Treadmill vs outside

61 to 80 of 109 messages
02/08/2007 at 15:34
I have ran outdoors before, but it was many many years ago, and was short lived.
I have been at my gym for about 10 years now, but have only recently started running seriously, due to concerns about joint damage - those concerns were soon put to bed after a "chat" with some people on these forums!

I really enjoy my treadmill running and find that I always go on for longer than I had originally planned to. For example, this morning I had planned to to about 6 km, but stayed on until I had done 9 km, and felt really good afterwards.

I always use a hill program, so as to try and emenate, to an extent, outdoor running, but I realise there's only so much you can do with a machine.

I agree with other comments that the treadmill forces you to keep your pace and for me that is important while I am trying to increase my time and distance.

I do want to venture outdoors again before soo long, but at the moment I don't quite feel ready.
02/08/2007 at 15:59
I think it's best not to get too hung up on the relationship of your speed on the T/M to your speed outside; just use it to measure progress in comparison with previous T/M runs. By way of example, I have found that, on a newly calibrated T/M, I was struggling to run 800m repetitions at what was shown as the speed I had recently done over 5K XC at the English XC Relays.

I find the T/M useful for interval sessions, and got the quickest I have been (in racing terms)on the basis of T/M interval sessions. I also sometimes use the 'hill' or 'random' programmes, just to do something a bit different for fun. Where I find it harder to use is on slower runs, those do take some grinding out. I wouldn't do those on the T/M unless I had to.

I think there is a bit of a risk in running regularly at 1.5 or 2.0 incline. Personally I find that 1.0 doesn't make much difference, but can feel by 1.5 and certainly by 2.0 that it is changing my running style.

The other thing about T/Ms in gyms, you can feel a bit of a freak doing a speed session, as sweat flies off you and your legs pound away while everyone else is running (or whatever) well within themselves.
02/08/2007 at 20:46
I have a treadmill in my shed and also I have used the local gym. I agree that they are sooooo boring and only use mine for interval work ( not very often but they do help)
You cannot beat the great outdoors and I find it a lot easier, take out the science and you and your body adapts to the conditions. Be it sunshine, windy and raining, uphill or downhill it's a great feeling.
A point of interest. Is there a world record for running on a treadmill?
02/08/2007 at 20:50

I run quicker on a treadmill, but can't run for as long. Boredom sets in very easily for me, and I always seem to overheat indoors. I think the main thing for me is that it is fairly easy to stop running when bored whether on a treadmill or in the open air, the only difference being that after any distance - 3 miles etc - I can just step off the treadmill, but still have to get home in the open air, more of an incentive to keep going!!
03/08/2007 at 08:21
Yes there are records for running on a treadmill, and unless it has been broken recently an Irish gentleman named Tony Mangan holds some of them - he actually did one of the record runs at the Dublin marathon EXPO a few years back, you could see him and chat to him when you picked up your race number and chip. I think they do it based on the most mileage run on a treadmill in 24 hours / 48 hours etc.
He ran the Dublin marathon then - as a 'cool down'!!
I wish everyone a good run this weekend, be it on a treadmill or out in the great outdoors.
09/08/2007 at 19:07
As with JFB, I've been running my fastest and nabbing PBs at all distances since starting to use my treadie, not quite 2yrs ago when I got my place in my first FLM. I find it invaluable for interval/speed work as I know I wouldn't hold the pace on my own. I need that rolling floor to keep my going the distance/speed. But for running satisfaction you cant beat the great outdooes and a good scenic route to help the miles fly by.
Funny though, pre-t/m I used to be a non-sweating female, I could run a half-mara and still have dry feet and gear. Now I could wring my gear out and the sweat flows from everywhere. Totally weird (and most unladylike!!) but happily there don't seem to be any ill effects - I just have to drink more.
Enjoy the forecasted sunny weekend!
09/08/2007 at 19:42
Swerve said "Other than psychological effects, the only physical difference between the outside world and the treadmill is in wind resistance...."

