I don't think running on the treadmill should be compared to runnig outside. Rather it should be used as it's own exercise or as supplementary to outside running. Therefore it shouldn't be considered any 'better' or 'worse' than road running.
It is very useful for keeping fit, speed sessions, training when coming back from injury, when it's snowing or icey outside and for those people who when they first start running are too shy to run outside.
Outside runners who completely dismiss the treadmill are at risk of being snobbish and coming across as self-righteous .
When all is said and done, running on a treadmill is better than no running at all.
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