Treadmill Running vs. Outdoors

Is running on a treadmill the same as running outside? (Photo: Jale Ibrak)
Is running on a treadmill the same as running outside? (Photo: Jale Ibrak)

Is it better to run outside or on a treadmill?

On a crisp, cool day, tying up your sneakers and heading outdoors seems like an obvious choice, but some people prefer to just get the the run done and stepping onto the treadmill at home or at the gym is just simpler (there’s no route to consider, for one). But sometimes factors may make the treadmill necessary even if you are an outdoors runner: hot, humid weather or cold, icy conditions often force runners onto the treadmill. But have you ever wondered how each workout compares to one another?

They’re actually quite different. On the treadmill, the movenent of the belt helps wiith your leg turnover — so you may find that you run faster when on a treadmill. Also, running on the belt is easier on your joints given the soft, cushiony surface.

Because treadmill running can be easier, you may want to make your workout on it more difficult by either using it for your speed work, or by increasing the incline of the belt by one percent to make it more similar to outside running. Remember, too, that if you are training for a race, the treadmill can be a great tool to use as you train, but you’ll want to make sure train outdoors, too, so your body is prepared the more challenging experience of running outdoors.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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