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Treadmill vs. Outdoor running (Read 2017 times)

    Hi everyone, I was just curious how awful it is to train on a treadmill vs. the outdoors. I literally cannot run outside anymore- I have incredibly poor circulation and no matter what gloves/mittens I've tried, the past few outdoor runs have very nearly given me frostbite (which is actually a fairly normal occurrence- because I ski a lot, I tend to get frostbite on my fingers or toes at least 3 times a year). My only other option is to take blood pressure medication- it helps increase circulation. But my bp is already 90/60 and the doctor is concerned that taking the medication combined with longer runs will really not be a good combination. It cut down on the frostbite while I was taking it last year, but I stopped when I fainted twice during a vacation at Killington. Anyway, is it really that much worse to just get on a treadmill for the winter? I put it on an incline of about 1%. By the way, I am planning on running my first marathon next September, and my longest run to date was 12 miles- I plan to start really training in May-ish, and I'll be fine to go outside at that point. Will I lose some of the base I built up in the past year or so by switching to the treadmill for a few months? Will I still have time to train for the full marathon starting in May? I can be outdoors all summer- I've run in Orlando in August and never had a problem- generally I just like heat and humidity and perform well in those conditions. Wow, that was a long way to ask a short question.
      Define "worse." If you mean a worse experience, yes. Treadmills are instruments of the devil. I ran four miles on ours yesterday, and won't do it again. Evil, I say. With a capital 'E.' I chose 16 degrees and snow and 30 mile an hour winds today, rather than the evil treadmill ... and had a much, much better time, running twice as far. But if you're asking about training - and you are - then I don't think there's anything wrong with them. I know people who do all their runs, even 40-50 miles per week, on the devil's hamster wheel. Even in the summer. God knows why. I've even read about a few elite marathoners and even ultra runners who do the majority of their runs on the infernal contraption. Personally, besides the obvious evil qualities of the damned things, I don't like the way my legs feel on them ... but if your body likes the dreadtread, I'm sure it's fine. Evil. But fine.
      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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        When I run on a treadmill it feels as though I'm working harder than when I run on the road even when I don't use any incline. I think there are 3 reasons for this: - I get bored on the treadmill even when I have music. I guess it's because I have nothing to look at. I haven't tried watching TV though so that may help. - When you run on the road, you tend to adjust you pace based on how you're feeling. It may only be minor adjustments, but you do adjust. On a treadmill you're locked into a set speed unless you want to be constantly fiddling with the buttons. - When on the road, the breeze you generate actually helps keep you cool, plus any other wind outside. On the treadmill, the air is stagnant so I tend to sweat more, even if the room is cold. I only run on the treadmill when I'm at a hotel, but I guess if you're at home, you can use a fan to help cool you down. I agree with JakeKnight....treadmills are evil. I don't know how anyone can run on them for any significant amount of time. Having said that, I can see where treadmills are useful, e.g if you live in Fargo, ND :-)
        Derek
        Jeffrey


          My experience: I think treadmills are great. I used a treadmill for 4 months earlier this year as one component in an indoors cross-training routine. Once I got my treadmill run up to 120 minutes, I had to take it outdoors. Smile At this stage in my running I can't mix outdoor + indoor (treadmill) running because the 'mill causes me all kinds of quirky pains in my legs that last for days. Its a strange phenomenon - perhaps exclusive to the way I run. I think music is great for treadmill running; higher BPM and variety. If for whatever reason I have to go back to using my treadmill I must get Directv installed in my workout room. Currently I have a static "motivational poster" of Lance Armstrong and other pros cycling ... how many hours can I stare at Lance and Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond ... Big grin Hope that helps.
          va


            ...Treadmills are instruments of the devil...Evil, I say. With a capital 'E.'
            If a treadmill is evil and an instrument of the devil Evil grin, what do you call the nice soft couch or the box of jelly donuts that beckons me? I am with laura25, I don’t like to run in the cold, so I run on the treadmill instead. I enjoy the warmth, the tunes, and the running. It is time for the people of the treadmill to come out of the closet and be counted!!! Big grin
              I am a weirdo. I kind of like the treadmill. At the same time, the treadmills I use are all at my gym, where the combination of loud completely random music (everything from disco to oldies to 80s hits to newer stuff), big TVs, and people-watching is enough to keep me entertained. People do some really weird stuff at the gym, but that's a thread all to itself. I don't find much of a difference between the treadmill and running outside. My pace is about the same, too. The big thing I've noticed is if I set it at any incline whatsoever, my shins hurt like hell. I have no problems hill running outside.
                Treadmills aren't awful, especially if you have a medical condtion that chases you inside in the cold. Indoor running's better than nothing. I prefer running outdoors in the winter. I don't mind snow, ice, & cold. I'm not fond of the idea of getting hit by a skidding car but, short of that I feel more studly if Old Man Winter doesn't keep me inside. If you workout in a gym can you use the treadmill as long as you like? I know a lot of gyms have time limits on their cardio machines. If you workout at home can you afford a machine that can give you the run you need? Personally, I'd rather spend that kind of dough on a nice rowing machine or some other x-training equipment. Of course, the weather's been mild so far this season. Ask me again in January & I might be singing a different tune.

