Today I have a guest post written by Lindy Schwarts on the difference between running on the treadmill and running outdoors. I know many of my followers are avid runners and for those of you who want to start running, this article will be just as helpful for you as well. I hope that many of you will enjoy this article. Lindy contacted me about wanting to guest post for my blog after reading one of my more recent blog post and sharing her appreciation for my written work, after learning that she enjoys fitness and has a blog that talks about fitness machines, I felt that it would be more than appropriate to have her as a guest post because believe it or not, I learned quite a bit from this article. I want all of you to keep an open mind, there is no right or wrong answer but this article will help to give you perspective. Thank you Lindy for writing such a great piece!
Treadmill running or outdoor running: What’s the difference?
No matter where you do it, a run is still a run. Based on researchers, a treadmill run is just as effective as an outdoor run. For years, runners glorify the benefits of outdoor running. Yet, as the outdoor environment in most areas of the world becomes harsher, running on a treadmill becomes the second option. Treadmill users enjoy the convenience that each running sessions bring. However, running purists maintain that there is no substitute for outdoor running. They maintain that the benefits of running outside outweigh the benefits of using the treadmill. A question frequently asked by runners and even now – runners alike is if treadmill running can build the same endurance as running outside. Runners – beginners and experts alike are also mulling about this great question: Is there a difference between outdoor running and treadmill running?
On the level of difficulty
Treadmill running is easier since there is a belt that assists the leg for the easy turnover. This has directed the runner’s pace so much so that runners coming from treadmill running find out that their pace on the treadmill does to correlate to outdoor running. The rearward motion of the belt helps the runner in his stride and rhythm patterns. This reduces the need to drive your weight forward. The treadmill’s belt is also cushioned as compared to the hard pavement, so the impact of the movements on the joints is also reduced. This is especially beneficial to those who are overweight or prone to injury.
It is also easier to run on a treadmill, there is no wind resistance. In an outdoor run, the legs should be propelled forward and pushing against the wind resistance. However, sports researchers have found a way to make running on the treadmill the same as that of running outdoors. The research showed that if you adjust the setting of the treadmill, to a 1% incline or grade, then the machine can very well simulate the conditions when running outdoors. It stimulates the effort and energy cost the same as that of running outdoors. Therefore, it makes the runner’s pace similar to the pace taken on running outside.
As it is easier to run on the treadmill, running enthusiasts should utilize them for speed training. One can increase the speed at a shorter interval then make it slower at the recovery phase.
Convenience is the name
With the increased awareness and adherence to wellness programs, the establishment of gyms and health clubs has become very common today. It is not surprising to see gyms of all types popping up in the neighbourhood. Hopping onto a treadmill has never been easier.
As most of us have already sworn to follow the tech – savvy lifestyle, the use of the trackers, gadgets and even phone are easier when you are indoor and running on a treadmill. The presence of the accessories and gadgets in the exercise equipment are delivering videos, news and music allow you to multitask while keeping fit.
The treadmill machine, as well as the environment where one is running, is simply consistent. The room’s temperature is controlled and one can control and manipulate the surrounding. The treadmill allows the runner to set a phase then maintain it. This will be beneficial if the runner wants to build his stamina or training for a particular event like a marathon. It helps the runner sustain his determination if it seems to be weakened. Running outside sometimes makes it harder to keep constant track of the runner’s progress while in the treadmill, all the essential biometrics data can be programmed. There are machines that can accurately measure heart rate and calories burned. They also allows you to monitor your progress like the speed, distance and calorie burned.
Dealing with the elements
Most runners would say that it is easier to run on the treadmill as you are not dealing with the elements in nature. Harsh temperatures like the scorching heat during summer and the bitter cold during the winter. Ironically, the lack of the elements in nature when treadmill running also makes it less preferable for some runners. Researchers also pointed out that exercising in green spaces in nature was associated with greater relaxation, the decrease in the tension and anger. The results revealed that people who exercised in nature find the activity more enjoyable as it has given them better mood, better relaxation, and even better sleep.
The outdoor environment gives runner’s visual cues which somehow signals that the finish line is almost near. In the treadmill, the redundant views on the wall might not motivate the runner enough to push for more. The moderate exposure to the sunlight helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D and this is another advantage being in the outdoors.
Since we are assured that we still get the adequate exercise even in the extreme weather and environmental condition. Access to a treadmill means that there is really no excuse to miss out on the running schedules and attaining fitness.
Pushing yourself some more
In outdoor running, going beyond your threshold can be difficult. Using the treadmill makes it easier to push yourself for more. The machine enables you to take control of your speed, incline, and duration at a touch of a button. Setting a pace then maintaining it is easier on a treadmill. This is useful if you are training for a specific event or just looking to improve your stamina endurance. It is also helpful to keep you going when your determination is wavering. As a runner, you can easily monitor your progress on speed, distance and calorie counter displays.
Risks to take
Outdoor running puts you at the risks of injuries due to falls or missteps, there’s pollution from traffic to contend with. If we run on the streets, we might be at risk for accidents. The exposure to the harsh weather can make us vulnerable to diseases.
However, there are also risks to using the treadmill even in the controlled environment of the gym. The repetitive running motion that you do on the flat surface of the treadmill makes you at risk for joint and ligament injuries. When on a treadmill, it is better to have a variety of movements and set them at varying speed. Outdoor runners are also vulnerable to these risks especially if they only run on a concrete pavement. The changes in your strides due to the changes in the terrain has a beneficial effect in lowering your risk for injury. The more you adapt your movements to the curbs, hill or corners, the less likely you overuse the same muscle. For those with injury, it is best to use the treadmill to prevent further damage.
Treadmill running has already evolved from being an inferior form of running as compared to outdoor running. There is a specific circumstance which will push even the staunchest fan of the outdoor running to use the treadmill. Using the treadmill can be very effective knowing that we can customize this machine according to our needs. If we are able to adjust the speed and the incline, then we may have the best option for running in our hand. You and your body shall determine what surface that is best for you and this will determine the outcome of the debate.
Lindy Schwarts of https://amazingmachines.info. I’m a very active women. My passions in life are Fitness, Yoga, Golfing and Kids. I started earlier this year playing a Little around with websites and I can say that’s a new challenge unlike anything else!