Running outside vs. inside

  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Mar 15, 2012 4:09 AM GMT
    So, I noticed this last summer, and though I have made significant gains in the gym since last summer, I still have noticed it currently.


    Throw me on a treadmill and I can go for a good amount of time at a decent clip. Outside, it's an epic fail. I'm breathing hard, overheating, drained of energy and have muscle pain in my right shoulder. I have tried to breathe in various ways assuming that could be the issue (focusing on breathing from the stomach versus shallow breathing from just the chest, breathing in normally and inhaling a little bit more before slowly exhaling, fast inhale and hold followed by slow exhale, among other methods). Usually all that breathing stuff does is make me feel like I have to go to the bathroom.

    I have run on pavement, asphalt, gravel, and dirt all with the same draining effect. What does the treadmill do that helps me run better inside? It is definitely not the shoes.

    Has anyone else experienced this? How do you overcome it? Is it just something that takes time or can it be that I am just not supposed to run outside?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 15, 2012 12:39 PM GMT
    The treadmill is a good way to get your cardio up and to run at a set pace without the human imperfections of minor changes in pace. One the that the treadmill does take away from running is momentum. all your doing is lifting your leg up and forward and once your foot makes contact again, the treadmill pulls the foot backward. to get as close to the real thing as possible you need to increase the angle to about 6.

    The treadmill is great segue for people who are wanting to increase their cardio and endurance to a point that they can run on their own or have little available space to do actual running. I am currently on a remote outpost and only leave the wire for missions and their is no room inside the compound for a track to run. so we use the treadmill.

    Also people that have breathing problems. during my last deployment I was blown up by a VBied as a gunner on a guntruck and as such received blast inhalation damage. when i got stationed in Fort Carson, (a mile high and thinner atmosphere) I was unable to breath and had to use the treadmill until my lungs were able to acclimate to the elevation.

    In regards to "side stitch" pain and shoulder pain, you said the pain is in the right shoulder, let me guess, you are also getting pain near the liver, correct? there are two reasons for that. 1) it may be caused due to insufficient hydration and/or over work therefore cramping of the diaphragm. it happens on the right side because the liver is right there underneath the diaphragm pressing up against it. that is why people often suggest "breath control". I have had to counsel many a soldier about proper breathing and hydration. I have often found that when my soldiers are well hydrated, the side stitch (leading to the right shoulder pain) often disappears. I read somewhere that for breath control, it depends on the foot your landing on. breath slow and controled; inhale on left foot down and exhale on right foot down... or vice versa. don't quote me on that. I read that in a fitness magazine when I was in high school and have not been able to find a reference for that ever since so I cannot attest to its validity.

    I hope this helps.
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:01 PM GMT
    Precisely what KM has to say: on a treadmill, you aren't in control of your pace: when you run "in the real world" you will naturally want to run at the same pace as on the treadmill, but as you are suddenly dealing with all sorts of factors (friction, propelling your body weight...) you feel it much faster. Be aware of your pace and SLOW DOWN until you become used to it. That "stitch" as you put it sounds like a hydration issue as well: drink more water and it will go away, or better yet, be properly hydrated BEFORE you start...
    Hey Kandahar: the first time I ran in Denver after (almost) sea level was a humbling experience; from being able to run 15 miles to barely 2 miles, at first... In your case it must have been even worse!
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    Mar 17, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    For me it's generally the opposite: I find running on a treadmill both boring and stuffy due to poor ventilation. Being outside I can look at the scenery. This often works especially well on trails.
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    Mar 17, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    Actually the cramping, if not an electrolyte/water issue, is the fact that if you do something new or different, your body works harder. Therefore, the muscles in your sides are being contracted at rates beyond what they are used to. This means they are being recruited at rates above lactate threshold. Anything above lactate threshold will create a burning sensation in the weak muscles due to the acid produced that denatures proteins and makes the muscle unable to relax as fast due to enzyme denaturation.

