Contemplating getting a treadmill to start running. I want to join my schools cross country team next year but i need to improve my running abilties. Is running on a treadmill a lot different than outdoors? Some runners I know say it's completely different, others say their pretty similar. I would run outside but it gets very hot where I live and my house isn't in the best area for running outdoors.
If you want to race outdoors, the more training you do under race "conditions", the better. Training in the variable weather and landscape will better prepare you mentally and physically to compete in it.
They are very different in my opinion. I find that that my cardio wears out faster on the treadmill and my legs wear out faster outside. Thats just me though.
I actually run at a faster pace outside as well. Seems more natural to my body.
btw.. Im training for my first marathon in Octover after finishing my first half this April. Prior to that half marathon, I ran outside maybe a total of 10 times. The more you run outside, the better off you will be I found out 5 miles on treadmill are like 2.5 on the road.
I actually find the treadmill a lot harder than running outdoors, my treadmill pace is slower than my outdoor pace (very weird in my opinion, I think I'm an anomaly). I find the treadmill to be less stimulating as well, I'm easily bored and find it harder to get in a good run. I thought a tv would help, but so far it hasn't. I live in the mountains where there is snow on the ground for about 9 months a year so I just have to deal with the boredom of the treadmill. If you do get a treadmill, try to remember to not let the belt do all the work for you, or you will find your hamstrings unable to perform on race day. Also, I found that covering up the time/distance/etc information helped me to stop focusing on every tenth of a mile and instead just run. Early mornings and evenings are a great alternative to a treadmill when in a hot climate, but if your track team is going to run in the afternoons you might want to get use to running at that time as well. Good luck- Jill
I use a treadmill 4 to 5 times a week all year long and run random 1/2 marathons, 10k's and 5 k's. I really enjoy my treadmill, I keep it near a TV and watch my favorite show (TIVO makes it possible) Because I work full-time and have two small kids, I usually do my running between 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning and am not able to run outside. I trained 100% for a 1/2 marathon on my treadmill and while I run faster on the treadmill than I do outside (because I push myself harder), I was very well conditioned from my treadmill. The difference I see, like mentioned above, is that while my conditioning is quite good, my legs and feet often take the beating when I get outside since I am used to the softer deck and orthopedic belt...I would not trade my treadmill for anything, it is a ncessary appliance in our house.
I have found that running on a treadmill is very beneficial to my training. Since January most of my training has been done on a treadmill and over the past 5 years while in college I have done almost all of my running on a treadmill. I believe it is a good tool that works well if you dont have someone to run with. I really do not notice much of a difference from running on a treadmill and running outside. I think that at least once a week it is good to get outside and run though. Also, it is important when running on a treadmill to keep the incline at a level that gives you the kind of workout you need. I consider a 1% grade to be flat when running on a treadmill so that I can get a similar effect as if I were running outside. But in the end it is about simulating running outside to the treadmill and one way to do that is adjust the incline. I never watch tv when running on a treadmill, that is not good. I have prefered to use music instead. Not ipod but stereo. I would also like to comment that the treadmills that I run on are rec center commercial treadmills that are top of the line and can be quite expensive for an individual home purchase. (I like Precor the best.) From a lot of running on a treadmill I have produced a 5k time of 16:16, 10k 33:15, and a half marathon time of 1:11:11. So running on a treadmill I think is beneficial and should not negate performance.
From what you can see, everybody is different. If I were you I would join your local gym to see how you like the tred-mil. Heat, Rain, Snow, Wind, Pollution, UV Rays, all of these factors come into play when you run outside and have an effect on how well you run. So, Yes it is definitely a good idea to run outside one to two times per week just to get your body conditioned for outdoor running. But, a tredmil is an effective training tool that can prepare you and push you to be a better runner. Running on the tred-mil is something you can do without worrying about the weather or the impact that pounding the concrete has on your muscles, joint, and bones.
I prefer running on the tred-mil because the weather is always nice and I tend to work a lot harder. I keep a steady pace and can do speed work and hill repeats and know exactly how much I have improved. When I run outside, I tend to just jog and yes I might run farther but that is because I'm not running hard. It's up to you. Good Luck. Most of all, enjoy yourself.
I actually find running on a treadmill a lot more difficult than running outside. I ran most of my runs on the treadmill over the winter and I couldn't keep myself focused and an easy run at a slow pace seemed like work, whereas the same pace and distance outside was pure pleasure.
I do still occasionally use the treadmill for speed work but I'll be leaving that behind for a local track this week.
I would recommend, as others have said, running in the early morning or evening. If your area isn't safe for running, think about driving somewhere else with safer roads, using a local track. Ask some of the people currently running on the cross country team for their training routes and local advice.
Good luck! Keep running.
As a new runner, I am really happy training on the treadmill at my YMCA. I push myself harder because my regular buddies are around and it a comfortable and safe environment. It definently helps to cover up the screen, since I am just now starting to train for distance. I never watch TV on any machines, either tunes or talking to someone, sometimes myself. I was actually faster on the road keeping up with others and enjoying race at my first 5K. Since, it is coastal and very flat where I live I don't see much difference, except it's a lot more interesting to be out enjoying some scenery. I am using it a lot to experiment with pacing, and like to keep track of my time on it. I hope that I can try some beach runs soon, that should be interesting. Does anyone have any input on that? Good luck with your goals!!
I find that outdoor running time goes faster. Its more stimulating and calming than running on a treadmill. Monitoring one's performance is easier on a treadmill. Pros and cons.
We own a fitness studio, and yes it is completely different. It will help you, but the machine helps you run, the air conditioned helps too and you do not have the experience of the terrain variations. When you run outdoors you do not receive any help from the surface, the pavement does not move. The heat takes a toll on you and the variation in the terrain makes your ankles, feet, calves, hips, the whole core gets more involved. You will have to train longest distances in the machine in order to achieve similar results. I will recommend to tray outside once a week. Is like training in apool for tri or swimming open bay,
I agree with Willow, running outdoors is so much more theraputic and relaxing than treadmill. Being indoors seems to prove a distraction when you're trying to focus on your breathing and enjoy running. I've found that if you find a trail that's your own, one that makes you feel comfortable, it's easier to be consistent about running everyday. Even if you trade off and try new trails, you always have the one to come back to. Treadmills just can't give you that. Plus, if you're looking to get in shape, being in a gym full of buffed up tanorexics can tend to hinder the self-confidence boost which is essential to the consistency program of running. Boiled down, they're very different. Outdoors is more calming, more preparatory for races, and gives you a killer tan in the summer BUT it's harder on the body, it's more dangerous, and you're vulnerable to the weather. Treamills though can leave you distracted, wear out your cardio faster, and leave you wanting for fresh air (if you're in a gym, it can sometimes leave that 'dirty gym sock' smell in your nose for a while)
Hope this helps, good luck with XC!
I think it is totally different. When I was studying for the bar exam, I ran on the treadmill every day, and thought I could transition to pavement/concrete easily after the exam, but it is tough on the knees. So I think it depends partly on knees. The treadmill is "softer" on the knees when your feet hit the ground on every step. I'm now training for my first half marathon and doing a combination of dirt trails (easier on the knees) and pavement. How about running indoors around a track, perhaps at your community center or at the gym?
Here is an article on the advantages and disadvantages of using a treadmill or running outdoors: treadmills vs outdoors
My personal opinion is run outdoors unless it is unsafe too.