A set of question asked by every one who choose running as a activity to reach their fitness goals.
- Is it better to run on a treadmill or a park nearby?
- Which surface helps to get faster?
- Does road running impact your knees?
- Which surface is better for cardiovascular benefits?
Every runner you talk to would have different opinions on the surface they choose to run. Some of them like to go outside as they do not want to fall into a monotony for hours and some like to stick to there treadmill for the structural training which a treadmill provide with control on pace in front. Well! none of them are wrong and it depends if the aim is to do it for cardio benefits or to participate in a racing events.
Well, running on a treadmill has its pros and cons to and same applies to running outside. So, lets talk about pros and cons of treadmill training and outside running :-
Treadmill running :-
If you are not a morning person and come late from work then treadmill is best suited for you. Because if time is a constraint the treadmill is the only best friend you can have. Also, a treadmill has a smoother surface and has less impact on knees. Athletes who run outside are more prone to injuries and muscle overuse. So, if you want to go light on your joints then treadmill is a great option. You can train yourself on a treadmill anytime you want and irrespective of the weather conditions outside. No doubt runners enjoy a run in the rain but it is risky too and you have to watch your steps.
You can control your pace, do interval and incline training. It is easier to maintain a pace when you are forced to do so on a belt rather than forcing yourself to do it while checking it on your own device. Lot of runners also prefer to use a treadmill when they are getting better from an injury and if cardiovascular exercise is your main purpose then you should choose to run on a treadmill.
Running on a treadmill has its cons too with the major reason behind people not choosing a treadmill is because of the monotony they fall into.What good a exercise be if you are not enjoying it?
Also, most of the treadmill’s do not have the downward function and thus does not help in training the front part of our legs as you cannot do downward running.Similarly, there are no turns on a treadmill machine, limiting your ability to improve your lateral agility. It has been observed that the runners who switch from treadmill training to the outside running are not able to adopt to the uneven surfaces and gradient and thus get injured.
When we run outside , we encounter uneven roads and wind which engages more of our muscle and burns 10% more calories.The real world isn’t as flat or as straight as a treadmill and as a result of which there is a better and complete muscle growth. Getting up early and feeling the fresh air with sun being the best source of vitamin D running outdoors gives a energy boost and thus reduces stress, tension and depression in lives as compared to inside running.
Also, if you are planning to participate in races than it is best suited to run outdoors and get used to the whether conditions since no marathons happen on a treadmill. . By running outdoors, your muscles and joints will be more conditioned to the varied terrain you’ll encounter in a race. You’ll be better able to adapt to changes in weather and know when to exert extra effort when faced with elevations or known obstacles.
Running outside may lead to injuries and muscle overuse and it is dependent on whether conditions. It has more impact on knee joints then a treadmill and needs more strength as compared to a treadmill. Lot of factors like air quality, traffic and time pitches in when you plan to run outside which does not happen when you run on a treadmill.
Final verdict :-
If your prime focus is towards cardiovascular exercises then treadmill is suitable for you however if you are planning to participate in a race then it is suggested to run outdoors to prepare well for a race and use treadmill as a part of training program. So, you should figure out your option basis on your goal and work towards it.
I hope this article brings clarity on the topic and kindly comment about it in the comment section below.