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running on treadmill easier than running outside

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SparkPoints: (152,561)
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Posts: 5,337
2/17/13 6:38 A

treadmill is harder

Posts: 14,028
2/17/13 4:51 A

Running outside should not be all that harder than running on a treadmill. But there are reasons why it can 'feel' harder.

Firstly, the treadmill runs at a constant speed. But when running outside, you need to learn to pace yourself. Left unchecked, it is possible to 'surge' with a faster pace that leaves you tired, even if your average speed is about the same. Regular running outside will help you learn how to pace yourself.

Also, a treadmill typically has more 'give' in it than a concrete sidewalk, and the impact can feel harder on your legs. Again more experience running outside will strengthen your legs to deal with the impact. Also, focussing on your running form, and aiming at a mid or forefoot strike, rather than a heel strike, can help absorbed the impact. The 'give' in a treadmill can help allow bad habits to creep into your running form.


Posts: 347
2/16/13 11:15 P

Other factors that makes running on a treadmill easier is wind resistance and incline. You don't have either or those working against you. So as you find running on a treadmill to be easier and easier, I would suggest increasing the incline a little bit to factor that in.

Personally I like to run outside because I don't worry about my pace--I just run at what I feel comfortable at. I find that I don't like dictating my speed ahead of time like I have to on a treadmill. But for every person like me, there's someone like you who prefers the treadmill. Lots of variety.

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2/16/13 9:52 P

oh thanks a ton
i would choose treadmill then, i can atleast have a 30 minutes workout without stopping for breath

SparkPoints: (34,609)
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2/16/13 9:33 P

I do both and I think each has their own challenges and advantages. For me, running on a treadmill is super boring and I hate watching the miles tick by slowly whereas outside, I get let myself get distracted so I can run further outside without losing interest mentally.

I find that on the treadmill though, I'm more likely to set specific speed goals because its easier to control the speed, incline, etc with just the push of a button. I may push myself harder in that way on the treadmill.

I think both are what you make them to be. As long as you're getting a workout that your happy with, do what you enjoy!

SparkPoints: (158,833)
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2/16/13 9:22 P


The most recent studies show (I am talking ones published in the last 6 months) that treadmill running allows for the same physiological changes to our bodies as outside running does. So don't worry. I do not like to use comparisons--harder vs easier...they're just different. Just like trail running is different than road running and road running is different than treadmill running--all have a place in your training.

One of the biggest reasons people find the difficulty transitioning from the treadmill to outside running has more to do with the lack of practice running outside, therefore you may start out way too fast which forces you to go anaerobic (not in the presence of oxygen) which in turn breaks down a larger percentage of glycogen to fuel your runs which in turn can lead to an increase in lactate which can cause muscle fatigue.

If your goal is to participate in a race, then you will want to do some of your runs outside to practice the art of pacing.

I hope this helps! Keep on runnin'

Coach Nancy

Posts: 1,228
2/16/13 9:17 P

A few reasons you might have a harder time outside:

a.) Pacing - You have to learn how to slow down outside. It's very easy to go all out which is not the point. If you find you can't go at the speed you want for the time you want then one piece has to change - right now you are shortening time, try slowing down.

b.) There is definitely a difference between the feel of road and the feel of a treadmill. Think about how you are on the treadmill - isn't there some bounce coming up and down off the belt? That give is not there on the road. In addition there is some pull by the belt on a treadmill that isn't there on the road. On the road you are actively trying to move forward; on the treadmill you are working to stay in the same place.

As for one over the other, choose the one that gets you to your goals. Do you want to run a race? Then I'd suggest getting outside. If you enjoy the treadmill then stick with what you like.

SparkPoints: (17,884)
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Posts: 758
2/16/13 9:05 P

running outside takes all my strength and i am tired within 15 minutes, i cannot maintain my pace and usually go down to approx 5.0, sometimes i walk more than run

but on treadmill i can maintain between 6.0 and 8.0 and i can walk/run for 30 minutes and can stretch to 40 minutes if i have time

am i doing wrong by running on treadmill and using easier option?
i just want to know what's right for my metabolism, improving strength, and overall fitness, outside i maximum walk/run for 20 minutes and go home tired and sweaty

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