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1402 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 1, 2009 5:25 PM by cyndi t
Perrier67 Rookie 1 posts since
Nov 16, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 31, 2009 11:13 AM

Treadmill to Road


Hello!  I prefer the treadmill over the road, but I obviously need to road run b/f a race.  I just cannot run as far or as well on the road.  What can I do to fix this problem?  A friend of mine read to set the treadmill on 1% incline & that will help transitioning to the road.  Any advice or suggestions?






  • AsphaltRunner Legend 302 posts since
    Nov 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 31, 2009 11:48 AM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road

    You just need to run on the road more.  Do not try to run at your TM speed.  I would recommend running 1 min/mile slower on the road till you can your typical TM distance. 


    Setting an incline on the TM just increases the difficulty to simulate road running.  It still is not the same.



  • b94new Amateur 13 posts since
    Jun 30, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 31, 2009 5:43 PM (in response to AsphaltRunner)
    Re: Treadmill to Road

    i agree with the speed thing--i can run about 6 mph on the treadmill for a good distance but certainly much slower on the road. once i started doing longer times i went strictly to the road.

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 31, 2009 5:45 PM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road

    Yes, you need to get used to the harder and less forgiving surface of the road, relative to the springier and softer treadmill surface. The only way to do that is to run on the roads. Also you need to get used to pacing yourself without the convenient electronic display of the treadmill in front of you - that will be an important racing skill that will come with practice. By the way: is your treadmill calibrated properly? Many of them, even in nice health clubs and gyms, are out of calibration. The treadmill may be indicating that you're running faster than you actually are....just a thought. Also...after you've been running on the road for a while, you may find you prefer it to the treadmill.

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  • dg12 Amateur 76 posts since
    Jul 12, 2007
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    4. Jul 31, 2009 6:38 PM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road


    I run on treadmills all year long, till 3 months before a marathon. Most people dont do this and cant relate with us.



    Both are so similar and yet so different in other aspects. TM are superior in training effect because you can go faster, longer, especially during the summer. Controlling the environment helps in the long run. It saves on your joints as well. The 1% incline theory is bogus, run faster to overcome that nonsense. An incline is an incline. That arguement is as silly as saying that very slow cardio burns more fat.



    Transition to the streets a few months before to get the skeletal system to hard surfaces. The surface and speed difference issue is an apple an orange thing.



    Dont sweat it, run your long runs outdoors a few moths away and then afterwards begin increase more of midweek runs outdoors!



  • Ogr44 Legend 316 posts since
    May 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 31, 2009 6:45 PM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road


    I used to be that way as well - I needed the little red light and the constant timer to keep me putting foot after foot.  Finally needed to get on road after agreeing to run race with my son.  that was Jan 2008.  I've run (in loosest since of the word) 14 races since then and find that I hate getting on treadmill vice the road/path/trail/sidewalk now  it was tough adjustment - I got one of the little gps to track time/distance - I still like to know to the meter how far I've gone. with few exceptions due to travel where treadmill is only option - I don't run in dark due to eye issues - I will run outdoors now vice treadmill.  



    As for transition,  the first few times I was on street I  a time goal vice distance (30 min run no matter how far or fast) I found that leaving treadmill was not difficult once I got past the comfort of the treadmill...    I don't run fast (PR in 5k is 33:49) but I find I get better overall workout off the treadmill.  I have completed , .a 1/2 marathon (MCHH), a 10K, two 4 milers, and a 5 miler in my race 14 race total.   









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  • VeggieChick81 Pro 130 posts since
    Jan 28, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 1, 2009 9:16 AM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road

    I can relate to you -- but I go through phases -- sometimes I love the treadmill more, and other times I love the outdoors. Usually it is whatever I get into the habit of doing more makes me like it more (and of course the weather plays a big factor as well)

    You def. have to "just do it" and run outside more. If your like me, it is probably half a psychologial barrier to bust through. You will feel the burn in your butt more because you won't be used to the rolling hills and stuff, but it will be a help in the long run.


    Also, I noticed that even with running the majority of my runs on the treadmill, I've had the same pace as running outdoors. I thought I would end up being slower, but I guess the body must have memory? Who knows?


    Best of luck!

    "If you don't run you rust" - Tom Petty

  • cyndi t Legend 1,061 posts since
    Aug 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 1, 2009 5:25 PM (in response to Perrier67)
    Re: Treadmill to Road

    I'm probably the opposite of most people.  I've heard a hundred times that it is easier to run on a treadmill but I've found it to be more difficult that the outside.  I started outside, prefer outside and usually only use the dreadmill on icy days in the winter (last year that was about 5 -6 times all year).  I'll run in rain, snow, freezing cold (I had my face freeze last year....very interesting experience), humidity and heat and will do just about anything to stay outside.  With that said, expect to run a little different than you do on the treadmill.  You will adjust.  Maybe do an alternating plan until you're fully transitioned.  That might help you adjust more gradually.  I also purchased a runners watch (wasn't very expensive) so I can get a good idea of how fast I'm going, distance between splits, etc.  Figure out what you'll do about hydration though since the outside doesn't have nice bottle holders. 


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