                The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.


                Go Pre!

                  Derek, I tried to find an email for you but couldn't. I just wanted to say that you 'roadtoboston' website is great. Good luck with that! Anyone else intersted in following people's progress will like Derek's site. http://www.roadtoboston.com/blog/ Dave
                    Thanks for all the feedback Smile I really hated the treadmill when I first started, but I'm used to it now. I go to the gym first thing in the morning, and my gym is very much an after-work gym (right next to the train to the suburbs), so it's almost completely empty- I can have my treadmill to myself for as long as I want. The way I've dealt with treadmill boredom is to pick the one right next to the window so I can watch people walking from the train to work, or the construction workers starting their day with breakfast from the DD's across the street. I tend to listen to music as a distraction, but really I spend the time planning- what will I wear today, what will I have for breakfast, what will I do first at work, what should I do this weekend, etc. i also love the competitive nature of the treadmill. When I run outside, I tend to naturally run faster when there's people around to pass, which isn't always the case. If I pull up on a treadmill next to someone, I watch their screen religiously and simply must run faster and longer than they do. Wink
                      Evil. As in fru-its of the De-vil. I knew that even before I paid more for one than I did for my first car. For a machine. So you can walk. A walking machine. Ridiculous. Evil. I can see it right now. It's taunting me from the guest room. In a minute, I'm going to find some holy water and toss it in that direction. I'll bet it sizzles.
                      I prefer running outdoors in the winter. I don't mind snow, ice, & cold. I'm not fond of the idea of getting hit by a skidding car but, short of that I feel more studly if Old Man Winter doesn't keep me inside. .
                      Yeah. What he said. Except that I'd rather get hit by the skidding car then climb on the hamster wheel.
                      E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        ... the 'mill causes me all kinds of quirky pains in my legs that last for days. Its a strange phenomenon - perhaps exclusive to the way I run.
                        I started my running life on a treadmill and experienced aches and pains I never got when I moved outdoors. But treadmill provided me with a good workout. I cannot run outside as fast as I can on a treadmill set to 1.5 grade so for me moving outdoors was a bit disheartening at first. Now I reserve treadmill runs for a really bad weather days or for occasional interval training. Oh, one more thing. I rarely varied my speed on a treadmill and I think that could be one of the reasons why I have problems pacing myself. Ewa
                        I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                          If this helps...I love my treadmill. I easily run 8 plus miles on it almost daily, and have run up to 13 on it. I find myself getting bored outside when I see how far I still have to go to make it home. I listen to music and watch the time and it flies by for me. Also when I go outside (after my body adjusted to the first trip outside) I don't feel any difference at all. I feel like I get a better overall workout on the treadmill because I sweat more! Maybe I'm not a true runner at heart Wink
                          Goals: Maintain 120 beat 5k time: 25:52 beat 10k time: 55:48 Complete one half-marathon-Jan. 10th
                            I feel like I get a better overall workout on the treadmill because I sweat more! Maybe I'm not a true runner at heart Wink
                            I doubt you necessarily sweat more on the treadmill, but outside, it would evaporate faster compared to on a treadmill where the air is basically still.
                            Derek
                            RunningHammer


                              When I run on a treadmill it feels as though I'm working harder than when I run on the road even when I don't use any incline. I think there are 3 reasons for this: - I get bored on the treadmill even when I have music. I guess it's because I have nothing to look at. I haven't tried watching TV though so that may help. - When you run on the road, you tend to adjust you pace based on how you're feeling. It may only be minor adjustments, but you do adjust. On a treadmill you're locked into a set speed unless you want to be constantly fiddling with the buttons. - When on the road, the breeze you generate actually helps keep you cool, plus any other wind outside. On the treadmill, the air is stagnant so I tend to sweat more, even if the room is cold. I only run on the treadmill when I'm at a hotel, but I guess if you're at home, you can use a fan to help cool you down. I agree with JakeKnight....treadmills are evil. I don't know how anyone can run on them for any significant amount of time. Having said that, I can see where treadmills are useful, e.g if you live in Fargo, ND :-)
                              I'd agree 100% with Derek here, this is my experience with dreadmills too and i've come to exactly the same conclusions on why i find it harder. In addition my dreadmill is calibrated too slow by about 20% at 9min pace, so i tend to use my watch (my garmin don't work for some reason Tongue) and estimate my distance based on effort. Not very accurate but probably more accurate than the dreadmill's pedometer! I do own one, and i ran 5 miles on it the day before yesterday. It comes in handy if i'm short on time or if the weather is just too awful for running outside - but like Jake i'd choose [a certain amount of] bad weather any time! Cheers Davey
                                In addition my dreadmill is calibrated too slow by about 20% at 9min pace, so i tend to use my watch (my garmin don't work for some reason Tongue) and estimate my distance based on effort. Not very accurate but probably more accurate than the dreadmill's pedometer!
                                Is that generally true? Anybody know how accurate (or inaccurate) the damned things usually are? (And I use "damned" not as an expletive here, but as a wholly appropriate descriptive term). I have suspicions that our own Devil'sHamsterWheel (DHW) is not even in the ballpark of being close to accurate. Anyway to test it? I'm curious. And I'd like to find out before the exorcism.
                                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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