Hey there! It’s Thursday, which means it’s almost the weekend for most of you! I hope you’re having a great week so far.
Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to get in a cardio workout + yoga. I woke up and decided to head to the gym for a run. I have a history with the treadmill. Back when I was a junior in high school, I headed to the gym almost every day to bust out 3 miles on the treadmill (plus another 45 minutes on the elliptical). I followed the couch to 5k program to work my way up to 3 miles, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I was actually scared to run outside because I thought that it was unsafe.
Fast forward about 9 months and I had stopped running. I had decided I wanted to run The Color Run 5k, and I began training outside! It was winter here in AZ, which means that it was perfect running weather. It was glorious! After that, the treadmill was pretty much a huge, boring drag. I used it on and off during the summers when it got hot, but I generally tried to avoid it.
I thought I would list my positive and negative thoughts on treadmills.
- It bores me! I can’t just zone out and watch TV or something when I’m on the treadmill. No scenery changes, so I find myself just watching my distance progress throughout the run, waiting for it to be over. That isn’t exactly a great mindset to be in while working out. When I’m running outside, I have things to look at (houses, trees, where I’m going next, fellow runner’s, animals, etc.). It makes running not quite so mentally draining.
- It can be easier than outdoor running. This all depends on how you personally work the treadmill. If you set it on a 0% incline (like I do…oops), you don’t get the effect that you get from hills and wind when running outside. This means that when you switch from treadmill running to outdoor running, you might be in for a bit more resistance than you’re used to. Your best bet is to set the treadmill at a 1% incline, or do a random program.
That’s pretty much it for the negatives. As much as I dislike running on the treadmill, there are quite a few pro’s to it.
- It’s inside. This is an obvious plus during the summer here in AZ. I can guess the same can be said of other parts of the country during the winter. With a treadmill, weather is never an excuse! You can get in a good run whether it’s 25 degrees or 110 degrees!
- It can be easier on your body. I don’t know if this is a proven fact, but I’ve heard that treadmills can be like running on a “softer” surface than asphalt. At least for my dad and myself, our shin splints tend to flare up when running outside, but they are more manageable on a treadmill.
- It makes me faster. Again, this all depends on how you choose to work the treadmill. In my opinion, it’s easier to run faster on a treadmill because you pick a speed, and then all you have to do is keep up with it! This is part of what makes the treadmill easier than running outside, in my opinion. I notice that when I train for about a month on the treadmill, I am faster when I return to running outside.
- It’s convenient. If you have a treadmill in your home, it’s pretty nice to be able to roll out of bed and hop right on the treadmill for a run! If you go to a gym, like me, you’re surrounded by tons of other people who are working out. I don’t know about you, but that motivates me to push harder and keep going, even when I feel like stopping.
So those are my thoughts about the treadmill! I was a little uneasy about jumping on it, but I completed two miles yesterday (in 20:14), and it felt great! I am glad to be reunited with the treadmill, and I know it will carry me through these hot summer months without losing my running fitness.
Do you prefer the treadmill or running outside?