Skip navigation

4512 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2011 10:57 AM by raf66
ChilliRod Amateur 11 posts since
Sep 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 18, 2011 10:52 AM

Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

Ran my W8D3 today on a treadmill. This was the first treadmill run after 4 5ks outside which were fantastic.

Today I really had to struggle to finish my 28 minutes (though I ran a couple more minutes after at full speed)

I run at a 1% incline on the treadmill but I feel it's very hard. I can never zone out even for a couple of minutes, always thinking about how many minutes I have left.

Is it all mental or just the fact that you're running at a constant pace rather than making micro-adjustments to your pace making this hard?

Does anyone else feel this way ?

  • Run4Choclt Pro 80 posts since
    Aug 17, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 18, 2011 1:34 PM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    Chillirod.. I would have to agree, running on a TM is harder than running outside. I despise treadmills!!! For this reason, I am not looking forward to winter! I'm going to try to hit the road and stay with my current running schedule but we will see how it goes. When I run on a TM, I can only do short runs - under 30 min or I go crazy. I have found that watching TV helps. If I have a good show to watch, it takes my mind off of the running, (until the commercials!) When I run outside I often play mind games with myself, making myself turn down another street, saying just 5 more minutes.


    The only reason I'd ever really want to use one is for speed work - so I know exactly how fast I'm going all the time. But this is just me

    -2011 Races-

    8/28/11 - Pekin, IL Greater Area Peoria 5k (1st ever 5k!) - 37:05

    9/3/11 - Kewanee, IL Hog Stomp 4m - 45:23

    9/10/11 - East Troy, WI Historical Society 5k - 34:02

    9/17/11 - Morton, IL Pumpkin Classic 10k - 1:06:22

    10/1/11 - Morton, IL St. Jude Road Race 5k - 31:56 - PR

    10/8/11 - Peoria, IL United Way 5k - 32:50

    10/22/11 - Peoria, IL Boo Run 5k - 32:50

    10/29/11 - Chicago, IL Monster Dash Half Marathon (1st ever HM!) - 2:40:06

    - Training For 2012 Races-

    3/3/12 - Peoria, IL Gaelic Gallop 5k -

    3/10/12 - Morton, IL Cactus Classic 10k or half ? -

    3/24/12 - Pekin, IL Saints 5k -

    3/24/12 - Peoria, IL Interplanetary 5k -

    3/31/12 - Peoria Heights, IL Half Marathon -

  • GinnyinPA Pro 150 posts since
    Sep 29, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 18, 2011 9:14 PM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    I find running on a treadmill much easier.  The surface is softer, so easier on my feet, and the pace is utterly consistent.  I can determine when to speed up or change the incline so the workout is easy to control.  On the street I have rough pavement, traffic, loose dogs, and lots of hills that steal my breath and make it difficult to maintain a steady pace.  I know I'll get used to that eventually, but for the short runs I've done so far, the treadmill has worked. 


    Unfortunately, there is the boredom factor.  After half an hour or so, staring at the same four walls gets really old.  And I have a hard time hearing TV over the motor unless I turn it way up.  So as I increase my mileage, I'll end up doing more and more running outdoors.  And hopefully the pleasure of having a varied landscape will outweigh the fact that it is more difficult for me physically.

  • Dobrobuck Pro 151 posts since
    Apr 17, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 19, 2011 5:32 AM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    Running on a TM is not as hard as running out side physically. Mentally is a different story tho. After training for my first 10K last winter on a TM and puttiing in the miles needed I went outside because weather was permitting. Big wake up call!!! fortunately there was plenty of time before the race to run outside and continue the training. The TM wont duplicate the inconsistancy of out doors ie: 90 degree's, 25 degrees, 40 mph winds, up hill then down hill, then back up again, squirrels running in front of you (the little 4 legged kind), anyway you get the picture right? Because of my experiance I will strive to run outside always but, the midwest weather is not always going to allow it. The TM is better than not running for me, I just put on the tunes and try to zone out the other junk around me. Good TMs are very consistant and you just cant get that outdoor resistance and feel from them, but they have become a nec evil for me. Try to take your mind off the boredom with whatever, hope this helps..

    4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43

    5/14/11 Kirby Derby 10K 57:49 3rd place in div

    7/4/11 Freedom 5K 28:59

    Lost 80lbs since 6/17/10 starting wt 280lbs

    Joined Second Wind Running Club 9/2011

    8/27/11 13.38mi 2:32

    9/17/11 13.45mi 2:27

    Habitat for Humanity 5K 12/31/11 26:42 PR

    4/28/12 IL Marathon 1st 1/2 2:10:38

    Cycled 1600 mi summer of 2012

    Cycled Hilly Hundred 10/25/12

    Upcoming races

    April 2013 1st full marathon..

