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Treadmill vs Outside Running

Treadmill vs Outside Running – Advantages & Disadvantages

Treadmill vs outside running has been long debated within the fitness community. Many people question the legitimacy of running on a treadmill vs outside. So which is better for you and how accurate are treadmills compared with running outside?

In this article, we discuss treadmill vs outside running and the advantages and disadvantages of running inside.

Treadmill vs Outside Running – What is the Difference?

Believe it or not, there are quite a few differences between running on a treadmill and running outside. Running outside generally helps improve stability in the lower legs, knees, and hips. However, what running outside doesn’t give you is a forced controlled speed.

Having a forced controlled speed is one of the positives of running on a treadmill. It can help you control heart rate and speed more since there are fewer variables that affect speed and heart rate outside.

But there is one thing to know. Treadmills are notorious for being inaccurate, especially when changing between machines.

So what are the actual differences between treadmill running and running outside?

Advantages of running on a treadmill:

– Controlled speed
– Controlled heart rate
– No Wind
– Improved leg speed

The biggest advantage of running on a treadmill is being able to control your heart rate and speed. That means you can target a specific heart rate during a workout without any influence from outdoor variables. Another advantage is the increase in leg speed. Most people when running on a treadmill shorten their stride and increase their turnover.

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However, there are some disadvantages of running on a treadmill vs running outside. These are:

– Lack of variation in landing
– Increased humidity of running indoors
– Shortens stride length
– Inaccurate speed measurement

Just like anything, there are always pros and cons. Running on a treadmill (if done too much) can cause lower leg injuries. Because there is no variation in landing, it is common that excess pressure is placed on the shins and Achilles tendon.

While some people try to get away from this by varying the gradient, their running technique will change slightly as a result. Because you are running at a forced speed, the treadmill forces you to shorten your stride and increase your leg turnover. This often results in a shorter stride when running outdoors.

Last but not least is the speed measurement. More often than not, treadmills are inaccurate in their speed measurement. That is mainly because of a lack of calibration and worn-out parts. So it is not uncommon for you to be running 5-10 seconds faster per kilometer than outside.

Ultimately there is a place for both treadmill and outside running. Especially in the winter months, where you can’t get the same quality of workout done outside in the snow or cold.

At the end of the day, treadmill running can be a positive to your training as long as you do it in moderation. Running more than 4-5 times a week indoors will start to cause overuse injuries

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to the debate over treadmill vs. outside running. Both methods have their pros and cons based on your individual training needs and goals. S both can have their place in your running routine.

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Is Running on a Treadmill Better for Your Knees

Is Running on a Treadmill Better for Your Knees?

Many people think that because treadmills offer shock absorption it is good for the knees. While this may be true to a point, long term it won’t provide you any benefits.

Because running on a treadmill gives little to no variation in your landing, there is less stress on the knee. However, because the landing is consistently the same, it ends up putting stress on other areas of the legs. Such as the calf, Achilles, ankle, and shins.

With running outside and the variation in landing, it can help strengthen your lower legs and knees ( if done correctly).

So if you are struggling with a knee injury, running on the treadmill can help prevent alignment issues. But if you aren’t struggling with any knee issues from running, you should be trying to improve the stability of the lower leg. And running outside over varying terrain is the best way to do that.

Walking on Treadmill Everyday Benefits

Walking on Treadmill Everyday Benefits

For many people running on a treadmill is either not possible, or they just generally hate it. Luckily walking on a treadmill every day can provide similar benefits to running on one.

Since walking is a low-impact form of exercise, walking on a treadmill can reduce the impact even more. So, walking on a treadmill every day for someone that suffers from knee issues can help reduce impact and speed up recovery.

Although walking on a treadmill every day won’t burn as many calories as running, it can help you improve your cardiovascular system without the impact of running. Especially for people that suffer from injuries or older people that are not able to run.

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However, if you are planning to do a lot of walking on a treadmill, it is important to vary the gradient. Not only will this help vary your heart rate, but it will lower the impact on the lower leg muscles, tendons, and bones.

Varying the gradient will also help you to burn more calories than walking on the flat. Allowing you to burn more fat in the process.

Treadmill Running Training Plans

If you have limited time to train, purchasing a treadmill training plan can help you be more efficient with your time. At ApsortCoaching we provide a range of pre-built and custom treadmill training plans for you, Each plan is customized around your lifestyle and current fitness level. They are also built around your goals so that you are able to mix treadmill workouts with outdoor running.

To learn more about our available training plans check out all our training programs here.