The increased presence of treadmills has led some to abandon outside running for the convenience and consistency of these fitness machines. You might not expect that there would be much difference between the two types of running, but each has unique characteristics. From questions of wind resistance and predictable terrain to maintaining proper form, knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of running helps you get the most from your workout.
WIND RESISTANCE AND TERRAIN - Running indoors on a treadmill removes the drag of wind resistance on your body. The cumulative effect of this loss results in a reduction of calories burned over the course of a run unless adjustments are made. The website Net Wellness reports that you should add a 1 percent incline to a treadmill to account for wind resistance. The terrain experienced during an outdoor run also demands greater effort, as it does not propel itself under your feet as the running surface of a treadmill does.
SOFTENED IMPACT - One advantage of running on a treadmill is that it causes less stress on the body through the impact of each step. If you are overweight or have knee problems, the softer running surface on a treadmill leads to less detrimental effects over the course of a run and will allow you to run for longer periods. Protecting your body should be a priority to avoid pain and keep you in condition to maintain a regular workout routine.
MECHANICS - Maintaining proper mechanics is critical for anyone that takes running seriously. This proves especially relevant if you run competitively. Treadmills can lead to a slackening in proper form due to the fact that you don't need to propel yourself forward in the same way that you must running outside. Additionally, the predictable nature of a treadmill also has a tendency to result in bad habits creeping into mechanics.
BOREDOM The boredom of running in place on a treadmill without the benefits of changing scenery may result in a lack of motivation to keep up a regimen over time. For some, running outdoors with the constantly changing environment provides an opportunity for meditation and deep connection to the body's rhythms. These conditions aren't impossible to replicate on a treadmill, but you may find them more difficult.
Bob Zunino, B.A., A.F.A.A. Personal Trainer Tel/Fax: 510.530.3748 Email: email@example.com