Let’s Get Running: Treadmill vs. Road

There is a big divide amongst most runners about running inside on a treadmill, versus getting outside on the pavement. We all remember the commercial that Nike ran ‘Just Do It.’

It doesn’t matter if you run inside on a treadmill or if you choose to get outside on the road. The truly important step is lacing up your running shoes and starting running. There are many subtle differences between the two types of running, but both will give a good cardiovascular workout to your body. Most runners use a combination of treadmill and road running, for a variety of reasons. Here
are a few things to keep in mind either style you choose.

The impact that a treadmill has on your joints:


Running on a treadmill can offer greater protection from joint injuries. The best treadmill to use is one that offers flex on the running surface.

The impact that the road has on your joints:


Running on the road can put stress on your joints with every step of the foot onto pavement or concrete. A roadrunner has to be continuously watching weather conditions depending on where you live, which could include rain storms, snow, as well as icy spots.

Treadmill running:


Even though it’s proven to burn fewer calories running on the treadmill, you can make it more effective by changing the incline to simulate hills. If you are looking for the incline to simulate the road, set the incline at 1 degree. Some treadmills have programs built in that will change without the runner manually doing so.

The road running:


Road Running is a great workout, which is shown to burn more calories due to the wind resistance and terrain changes. However, there are other advantages to road running such as low cost, and changing scenery. Having the scenery change can help the run to go faster, if you are one who needs that. Some of the disadvantages to outside road running might be the limitations put on by the weather, time of day, and a higher risk of injury.

Make a playlist for your running time:


Running either on a treadmill or the road, listening to music, can be such a good motivator to keep a good running pace going. Making an investment into an iPod, MP3 player, or any of the other items like this would be beneficial for any runner. Your playlist should be filled with the music you like, and that will keep you motivated to run your mile or more.

To prevent injuries remember to use good running form at all times throughout the run. Good running form is your chest should be pushed out with shoulders back and relaxing with every stride. It is important that treadmill runners should avoid hanging on the side rails; this could affect the runner’s form. No matter if you run on the treadmill or the road, your running form should be the same. If a runner has bad posture it wastes much needed energy and could throw off the runner’s balance causing injuries. Also, make sure to invest in a well fitting pair of running shoes; this will lower your risk of injury and pain after a run.

No matter if you are running on a treadmill or road, it really makes little to no difference. Rather, the most important thing is to ‘just do it and enjoy the time as well as how you will feel afterwards.