As a runner there are days when you wonder should you hit the pavement outdoors or just go to the gym and run on their treadmill for 30 minutes.
I prefer the outdoors, but that is not the case for everyone.
Which is better?
Believe it or not, there are clear differences and advantages to indoor and outdoor running. So if you’re just about ready to put on your running shoes and can’t decide where to run, here are are a few benefits to both treadmill and road running that you should consider first.
Avoid terrible running conditions
In the gym, you avoid rain, heat and all weather conditions. One of the advantages of running on a treadmill is the fact that you’re in a controlled environment. Running in unpleasant conditions can affect your performance and increases the risk of injury.
The treadmill also is a cushioned surface, which is more forgiving on your joints. So if you’re planning to fit in a workout when the weather or the running surface is less than appealing, try using the treadmill and run outdoors some other time.
Simulate different training
Whether you have a sprint, 5K or even an uphill race coming up, the treadmill can help simulate the conditions required for your goal race course. A unique benefit of running on a treadmill is that it gives you the option to program the speed, distance and even the incline of your training.
As an added bonus, if you can’t get to a park or a hill to do your workout, the treadmill is a wonderful alternative.
Easier to stay hydrated
If you’ve run outdoors, you know that carrying a water bottle with you is a pain. When I train for longer distances I might add a running water pack. Running on a treadmill helps keep you on a rhythm that makes taking in fluids much easier for those longer running sessions. It even holds your water bottle for you!
Learn how to pace
When you run outdoors you can develop and maintain a pace on your own, which is different than the treadmill determining your speed. In some cases, runners, who have always stuck to indoor running and then decided to go for an outdoor run, run much slower.
Enjoy the scenery
One of the biggest appeals to running outside is the scenery. You leave behind the treadmill timer and enjoy the world around you. If you get bored of seeing the same thing every time, you can change your route.
However, if you’re just starting out, pick a running routine that you are more likely to enjoy. If you do decide to run on the treadmill regularly, make sure you try to vary the incline or speed to get the same benefits that you would normally get when you run outdoors. Also choosing to run outdoors doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to run indoors. You can always change up your routine and see what works best for you.
Do you prefer to run indoors or outdoors?