What's the Difference Between Running on a Treadmill and Running Outside?

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    Jun 01, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    Running on a treadmill feels somewhat easier physically because the ground is being pulled underneath your feet and there's no wind resistance. Running outdoor demands more from your body because you're propelling your body forward stride for stride.

    Many treadmills are padded, making them a good option if you're overweight or are injury-prone (especially with knee issues) and want to decrease the impact.

    It's easier to distract yourself when running outside. The bottom line: If you're training for a specific outdoor race, try to train outside as much as possible to get prepared for race conditions.

    .
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
    Personally I can't stand walking or jogging on a treadmill. I hate being in one spot like that regardless of what's in front of me: wall, people, TV, book. I definitely prefer outdoors because nature is just so much more interesting. Plus you can always explore different routes for yourself.
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:05 AM GMT
    Running on a treadmill can be nice, because you can control how fast you want to go, but running outside is way better. You actually get to move, and unless you want to run in the same place for a long period of time, having the ability to go out and just run is so much better.
  • neon4u

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    Jun 01, 2010 3:05 AM GMT
    I only run outside... there is nothing like stripping your shirt off and going for a long run. You breath clean air; run over various terrians and battle the elements.... I think it's much better than a treadmill.
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:08 AM GMT
    One gives a panoramic view...
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    There's actually a big difference between a treadmill and running on land.

    The treadmill's belt is already moving, all you need do is lift your foot and move it forward and it pulls your planted foot right back and you repeat. It requires little "push" for momentum.

    Running on land increases the muscles that you're activating. You need to push off the ground (which isn't moving) to give yourself momentum. By doing that it engages all of your body's muscles as you're compensating to create movement to push yourself forward whereas on a treadmill you're more or less "hopping" yourself up into the air and lettingthe belt do part of the work.

    Another plus to running on land is uneven terrain. You'll develop more of the smaller muscles (especially in your lower legs and feet), as well as your core balance by training your body to naturally adjust to different planes of surface.

    I hope this was helpful!
    Douglas

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    Jun 01, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    for me, for whatever reason, when i first started running, i would always gets shin splints when running on the treadmill. but when i ran outside i wouldn't get them (which i thought was kinda odd b/c i was under the impression more muscles--relatively speaking---were used outside compared to on a treadmill). i don't get them anymore. i do last longer on treadmills than outside....but i think the heat and humidity in houston is a huge factor in that.
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:52 AM GMT
    running outside you are more likely to have to kce your knees everynight from all of the impact
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    Jun 01, 2010 4:20 AM GMT
    To each its own i guess...lol! The treadmill is MUCH better, not only will u push urself to the max, but u wont be killing urself, like u would on asphalt, cement or pavement outsideicon_exclaim.gif Another bright side is NOT being attcked by wild animals, or taking a chance of being hit by an automobile.icon_eek.gif
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    Jun 01, 2010 4:43 AM GMT
    Dougii saidThe treadmill's belt is already moving, all you need do is lift your foot and move it forward and it pulls your planted foot right back and you repeat. It requires little "push" for momentum.

    Good point. I noticed that I can "cheat" simply by taking higher strids (giving more time for the belt to pass underneath, thus supposedly running "further) - what I think you called "hopping".

    But I do like the pace consistency... it's so much easier to slack off when you're running outside.

    I just started on the treadmill at the beginning of this year and am curious to how accurate (time-wise) it is. Keep thinking of comparing a three mile time on it vs. a track... but I've been busy (and we've been doing 2 football practices a week in preparation for Chicago PrideBowl, so....) Anyone have experience with that?
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:08 AM GMT
    I'm addicted to treadmills. I can't stand running outside.
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:13 AM GMT
    I love the treadmill somedays lol
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    Jun 01, 2010 5:13 AM GMT
    Ciarsolo saidI'm addicted to treadmills. I can't stand running outside.


    ditto
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    Jun 01, 2010 6:24 AM GMT
    prefer the treadmill because of my ankles.
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    Jun 01, 2010 6:33 AM GMT
    I prefer running outside in the middle of the day when it is super hot.

    This might be a result of my past cross country days. Nonetheless, I feel like the added heat helps to accelerate the rate at which I burn off fat.
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    Jun 01, 2010 6:36 AM GMT
    snapshot said Nonetheless, I feel like the added heat helps to accelerate the rate at which I burn off fat.


    It doesn't work that way, but motivation to run is good! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 02, 2010 2:44 AM GMT
    It's called the 'dreadmill' for a reason...BORING! There are numerous benifits for running outdoors.
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    Jun 02, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
    running outside is the best.
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    Jun 02, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    biggest advantage to using a treadmill is you can run until you are completely exhausted and can't take one step further, and you are already where you need to be to quit.

