Are you an inside runner, or do you prefer go out, get some fresh air and run through the streets of the city, explore your local park and take in the sights around you?
I must say I am definitely an outdoor runner. Although I find myself struggling when I see it's raining outside or freezing cold however when I look at the treadmill in the gym it feels like a huge challenge to me. I often feel like I can't run for as long, and I end up doing a completely different workout and not running the distance I had intended. I would like to find a way to actually enjoy the treadmill more cause right now I find it hard work, I have to admit. Do you agree?
Which brings me to what most people would agree are the cons of using a treadmill to get your miles in.
- It can be quite boring after a while. One minute feels like ten. And, you just can't help yourself but to keep counting to the end, which is not helpful, is it? That said, I feel happy once I achieve 5km on the treadmill!
- Treadmill running doesn't use all your muscles. The constant propulsion of the treadmill does some of the work for you and therefore you do not need to use your hamstrings and glutes as much as when running outdoors and needing to use all your leg muscles as there is no moving floor to help you.
- If you are lucky enough to have a treadmill at home that's great but for most using a treadmill means paying for a gym membership therefore making it less accessible.
Now it's not all negative let's take a look at some pros of running on the treadmill, shall we?
- You don't have to worry about the weather or time of year; no matter how cold and dark it is outside you can't use that as an excuse not to jump on the treadmill - it is always light and warm in the gym, all year round and depending on your gym 24 hours a day.
- It manages your speed. If you want to you can easily add some sprints, slow down or add hills whenever you like you don't need to plan a god route for this. You could even split up your run and do 15 minutes on the treadmill and then go and do 15 minutes of a different exercise maybe incorporate some weights and then hop back on the treadmill.
- The treadmill is much smoother and more forgiving on your legs and joints than the hard pavements or road you may run on outside - they certainly don't have pot holes.
The point is, everybody is different and for those of you like me I don't mind going outside and running when there is snow and it's 1-degree temperature so the treadmill might not even be an option. But those of you who think I am crazy it may be your first choice for a run. I guess no matter where or how running is great isn't it!!
If you are new to running and are struggling to get started, start slow...If you're indoors, set the time for a no more than 30 minutes and alternative walking and running if needed. If you're outdoors, ask a friend to join you and go out together you could even both listen to your own music, but the fact that you have that friend there makes things so much easier. Later, you won't even realise and you will be running by yourself and loving it. It does not matter if it is treadmill and the comfort zone of the gym or challenging to step outside and face the circumstances. Every step counts!