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4486 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 18, 2011 7:46 PM by Helljack
SRivers123 Rookie 6 posts since
May 2, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

May 9, 2011 9:16 AM

Treamill to road race

I ran my first 5k this Sunday. I've been able to run a full 5k on my treadmill, but come to the actual race I was not able to run the full distance at the same pace. I know there is a difference between treadmill and outdoors, but I train early in the morning when it is still dark out and it is too hot in the afternoon to run outdoors. There was a  headwind, but I don't know if it was a factor. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • natamars Rookie 5 posts since
    May 8, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 9, 2011 9:47 AM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treamill to road race

    I started jogging last fall, so I'd only been using the treadmill. I've done two 5K's the last two weekends. What I found was that I am MUCH faster(this is relative of course) at a race. On the treadmill I was doing 4.5-4.7mph. I finished the first mile Saturday in 10:30 minutes. Which left me tired and winded, and I had to slow way down.


    Do you have a way of checking your pace on the road vs. what you've been doing on the treamill?

  • sschmear Rookie 2 posts since
    May 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 9, 2011 12:14 PM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treamill to road race

    I do all of my running training on a treadmill and only hit the raods for 5Ks each Saturday. Here is how I ease the transition:  I always run with an iPod and I have a playlist of songs that pounds out the exact beat (pace) that I want to run.  I listen to it on the treadmill and I listen to it during the 5Ks.  It helps me develop muscle memory for pace. Before the race begins, I know within a few seconds of what my finish time will be.  For me, the most difficult part of the transition is the breathing.  The indoor conditions are quite controlled, while the outdoor conditions very with temperature, humidity, wind, pollen, etc.  Controlling the pace will help you control your breathing.  Good luck with your running and congrats on your first 5K!

  • Linda 825 Rookie 2 posts since
    Oct 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 9, 2011 12:22 PM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treamill to road race

    What do you set the incline on the treadmill at? I've read that you should run on 1%-2% incline to help stimulating running outdoors. Seems to help me.

  • ShelbyinMontana Pro 56 posts since
    Aug 16, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. May 9, 2011 1:55 PM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treamill to road race

    I think there's such a huge difference between running outside and running on a treadmill. My regular pace for a mile outside is around 9.40 or 9.50, but on a treadmill it says I'm doing an 11 minute mile (1.5% incline) and it feels exhausting. I ran on the treadmill all winter, and transitioning to running back outside was so difficult. I realize that's completely contradictory, but it's true. As for the heat, running in the heat can be reallly unpleasant in the beginning, but your body gets used to it. It's usually 80-100 degrees here in the summer, but running outside is still my first choice. I realize this is already way too long, but one more thing.

    There are so many things that running outside offers that the treadmill can't. Running outside there's wind, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is. Also a treadmill can't replicate the small changes in terrain, the small ups and down where ever you run help strengthen all the tiny muscles in your feet and legs. Bottom line-lots of perople train for races only on treadmills, but some people (like me) find it difficult to transition from treadmill to road race. If running out in the heat everyday sounds like hell, use the treadmill most of the time and run outside once or twice a week, so that when it comes to the race you know what to expect. Sorry that was so long, I could talk about running forever.


    "Through it all, each morning has patiently asked me, 'Why do you run today?' And over the course of the years, one simple answer has quietly become more clearly heard than all others: because I must."

    -Dagny Scott

  • This IS my race pace Pro 103 posts since
    Oct 19, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 11, 2011 4:01 PM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treamill to road race

    Oh, yeah!  BIG difference between the ol' treadmill and the road.  Because of the heat and my location (very hilly and heavy car traffic w/ few running or biking paths), I ended up doing almost all but my weekly long runs on a treadmill when I trained for my last marathon.  Won't say I love the treadmill but I will say it is a very valuable tool and works great.  Your pace is different, your posture, your gait, your effort - it's all different between the road and the the TM.  W/ the TM you can almost unconsciously do an entire workout because the pace never chances until you change it.  Also, the belt continues to move when your feet hit it compared to the road where you have to push off harder to propel forward.  I saw someone mentioned the incline setting to 1-1.5 deg. to better simulate outdoor running and that helps, too.


    If this was your first race, you had a few things that actually worked against you.  Small, but when added up they gave you a pretty good challenge.  I think the first was not being able to start at and maintain a steady pace.  You did what you felt was about right compared to your treadmill, and add that to the adrenaline and excitement you probably started out too quick and wore yourself out.  Also, when you ran on the road, believe it or not you used different muscles in different ways so the sequence, effort and stress was altered just enough to give you some extra fatigue.  The stress on your body (feet, joints, etc.) is more on the road than the TM, too.  You need to "toughen up" to help ward off injuries by running outside, because running is a very phsyically demanding sport, believe it or not.  So far, "The Biggest Loser" has been the only place I've seen a 5K race ran on a treadmill.  :^)


    Treadmill training is good, but even the most ardent advocates agree you have to run outside at least a few times before your race just to get climatized and work on mechanics, level of effort, pacing, etc. so you have a good race.  Well, lesson learned, eh?  You'll know better for your next one.  And congrats on your first race!  They are a slice, aren't they?  Do you have the bug now?

