Running on Treadmill vs Outdoors

Running on Treadmill vs Outdoors

Depending on the purpose you’re running you can choose either to run on the treadmill or run outside.  As a runner, I started running on a treadmill at the gym and after a few weeks, I really can’t say that I was terribly bored, but I didn’t like the fact that I was running so much but still in the same spot.  Running on the treadmill sort of made me feel like a hamster stuck in a cage.  My friend and I called it the hammy machine.   Also when you’re running on the treadmill, you’re either staring at the TV, or the stare at the same people working out, or you’re staring at the treadmill stats and how much longer you have, what distance speed and incline you’re at, or you’re staring at the speed and incline the guy beside you is going at, then you try to beat him by either going faster or raising your incline.   I don’t know how people do it, I also see people running on the treadmill and read a book or talk on the phone?   Those are just things that annoy me about running on the treadmill.

The advantages of running on the treadmill can also be it’s disadvantages.  Treadmill running you get to enjoy controlled temperatures,  you never have to miss your favourite show on tv, can always run with friends, don’t have to worry about music, you can stop whenever you want and know where you are, the treadmill settings are all manually controlled and the rubber on the running belt is not hard on the knees.  I feel that running on the treadmill is great for beginners but not for the runner who wants to get more serious and hardcore.  If you want to get serious about running or challenge yourself, you have to run outdoors.

Working in an office building with hardly any windows makes me feel claustrophobic, but running outdoors I feel free.  I can run wherever I want!  The road and weather conditions are always unpredictable.  Uneven paths,  different elevation,  bugs, car and foot traffic are also issues that you have to deal with when running outdoors but the advantages far outbeat the disadvantages.  You can run around your neighborhood, get lost and enjoy the always changing scenery.  The challenges of outdoor running makes me feel alive and if I overcome them, they make me stronger.  The transition from treadmill to outdoor running can be hard and you have to learn how to pace yourself.  Start off at a slower pace otherwise you will quit as soon as you start.    Once you’re comfortable with running outdoors, it’s all about the training and getting faster and running longer.

Overall I choose running outdoors.  It’s an amazing feeling.

Related Running Tips:

  1. Best running surfaces for your feet
  2. Apply sunscreen before your run
  3. Night running
  4. Beginner Distance
  5. Beginners Guide – How to get started
  6. When should I replace my running shoes?
  7. Proper running etiquette



3 Responses to “Running on Treadmill vs Outdoors”

  1. a runner says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I’m going to head out for a run tonight.

  2. brandy says:

    I WISH I had the option of running outdoors. I used to run relatively short distances (5 miles) when we lived back east, but since moving here to south TX, it is pretty much impossible to run anywhere either safely due to lack of sidewalks (and the easement from the road is used by drivers as the slow lane), or the ridiculously oppressive heat (in the mid-90′s even at 8 at night) make it unsafe.

    Treadmill running has its place for someone like me that needs to ‘train teh body’ to at least maintain a certain pace, but I get boredboredbored by treadmills, and find that I tend to just shuffle off running altogether.

    I like to run, and I wish I could run outdoors, and I guess until it cools down here (pretty much only December and JAnuary), I need to find other things to keep my occupied while I do my ‘hamster run’ on the dratted treadmill.

  3. elaine says:

    That’s so true, TX is extremely hot. I guess in extreme heat the hammy will have to do. It’s a shame that you can only run outdoors 2 months of the year. You should travel somewhere to do more races!

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