  • PattyC014 Amateur 34 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Oct 19, 2011 6:24 AM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    Mentally, I cannot run very long on a treadmill.  I think it's because I know that I can get off at any time.  When I run, if I wanted to stop, I'd still have to run home.  I can't even run on a track, because every time I finish a loop I feel like I have a choice to stop.  Outside, I have more motivation to keep going the full distance.  


    I know that it's in my head, but I love running outside where I feel like I can breath better.


    After a few years off, starting over with the C25K on 10/17/2011.

    1/1/2012 - Resolution Run 5K

  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 21, 2011 7:07 AM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    I started on the treadmill in my home and now I only run outside. My husband wants to know when I can get rid of it.

  • Snerb Pro 140 posts since
    Jan 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 21, 2011 7:28 AM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    For me, running on a treadmill was MUCH easier than running off of one.  The treadmill seemed much more forgiving and was doing some of the motion for you.


    There are substantial difference in the way you feel after running 5 miles outside vs. 5 miles on a treadmill, for me anyway.


    5k - 24:26

    5k Trail - 24:57

    5 Mile - 39:52

    10k - 51:19

    10k Trail - 53:15

  • MoonlightCellist Amateur 39 posts since
    May 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Oct 23, 2011 5:28 PM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    Physically, I find it much easier.  I'm in Florida and started running in May.  Most of my runs were at the gym in the summer.  I didn't know I should have had the TM at an incline to mimic outdoor running.  The first time I ran outside I couldn't finish the run.  My calves burned and my lungs felt like they were going to expode.  (High humidity is my guess.)  I felt like I had to retrain a bit to run outside.


    Mentally, it is much harder.  I'm bored within 10 mintues of running on a treadmill.   I love sightseeing while running, and saying hello to others as I pass by. 

  • protometal Pro 124 posts since
    Aug 31, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Oct 23, 2011 6:27 PM (in response to MoonlightCellist)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    Running on a treadmill is harder than it is outside. Perhaps it is mental, but I have trouble running the same pace (according to the treadmill computer) than I do when I am outside. My legs also seem to become sore faster on the treadmill, even though it would seem that the opposite would be true.


    If I have a choice, I will run outside over the treadmill every time. However, I am trying to learn to love, or at least accept, running inside, as bad weather, darkness or other issues will increasingly force me to go to the gym rather than hit the roads during the winter.


    "Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"-- Henry Ford

    Upcoming races: Super 5k 2/3/13

    Select Recent Results: Brooksie Way Half Marathon - 1:49:09 (Half Marathon PR), Open Door Julie Run 5k - 22:16 (2nd place age group, PR)

    Check out my Running Blog: .

  • raf66 Expert 49 posts since
    Jan 15, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Oct 24, 2011 10:57 AM (in response to ChilliRod)
    Running on a treadmill harder than outside?

    It's funny you bring this topic up as I was just thinking (and talking) about this very same phenomena the other day.  I used to run mostly on the TM and only occasionally outside.  I found running on the TM much easier. It's utterly controllable, no problems with navigating the weather, it's a softer surface, etc. 


    Fast forward a few years and now I find it (TM running) much harder than running outside.  It's only in the last few weeks that I've had to resort to running on the TM pretty regularly vs. running outside due to it being colder and wetter and getting dark much earlier.  I've tried setting the TM speed to the same speed that I run outside and I can't keep up for more than a quarter mile or so before my HR starts maxing out.  I then have to dial the speed back down to a snails pace to get in 40-45 minutes of a workout. 


    Now, I'm sure there's a mental component that comes into play, such as boredom, etc., but for me it seems much more of a physical difference.  Were it not for the fact that I have a Garmin watch that records everything, including daily mileage/pace/etc., I may have been inclined to think I was overestimating my pace out on the open road.  However, my race times are consistent with what my Garmin shows so that's not the problem.  While I can adjust the incline on my TM, I leave it with no incline.  My runs outside are on flat concrete surfaces in a very flat part of the country, so I get no incline or decline (for the most part) when I run outside.


    Anyway, I don't really know why there's a perceived increase in effort in running outside vs. TM (or vice versa), but clearly people perceive it differently.

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...


  • Correct Answers - 10 points
  • Helpful Answers - 7 points