Of course this is true for an ideal treadmill, but the reality is that:
1. Treadmill calibration varies - the reported speed may not match actual belt speed.
2. The treadmill may not be level, it may slope up or down slightly at a nominal 0% inclination.
3. Air resistance is an effect that will increase at higher speeds.
4. Treadmills are usually under-powered and will decelerate on heel-strike and accelerate on toe-off, thus making actual running speed slower than average belt speed.
5. Holding on to the treadmill (e.g. to change speed, take a drink) effectively pulls the runner along, potentially reducing fatigue.

These factors will vary from treadmill to treadmill and runner to runner, which may well explain the varying responses to the question about whether treadmill running is easier or harder than road running. My approach is to stick to one treadmill in the gym and calibrate to speeds in the real world using heart-rate.
09/08/2007 at 22:53
I started running on treadmills, I don't really understand the "boredom" issue as my mind is always doing something. Getting too hot is the only issue for me.
But that's not really what I wanted to talk about, what I wanted opinions on is one of the excellent set of fitness tests on Life Fitness treadmills called the "Gerkin Protocol" - information is scarce but it claims to estimate your VO2, I do it about once a month and was interested in whether anyone else has tried it and what their experiences are in terms of how closely your score seems to match actual performances in races.
If anyone asks me about getting into running I always advise them to start with the US Army, Navy and Marine tests on a Life Fitness treadmill and try to beat your previous score each time. Needless to say nobody pays the slightest attention but for me that was an incredibly good method of goal-setting and measurable improvement.

Regarding the treadmill v outside pace, as an experiment I did the 2 Mile US Army test in 11:45 on the treadmill and two days later in the Self-Transcendence 2 Mile race in Cardiff ran a lot harder to do 12:57. I must admit I don't buy the "Treadmill accuracy" issue - the belt is a known length, it would take considerable ingenuity for an engineer to not be able to translate this into speed and distance pretty accurately it seems to me.
12/08/2007 at 00:12
I must say, first of all, that what I am about to say is not meant to be a criticism of gym, or indeed, to try to make gym sound useless in anyway, I can only offer what I know and hopefully you might find some of it entertaining if nothing more.

I am never one to use gym, it works wonders for some of my friends, and it's wonderful that people find them useful and that it helps people, but I already work indoor in an office, and my dance training takes place in studios, so when it comes to my running, it absolutely has to be outside. I enjoy exploring the areas around me, along the river into westend, be it sunny or overcast or rainy, it is the moment of feeling totally at one with the element, and to appreciate, just how very vast the world is, and how things that might be stressing you out a few minutes ago, really don't matter, nobody died, and you're still there, still healthy, still running. Sometimes when I really run hard and get my heartbeat right up, it can feel as if the entire air around me is pulsating to my heartbeat, and there is great comfort to be taken in that.

I have taken part and completed the London Marathon in 1005, several 10k races, both large scale organisations or just smaller, quieter races, with people there for all sorts of reasons, a wonderful half marathon where I made friends with 2 lovely ladies, with one of whom I ended up running the whole way side by side. She kept my pace up on the flats and I pushed her hard when it came to inclines, and we were both pleasantly surprised by our time. I have also entered the Budapest Marathon taking place on the 30th September this year.

There is certainly something to be said for the benefits of a gym, almost all my friends who are healthy conscious use them at some point to great effect, but each to their own, and for me, it's the roads, the parks, the other runners and their friendly, smiling acknowledgement.

Carry on running friends!!
12/08/2007 at 00:15
Well said G Ker

It's the open air for me.
12/08/2007 at 00:17
I go to the gym and never speak to anyone. I dunno why, people just seem very focused on what they are doing.

