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Running Outside v. Running on a Treadmill: What's Best?

The treadmill has become one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment on the market. The ease with which someone can walk or run on a treadmill has made treadmills a staple in both gyms and homes. But what if you're trying to train for a marathon or other running event? Is running on a treadmill as good as running outside? Can you reap the same benefits from using your treadmill at home as you do when you train outdoors on different terrains? Treadmills do offer advantages and disadvantages when used as a training tool for long distance or marathon running. If running to lose weight or improve fitness and health levels, then a treadmill is a great place to start conditioning your heart and improving your endurance.

The Advantages of Running on a Treadmill

Using a treadmill offers a select set of advantages that running outside doesn't. Treadmill running is easier on the joints than outside running, so it's an ideal way to stay in shape when recovering from an injury. Runners suffering from knee and joint pain may find that it's less painful to run on the treadmill. The ability to run inside is one of the greatest benefits of treadmill running. You never have to forfeit a running session because the weather's bad. According to former athlete Bert Geens, another key benefit of a treadmill is the ability to track speeds and distances of low-speed runs much easier. Running for two hours while watching a movie and getting a full overview of averages at the end does make the life of a runner a lot easier!

runners treadmill All of your running information is also recorded right on the treadmill, making it an easy way to tell if you've improved your time or speed. Since the amount of calories burned on a treadmill are similar to those burned during outside running, you can use a treadmill exclusively for losing weight and then take your running outdoors. You can also train for a marathon or race using a treadmill. There are a number of training videos available that allow you to train at home by following the program.

The Advantages of Running Outside

When you run outside, you are getting more conditioning than running on a treadmill. The belt and flat surface of a treadmill make running easier, so running outside will help increase your level of conditioning and endurance at a quicker rate. You also learn how to acclimate to different running conditions that occur outside. When training for a marathon, you will need to practice running in the rain, in the cold, and in the wind. The wind is the biggest roadblock in marathons, and if you haven't learned how to adjust your stride and technique on windy days, you'll find yourself staggering behind others.

Which Type of Running Is Best?

There are some runners who are hard core outdoors runners, while others are willing to combine both types of running for maximum benefit. There are also others who prefer to stay inside and run on the treadmill and very rarely take part in an outdoors run. The key to finding which is best for you is to try both types and see which you prefer. You may find that you like combining both so that you can train all year.

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