoors. One thing I do actually think the treadmill does definitely help is maintaining a consistent pace. I find that most my races have a pretty even pace. I am hopefully getting a garmin within the next few weeks and will then switch to more runs outside. I think I'm too used to knowing my pace and distance and hate not knowing this. I do have to admit that after every race I do it gets harder to run inside because of the boredom factor. But I still think the treadmill's very useful when it comes to doing shorter more intense training like hill reps/speed/tempo etc, although doing any run longer than 2 hours on a treadmill does have to be the most boring thing ever.
31/07/2007 at 11:42
I find running on a treadmill nearly impossible, the monotony is soul-destroying. Also, having to run and stare at my gormless expression for ages does not help.

Running outside is a completely different matter, you can take in the vista, vary your pace instantly (instead of having to fiddle with controls), and you don't have the constant whirring of the treadmill in your ears (no matter how loud you have your ipod).

Running outside could almost be described as a spiritually uplifting experience, whereas the treadmill is like a diabolical grind.

(Apologies for the excessively flowery descriptions.)
31/07/2007 at 12:17
I have a treadmill at work so try to get a session in on my lunchbreak each day. I've found I'm a lot slower on the treadmill than outside and tire quicker. I think it must be different for everyone.
31/07/2007 at 12:39
I run on the treadmill on a Friday morning at the gym. It overlooks the car park so I can have a good nosey at all the cars and work out which one I'd like. Also, handily, I can see Nora the resident OAP with her "gym kit" wheelie suitcase arrive. I know that I've then got 5 mins to speed up and get off before she appears in her sensible cardi, blouse, trousers and granny shoes to walk on the treadmill gassing to her other scary friends.
Like Holly I feel that it's sometimes safer.
I'm definitely slower outside which I found demotivating but then I joined a running club with lots of lovely slow people in and I'm now training for a half marathon - with 3 outside runs and 1 treadmill session a week.
31/07/2007 at 12:53
I work in a gym and so its my job to encourage people to use a treadmill, but personally I find them the most tedious, morale sapping machines invented. I used to manage a 5k once a week on them, but I can't even do that now. For me they take the joy from running and turn it into a depressing clock watching event. Find some countryside or a park or yr high street, breathe some non airconditioned air, get the soles of your trainers muddy, take the jeers and snears from the local hoodies and indulge in the true spirit of running. England is a beautiful place, get out there and see it, rather than MTV or the other drivel that is on in the gym. As long as you are as consistent with your road running as you were with the treadmill your fitness will come on leaps in a short space of time. Ultra spud, you deserve a medal for 3hrs 30mins on a treadmill.
31/07/2007 at 13:56
Some research has been done into the treadmill v real world running.

Check out

Some of the best runners on the RW Forum do a lot of treadmill running. And even a plodder like me finds the treadie invaluable in winter when the track is covered in ice for weeks on end.

But if I come out of the gym and attempt to run the last half mile home, it feels sooooo hard!
31/07/2007 at 14:15
It all comes down to why you run. If it’s for fitness; it does not matter that you are slower outside, a work out is a work out. Follow a training plan and you will get faster and fitter. If you are training for a race (highly recommended, especially somewhere different to where you live and train), then you need to run outside. If you run because you love running then this is a mute point, who in their right mind wants to run on the spot breathing in stale air, nasty.
As for jeering idiots, the population is getting fatter while you’re getting fitter. So think happy smug thoughts. Good luck.
31/07/2007 at 15:39
I hate treadmills, they always seem to be placed in front of mirrors or windows. There is nothing worse than the sight of me running, so I end up getting all upset at the reflection of me getting red, hot, sweaty and not being at all graceful.

And that's all before the boredom threshold of 5 mins has been reached.