Treadmill is very good for short intense intervals. Did some tonight and it was good. Our gym also has tellies on the treadmill and earphone jacks so you can get fit and watch telly at the same time.
12/08/2007 at 00:23
That sounds great JB I'm joining a gym, sod this outdoor running.
12/08/2007 at 03:13
Sorry to spoil this indoor versus outdoor thing but it strikes me as a bit futile to worry about which is "better", I do both - the important thing is the running.
As for the "gym", running does very little for upper body muscles, they are pretty useful things to develop especially in the light of this study
14/08/2007 at 11:31
Treadmill v's Outdoor Running!?
The treadmill is brilliant for speed and pace work as the belt dictates your running pace whereas outside you dictate your own pace. Maybe that's why you run faster? But i have found that the treadmill belt flicks your legs back allowing you to go faster. Another reason why people can go faster on treadmills is that while your feet are not in contact with the belt, distance is still elapsing. Causing some people to developing a jog with lots of uplift (bouncing) rather than forward momentum.
Another con to treadmill running is the fact that it wont increase multi directional strength of your ankle joints as it is a controlled environment on a constant flat surface. Which could lead to weaker ankles compared to someone who runs outdoors as their anlkles will be stressed over a multitude of terrain and joint angles. My advice would be to do your base/foundation training outdoors 2 big runs a week and compliment it with some fast work on the treadmill also put in some plyometrics and running specific leg strength work which will improve speed, power and joint strength.
14/08/2007 at 15:11
When you run outside, distance also elapses while your feet are not on the ground => there is no magic difference between speed on the treadmill and speed outside. Basic mechanics.
(aside from the wind resistance factor, which makes a small difference as others have pointed out)
18/08/2007 at 21:03
Treadmills ought to named Deadmills. But they do have their uses. They're usfull for running at a speed greater than you're capable of on the road, especially in windy conditions - so increasing leg speed. I could do 5k about 90s quicker on the mill. Also, they're good for hill reps, but you really need two adjacent mills for this in order to replicate the recovery jog - if your gym don't mind this (off peak is usually best and safer for other gym usuers). If your going to do a "road run" and want to replicate running on the road, then put the mill on a 1 - 1 & 1/2 incline to simulate a flat road with a slight wind.
19/08/2007 at 08:52
Yes, different things work for different people, and they all have their uses. I did use to use treadmill when I was simply too embarrassed to be seen outside, I was rather overweight in my teens (oops giving my age away...) and to call it running really was rather an understatement, it was more like a shuffle really. I shuffled round the track with my very healthy-conscious father on my school holidays home, then by the time we got to upper fifth at school, we were given the access to the school gym to use all those apparatus, that was when I really just stay on the treadmill for no less than an hour (everyone else always seemed to have something better to do) and gradually, I got my confidence back and got back to my dancing and picked up running again, this time outdoors, so though I much prefer outdoors, I have used treadmill and they have helped me tremendously.
30/10/2007 at 13:58
I've just been reading a couple of the threads regarding treadmill Vs outdoors and i have to say - i've always preferred outdoors. I can't seem to grasp looking straight ahead on the treadmill when i'm running and so i look at the LCD display on the machine instead. However, this is like clock watching so makes the time go really slow. In addition, i get paranoid that i'm going to stumble or trip on the treadmill as I feel forced to run at a set pace and i worry that the machine will send me flying across the gym! For this reason, i struggle to run 20 minutes on the treadmill - and yet i can run and run and run outdoors! An average outdoor run is usually between 5-10km without any problems (i ran a half marathon last year in sub 2 hours). Weird isn't it - perhaps my treadmill technique needs some work?
14/11/2007 at 01:29
I don't like running on a treadmill either.  In fact, I can't...I lose my balance and get dizzy. It's very embarassing.    I have a disease that causes me to have virtigo and it's really bad on the treadie.  Besides, I'm too ADHD for the indoors....I need a variety of scenery.
14/11/2007 at 16:51

Running on a treadmill can never replicate the conditions you will find in races as the incline and surface doesn't change in the same way. Also there will never be a corner to turn and this means that your muscles used for supporting you during such are not strengthened sufficiently.  As an earlier post mentioned, the treadmill is moving and you are simply keeping up with it and not fully propelling yourself as you would be during normal running.

They are a useful aid to fitness but they have a limited ability to improve your real running ability. (in my opinion!)

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