  • ron6788 Pro 85 posts since
    Oct 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. May 16, 2011 6:19 AM (in response to SRivers123)
    Re: Treadmill to road race

    I prefer training on a treadmill because it is more accurate and I'm more focused.  I tried raising the belt by 1% but it tired me out, kinda felt like running up a small hill the whole time and I couldn't see how it could simulate the wind.  When I run outside, I need to concentrate on maintaining the same exertion level that I do when on the treadmill.  This works the best for me to keep up a similar pace indoors and outdoors.  Maybe this would work for you.  My exertion level for a 5k is to run til I'm breathing hard but not quite out of breath.  There are so many distractions outdoors, even though that's what makes it fun, it also makes it a lot harder to focus on your form and speed.

    Education 5k ..........................................................:.25:39

    Mayapple trail 21 mi .................................................4:10

  • Helljack Rookie 2 posts since
    May 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 18, 2011 7:46 PM (in response to ron6788)
    Re: Treadmill to road race

    Hey ya'll, new guy here but not so new to running.


    I do almost ALL my major training on a treadmill inside the house, in the basement with the fan blowing on me and an incline set at 1%. The only time I run outside is when i'm actually running for the reason i'm training or I want to work on specific stride work.


    My personal guidance: Learn to adapt to the 1% incline setting as it very realistically simulates running outside but NOT on concrete, and what you'll be dealing with. Learn how to use the HILLS setting on your treadmill as running hills is a great way to add variety into your workout and running hills will help develop your overall run. Try to concentrate on a few simple things when you run on your treadmill"


    1. Much like any other sport that requires repetition, try to make each leg swing/foot strike the same as the last. Here's why. Running by itself isn't what hurts you, it's HOW you run that hurts you. The closer you can get to making each action the same as the last that was pain free, the better you're going to run regardless if you're on a treadmill or outside.


    2. Breathing - probably the biggest hinderance to everyone who's ever struggled with running, here's a few ways to get around it. Turn on the television and watch a show or movie, get so engrossed in what's on the screen you forget about the fact that you're running and much less the fact that you're struggling to breathe while you're moving. Bascially, learn how to distract yourself from what you're currently doing.


    3. Cadence/Pace - Most people run with an average pace of 80-90 beats per foot/per minute. Find a pace that's comfortable for you. If you have a smart phone like android or blackberry, download a small Metronome app and set it to 80bpm and start trying to match that beat every time either your right or left foot hits the ground. If you have to shorten your stride or lengthen your stride a little it's ok. It's a bit awkward at first but once you get the hang of it, you'll find that you can match up your breathing with your cadence and it will make that so much easier as well. If you have to shorten or lengthen your stride a lot to match cadence, either your running too slow or the pace isn't ideal for you and you need to step it up a notch or two. What happens is when you find your right cadence and you can comfortably hit your cadence based on your current stride, you start running more efficiently and less painfully. When I run, I run at 90bpm with my Metronome app and regardless of what speed i'm running at, I can hold 90bpm by either increasing or decreasing my stride length. Obviously at the faster speeds i'm not going to hold that cadence for the same amount of time as I am at lower speeds, but the idea with cadence is consistency.


    4. Foot strike/leg swing - Already hit kinda on this, but in depth here. How does your leg swing and/or foot strike? Does it cause you discomfort anywhere, do your knees get sore over time or distance? Again it's not the running that's hurting you, it's HOW you're running. As you run your muscles go through a series of motions that cause them to warm up and loosen up so the further and longer you run, the more your leg swing/foot strike is going to change and THAT is what's going to cause you pain because your motion/foot strike is now changing and no longer the same as when you started. If you can conciously monitor this as you run, the moment you feel any kind of pain and make a slight adjustment to get back to where you were painlessly a moment ago, the pain will actually disappear and you'll find that you can push on. The pain could be anything from your foot cramping (how you land), your calves cramping (dehydration, running too much on the balls of your feet), Quads getting tighter (over striding, not picking up your feet and putting them down but rather "shuffling" along or pendelum swinging). As you feel these pains creeping up, conciously making a minor change from shifting your weight, changing how your foot/feet land or just picking up your feet somewhat will cause that to go away quickly.


    5. LONG SLOW DAY/RUN - For this, set the incline back at 0%, slow your overall speed down to the point where you can actually talk/conversate with little to no effort with someone in the same room as you WHILE you're running. Don't worry about time, worry about distance. Start at 3 miles and each week add a half mile or a full mile if you're comfortable with it.


    I know that there's a lot to think about even for running on a treadmill, don't let it overwhelm you. Pick one thing and work on it each run, build some type of consistency. I've found that doing these things has allowed me to go from running 3x a week to running 5x a week with Sat/Sun off as rest days. With regards to my leg swing/foot strike, as I constantly monitor this when I run, I've found that I'm running more pain free and my overall recovery time is a few hours vs. a couple days.


    Hope this helps.



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