Outside I can be the graceful gazelle I imagine I am without having the illusion shattered by a mirror!
Lee the Pea    pirate
31/07/2007 at 16:10
Hello all,

I had the same problem as you Ben when I moved from the treadmill to the real world - couldn't even manage to run for half the time outside. Was very disheartning. Another forumite suggested I was trying to run too fast, and that I should slow down. I didn't think I could go much slower but I tried, and running became so much better. I really enjoy running outside now. I've got a lot of weight to lose so i'm doing at least 1 run indoors to save my legs/knees a little, but I prefer outdoors. One thing I have found is that running a steady pace on the t/mill has helped me maintain a steady pace outside which is good. I'm a bit of a plodder, but i'm not worried about that!
31/07/2007 at 16:16
Hi there. Tricky one this one.
I did most of my preparation for my first half marathon in St Albans earlier on this year on the treadmill with an aim to finish in 1h45m.
Then one day I run outdoors and found it much harder, but, as the weather was nice, I started running outdoors more often. In the end I finished in 1h47m.

Now that the weather isn't so great, I've gone back to the treadmill as personally I don't fancy running in the mud/rain/cold too much. I think a balance of treadmill/outdoors is good. The treadmill can help you pace yourself (especially if combined with a heart rate monitor) and build up the miles durig the winter, but running outdoors will prepare you for the real thing.

Also, if as I do you combine a bit of weight lifting with your running, sometimes it is just easier to jump on the treadmill straight after the weights, it's handy to have everything in one place.

And finally, so sorry for the lenghty diatribe, the treadmill is more mentally fatigating, which is not bad training either if you plan to run long distances.

Take care everyone.
31/07/2007 at 16:19
I had the same problem too! I am a newbie and have only been running properly for a few weeks now, currently on week 4 out of 15 week 1/2 marathon schedule. I was trying to use the running machines in the gym before I started training properly, thought I was doing well and would find outsode training wrong was I! Couldn't manage half of my distance and ran like a snail (you know what I mean!) but stuck with it and am sooo glad I did! It was hard at first but gets easier thank goodness! Only 4 weeks in but you won't see me on a treadmill again unless it is hammering down with rain!
31/07/2007 at 16:31
Hi all,

Well I am officially a freak!! Apart from being a newbie of 8 weeks and before this never ever run apart from a horrendous cross country running experience at school. I came so far last, that everyone was showered and changed by the time I came in!!!

Then I discovered a treadmill. I just adore the treadmill........I'm addicted to the thing! I find that when I run outdoors I have this mental block and my brain is saying "how much further, I can't do this!!!"


I went to Brighton this weekend and discovered the popular run along the front and WOW!!! I WANT TO MOVE TO BRIGHTON AND RUN EVERY DAY ALONG THERE!!!!

It was brilliant and I adored running outside. I saw plenty of fellow runners and power walkers too!

I did take the general forum advice of running slow and it worked, I managed my first ever non stop 1 mile run, in around 11 mins. I was so pleased.

Anyway I'm waffling now, what I'm trying to say is, if you have the perfect route then I'm sure it's better to run outside, but if like me you're at home with 2 kids 24/7, then a treadmill will just have to do! At least I'm managing to run 5 times a week.
31/07/2007 at 16:40
One thing I've never understood is how anyone can claim to get "bored" on the treadmill. When I'm on it, 100% of my mind is on keeping going at the pace I'm going at, so boredom doesn't come into it. I would only ever get bored if the pace was so much slower than my capabilities that the session was pointless.
31/07/2007 at 16:59
Compared to running outside; cross country, through the woods, on the beach or even your 2 - 3 hour long road run on a Sunday morning, how can a treadmill not be boring?
E -
31/07/2007 at 17:32
I ALWAYS ran on the road, then joined a gym and used the treadmill a bit. The result? it's shortened my long loping 11-min/mile stride into a shorter nippier 9min/mile running style (worried about falling off the back!). Its also made me run more upright rather than looking like i'm stumbling along.
Treadies are great for doing speed sessions, but NOTHING can replace the fresh air endorphin rush that I get after a really good run.
Mix and match, but use them as 2 separate entities rather than comparing
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