Treadmill vs. Outside

Treadmill vs. Outside

As a runner I am thankful I have a treadmill at my house, as I feel it is a necessity. However, I only use it for about 1/4 of the year. I do most of my running outside unless I absolutely cannot (usually weather reasons). 

The only times I run on my treadmill are if it is way to cold outside (below 20 degrees) or too hot (higher that 90 degrees), or if it is late at night and I want to get in a run (safety reasons).

However, I do value my treadmill and am happy I have one.

Here are a few reasons why I like my treadmill:

Pros of owning a treadmill


I do not have children yet, but I would also guess that owning a treadmill would be beneficial for parents who cannot go out for a run because they have children at home.

While I enjoy my treadmill, there is nothing like running outside. I try to do most of my running outside for several different reasons.

Pros of running outside

This past weekend I had to run 17 miles for my long run. I ran it on Saturday because we were out of town for a wedding and I knew I would want to sleep in a bit Sunday. The location of our hotel was not ideal for running as there were very few sidewalks and a lot of busy roads, but I did the best I could.

I was able to get in 11.5 miles outside and then ran 5.5 miles on the treadmill. I ran the last part on the treadmill because I ran out of sidewalks and did not want to take the risk of running on a highway!

I fueled up with a GU before my run, and had another one around mile 10. It was a great run that surprisingly went really fast and I felt great afterwards! My average pace was 8:20, which I was happy with.

I got up and ran 5 very slow miles on Sunday. I always run the day after a long run, but it is usually very slow run. During my recovery runs I try to keep my pace at 9 or even a bit slower. The purpose of this run is not to work on my speed but to flush out the lactate in my muscles.

I had a friend email me the other asking why her mile time is slower outside versus on the treadmill. This is actually a common question. I can give you my best explanation as it applies to me.

While treadmill running you are not physically moving your body forward like you are outside, rather you are just lifting up your feet so less energy is spent. You are also running at a constant elevation (unless you choose you increase your elevation on your treadmill). If your treadmill is inside (which I think most are…) you are avoiding the weather elements (wind and extreme temperatures).

If you have been doing most of your training on a treadmill and switch to pavement you may notice acute shins splints as your legs become use to the different surface. This does not happen with everyone, but it could happen to you so just beware of that.

Unrelated to running…

The Iowa Hawkeyes WON on Saturday. As an Iowa alum and native of the state this makes me very happy!

However, despise their best efforts the Chicago Bears lost by 3 points on Sunday 🙁 Matt Forte played his very best and I still love him madly. My dad and I are super fans and love them no matter what.

This picture was taken before they lost, when I still had hope of a win. Also, since I don’t like my picture taken I am not entirely excited about this.

Da Bears

Have a great evening! It is currently raining outside (which I love) and I am drinking tea and about to grade papers. Fall is truly the best and I wish it stayed longer.

Did you have a long run this past weekend? How did it ago?

Favorite college or NFL team?

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