Treadmill Running v.s. Road Running

Picture1It’s cold outside and running in this weather isn’t pleasant, so I am trying to weigh up running on the road versus the treadmill (i.e. getting a gym membership).

I do hate the way a gym will rope you in for a year! Okay, so I guess I might get the use of a few classes too and mix in a bit of swimming… but do I really want to join a gym?

Regardless of where I run this exercise will strengthen and tone the core muscles in my legs, improve my cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease and help reduce my stress levels!

But where should you do it, inside or out?

A gym membership means that I never have an excuse; come rain or shine the treadmills in the gym are always there. But there is something about a treadmill that makes me feel that I’m not getting a proper workout, maybe it’s because I am watching TV while running or maybe it’s because I never adjust the terrain on a treadmill!

I do love running outside. I have all the milestones that I love to pass. It’s great to mix up my route every now and then to discover a new area near where I live. I always do a circular loop when I run outside so I always feel that I am making progress. It’s just the initial put-on-trainers-walk-outside that is difficult.

There is, obviously, one big difference between indoor and outdoor running, the terrain. Outside the road surface is unpredictable and hills pop out of nowhere – just like they will during the London Marathon. It means that I have to work harder to counter balance that crack in the pavement or mound in a field. Safety can be an issue when running outside as I have to take into consideration drivers and other obstacles that may cause a hazard, but if possible I try to stay on the pavements so I am out of danger.

The weather has to be the greatest pull when it comes to joining a gym to use a treadmill. A heavy rain storm, snow or thick fog can make it difficult and unpleasant to run outside. Living in the UK means that running outside is a battle against the elements!

But, at the same time, if I’m properly dressed for the elements and can motivate myself to head out in the rain then running outdoors is always going to be the most affordable option. I already have the trainers and it doesn’t cost me anything to put them on and head outside. The treadmill might be the most comfortable form of exercise (the terrain doesn’t change and it’s always dry) and yet running outside still has its appeal.

I think I’ve answered my own question here. I prefer taking in the sights and find it therapeutic to have constantly changing scenery, so running outside has to be my preference. And it’s the cheapest option which is a bonus! Do you agree? What do you prefer?


2 thoughts on “Treadmill Running v.s. Road Running

  1. djlucas23

    I have been fortunate that my localgym has given me free membership for my London Marathon training. I am now training 3-4 times a week at the gym and then trying to do my long run outside on a Saturday.

    But like you said here, I have worries over the cold, damp or even now snowy elements that we face here in the UK. I have read some very good articles that are ‘pro-training in the gym’ which has set my mind at rest.

    As long as we stay fit and increase our distant we run either inside or outside, I cant see a problem.

    Good luck.

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