    When running outside... it can be a little tricky having your run end at the right time to coincide with your energy level while also being even remotely close to your house icon_smile.gif

    I would agree that outdoor running is better from a muscle development standpoint, although running on a treadmill is better for those more prone to injury or pains in their lower body... so in the end, it comes down to preference and ability
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    Jun 02, 2010 3:44 AM GMT
    Everyone will always have their preferences or reasons to do one or the other. I guess it is all about how you should devote your time to each one. Treadmills should be used sparingly, not every day as some people do. Switch it up! Alternate the days you use the treadmill. You could save on the gas and time if you just stepped a foot outside your front door. I'm not talking about anything crazy...maybe a block here, a block there.

    I can see that many people use treadmills as an alternative to running outside, and I do as well sometimes, but in moderation. It could just be a preference, or the person may be injury prone as many have said...knees, ankles, soreness. The treadmill does give the much needed cushion these people may need, but they should never be used on a daily basis. I feel there should be a warning label on treadmills that say, "Warning, you may get addicted to using this piece of equipment, but don't be fooled, running/walking/jogging outside is still better for you."

    When I run outside, it's not just because I find it less boring then the treadmill (even though it is boring), it actually feels different. There is more resistance, which is what people are missing who only stick to the comforts of the treadmill. Trust me, I am running inside with the rest of you when the temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but rain, shine, snow, hot, or cold I am still running outside, because it just kicks that sweet little treadmills ass.
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    Jun 02, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    I prefer the treadmill partially because i have trouble breathing deep when it get too humid outside. Also, I like the variation you can get with the treadmill in terms of varying the incline. Also, if you're obsessive about exactly how much distance you've covered and timing issues (like trying to do 5k in less than 25 min type of thing) then the treadmill is great. Also, its less impact on your joints because the treadmill absorbs some of the shock.

    On the other hand, running outside conditions your body to a more "real life" scenario where your body is made to deal with the hard ground, wind, air, humidity, weather, etc. So both have their merits and both have their points that go against them.

    Personally, i think running outside in nature will make you better equipped to run away from a dinosaur compared to a treadmill because..well...dinosaurs don't chase ppl on treadmills.
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    Jun 02, 2010 4:03 AM GMT
    my gym has the tread mills up on the second floor overlooking the weight training area below...there is plenty to look at while i'm running. icon_biggrin.gif

    i am curious to know about running in place...if that is more like running on a treadmill, or actual running, or if it is altogether different...

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    Jun 03, 2010 10:33 PM GMT
    you have to look at them as having different benefits and being complementary.

    if you're training for speed, treadmill will help enormously . You're teaching your brain to memorize exactly how to coordinate muscle firing sequences as the machine will sustain even speed .You learn to go faster more efficiently , wasting less energy with muscles fighting each other. Over time you notice increased fluidity.You can focus on technique more easily.

    For endurance again, the treadmill will force you to sustain an even cadence over a prolonged period.
    If you program it for intervals, then you can't cheat. After exactly 3 minutes on, it will give you 2 min recovery and then bang on again. If you're left to your own devices, it's easy to cut a few seconds off an interval, or stretch a recovery period a bit etc.

    But running outdoors , besides being pleasant if you're on a nice trail, or scenic route gets you to adapt to uneven terrain and atmospheric conditions.
    You gain increased stability ( turning points, bumpy road, roots&rocks on a trail), and get used to heart rate going up and down while maintaining pace.
    If you intend to enter events, it's important.

    All the propulsion debate is relative. When running outdoors , once you've reached your target speed momentum is created which has a similar effect to the belt rolling under your feet. You don't feel you're pushing yourself off like a dead weight at each step.
    But uneven terrain, a little dip, bump, "faux plat" , curves etc will slightly upset the momentum and then yes, it takes more energy.


  • toybrian

    Posts: 395

    Jun 03, 2010 11:05 PM GMT
    love to run outdoors and for me it calms me down with the different types of scenery around me while I run and gives me a chance to unwind from a hard day..It gives me a chance to just look around and see what is out there ...tried the treadmills and feel too enclosed on it and feel uncomfortable on it...on the road have to be alert at all times and enjoy what is around me....have a good long run guys..
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Jun 03, 2010 11:07 PM GMT
    my fav treadmill at my last health club was the one on the very end, directly under a ceiling fan, with a television above it. icon_cool.gif