Mental Fitness

17 messages
15/08/2010 at 17:08

From what i have read on here and other sources, running outdoors is generally harder (physically) than running on a machine, providing incline on a treadmill is set accordingly - but I reckon you need to be mentally tougher or fitter to cover the same distance on a treadmill than you do outdoors.

Does anyone agree or disagree?

15/08/2010 at 18:25
I strongly disagree - particularly with regards to the 'fitter' part of the statement.
15/08/2010 at 18:25
double post
Edited: 15/08/2010 at 18:26
15/08/2010 at 18:54
I don't see why you'd need to be mentally tougher to run in a dry, windless, gym than outdoors. Running on a treadmill for hours would increase your boredom threshold though.
15/08/2010 at 19:08

Boredom is mentally taxing.  Treadmill running over any significant distance is soul-destroying.  It's the same reason 2 minutes on an underground station platform is equivalent to 5 minutes anywhere else.

Run outdoors.  Smell the roses, say hello to the squirrels.  Yes, I've been drinking.  (And running.)

15/08/2010 at 20:11

Some interesting comments, also... you could argue your pace wuld slow naturally as you tire running outside where as the treadmill will force you to run at the same pace.

You are also not generating any air molecules against your face which help to keep you feeling cooler.... sweating more indoors.

Just wonder how many runners would feel mentally destroyed after doing a half marathon on treadmill.

Edited: 15/08/2010 at 20:14
15/08/2010 at 20:33
I hate to do any more than 30 minutes on a treadmill! I usually put the incline up slightly but I really dont like the thought of going for any longer.  I usually only do 25 - 30 inteval sessions. 
15/08/2010 at 21:28
Alavana wrote (see)

Some interesting comments, also... you could argue your pace wuld slow naturally as you tire running outside where as the treadmill will force you to run at the same pace.

You are also not generating any air molecules against your face which help to keep you feeling cooler.... sweating more indoors.

Just wonder how many runners would feel mentally destroyed after doing a half marathon on treadmill.


 I can run at a faster pace on a dreadmill than I can outside with the ground being “pulled” underneath you, a dreadmill is a little easier than relying fully you legs to move across the pavement. In my mind, this is a negative – I want a harder workout, not an easier one. Depending on the treadmill, the impact on your knees, ankles and other joints can be can be considerably less than running on pavement. The benefit varies by treadmill. Every treadmill deck belt has flex

On a treadmill I have easy access to cool water which sits in a holder by the machine, when I run outside any water bottle is in contact with my body at all times as such it draws heat from it which ultimately  means the water is not as cool.

It could also be argued that on a dreadmill should you require it you can take a towel to wipe of sweat which you can not feasibly do when running outside.

I have done some big distances on the dreadmill for charity and found it metally destroying, in the same way that I would find being forced to watch a complete series of big brother metally destroying.. I simply found it exceptionally tedious and boring with very little sensation or value. At least when running outside I get sensory experiences and this adds value for me.

I personally do not think running on a dreadmill for long distances suggests you are mentally fitter, if anything I think it suggests that you have less mental and sensory demands which are permits you to enjoy the experience, people with higher senosory demands will have more trouble enjoying it.

Edited: 15/08/2010 at 21:31
15/08/2010 at 21:44

I tried a treadmill for the very first time last Monday as the gym was free at the residential course I was attending. I set one of the pre set programmes (I think it was hill session) cranked the experience button up to 8 out of 10 and started...... I got bored after 15 minutes as it wasn't taxing me enough as it would on an easy run.

Ok now I'm warmed up lets try manual at a 15 degree incline and set the pace to a fast run....... got bored again after another 20 minutes, especially now and again the incline seemed to decrease and I had to keep ramping it up.

Following day I just went out on the road for a 9 mile steady run which I found most benefical even though I got lost a few times.

Edited: 15/08/2010 at 21:46
15/08/2010 at 22:44
Cool avatar Derek
16/08/2010 at 06:11
Thanks Saffy, the animated version licks the screen but I don't think you can do it on this site, an animation that is....... although you can lick your screen at any time.
Edited: 16/08/2010 at 06:12
16/08/2010 at 09:45
Treadmill running, for anything other than a pre-workout warm-up is idiotic, and you most certainly do not need to be fitter to do it.  I doubt you need to be mentally tougher, either, because if you can manage 15 minutes on one without your intellect being sucked out through your feet you have no requirement for mental capacity.
17/08/2010 at 17:30
Alavana wrote (see)
Just wonder how many runners would feel mentally destroyed after doing a half marathon on treadmill.

What's the difference between being "mentally destroyed" and "bored out your brains"?

I can't imagine anyone suffering a complete psychological breakdown running a half marathon, whether it be in 60 minutes or 180 minutes, or tarmac or treadmill. Treadmill is usually placed in a controlled environment with little external stimulus apart from the brain-numbing soft porn music videos so favoured in most commercial gyms.

But if you have a controlled mind and imagination, you can mentally transport yourself. Wherever you run.

18/08/2010 at 12:38
John Stamstad used to set his turbo trainer up in front of a blank white wall when training for the Alaska Iditasport race. He reckoned it made him mentally stronger. Just saying like
18/08/2010 at 16:43

Well I`m off on a 2 week Carribean cruise soon, sailing from Southampton, and I`m so looking forward to being "bored out of my brains" in the gym that holds at least 12 of these running machines as well as so many other different items of exercise equipment.

Panoramic views of the ocean, lots and lots of it, isn`t a very nice thought to be staring at for miles and miles...... think I`ll be suicidal after 4 to 5 days at sea.

cougie    pirate
18/08/2010 at 17:10

Steve - I've heard that said about one of the Ironman greats - Mark Allen or Dave Scott - they dismissed it anyway - maybe they've got the person wrong.

 I prefer to run outside, but I find the treadmill great for speed sessions - its easy for me to see what kind of fitness I have on there.  I certainly wouldnt say it was idiotic - its easier to judge pace there without the effect of tail or headwinds - especially if you havent an athletics track to hand.

18/08/2010 at 17:23
Alavana wrote (see)

Well I`m off on a 2 week Carribean cruise soon, sailing from Southampton, and I`m so looking forward to being "bored out of my brains" in the gym that holds at least 12 of these running machines as well as so many other different items of exercise equipment.

Panoramic views of the ocean, lots and lots of it, isn`t a very nice thought to be staring at for miles and miles...... think I`ll be suicidal after 4 to 5 days at sea.


I think I'd try a few interval sessions up on deck.  Keep the oldies on their toes!

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