    As you get better at doing the workout (ie doing the same exercise more frequently over the week--although most of the adaptation occurs in the first one or two bouts), it will go away. Notice I didn't say "as you get in better shape." Even people who are fit as ever, if they do something new or different in their workout or change activities, they WILL get sore. If you never go dancing for example and are a triathlete or bodybuilder (both in great shape in what they do), they both will get sore.

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    Mar 17, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    is a treadmill even running? 2 me running's doing roadwork, on the track, windsprints on the field, or maybe stadium stairs. idk, just seems more...natural? i "feel" the run, i "feel" my muscles working in a fuller range of motion, and it helps coordination. meh, keep ur treadmills.
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    Mar 17, 2012 4:31 AM GMT
    Run when the sun begins to set and you won't have those issues. best of luck buddy
  • austex85

    Posts: 572

    Mar 17, 2012 4:38 AM GMT
    also, the speed settings on the treadmills might be off. so if you're trying to reach that same "speed" outdoors, you might not physically be able to.

    for instance, i know that the treadmills in my apartment have a slight upward slant while the ones on campus have a downward slant. on lazy days, i go to campus.
  • tobyb

    Posts: 115

    Mar 17, 2012 5:08 AM GMT
    There's no quesiton, running on a treadmill is way easier than running outside. Outside you have to deal with air resistance, for starters. Even if there is absolutely no wind, running outside means you are dealing with the air resistance, rather than just running on the spot. And let's not hear that it doesn't make much difference: that'll only come from people who don't run outside and deal with a headwind.

    Second, there's the bounce of the treadmill. Outside, most running on asphalt means running on a surface with no give.

    Third, if you run outside, you nearly always have to think and pick where you are running, or who else is on the trail. That means maneuvering, changes of direction, pace, etc.

    Finally there's the fact that gyms are a uniform comfortable 70C temperature. Outside, not so much. The body has to work to maintain it's temperature. It's easier if the HVAC system is doing that work for you.

    IMO people who say they like to run but in fact like to run inside are both kidding themselves and cheating themselves of the joy of running in the natural elements. Rowing on a rowing machine is nothing like as hard or rewarding as rowing a boat. Same with running. Just sayin.
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    Mar 18, 2012 1:00 PM GMT
    I'm surprised by all of these responses talking about the technicalities of running on a treadmill or the difficulties of running outside. I for one can never really get into my zone on a treadmill - I get bored, lose focus, and end up hitting the frontbar/falling off the back in only a few minutes. Running outside, however, is more than just a way to exercise - it's a mode of travel and experience. Senses heightened, I simply see the world differently while running outside.

    I think the problem here is that you're thinking too much about the mechanics when you run outside. Turn your mind off, leave the stopwatch at the door (or don't if you're doing some kind of tempo run) and just go and lose yourself for a while at a pace that feels good - even if it's slow at the beginning. After a while of doing this, you'll never want to get back on the treadmill again (and you'll be faster).

    And yes, I am a hippie...haha
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    Mar 18, 2012 7:23 PM GMT
    I also can only run outside, even it's freezing cold outside.

    When I first started running, I got a decent GPS Garmin watch with a heart monitor. The nerd in me likes to analyze data. icon_smile.gif Also, the heart monitor will tell you if you're running too fast and you can slow down to a comfortable pace. I find it helps me pace myself.

    Stitches are usually caused by breathing problems - perhaps running at too quick of a pace and not proper breathing. When I get stitches, I just slow down my pace to get my breathing under control.

    Also, when I run, I inhale through my nose and exhale through my mouth.

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    Mar 18, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    Running on a treadmill isn't actually running. I would say it's the equivalent of jumping rope. Using the treadmill isn't a bad thing, if you're just looking to do a cardio exercise. But it doesn't do much for building muscular strength and endurance for the legs. That's why running outside drains you so quickly.