Is running on a treadmill different from running outside? Well, it depends on what you hope to accomplish. People go running for various reasons. Some run for sport, others are training for a marathon, and some people just want to get a good workout in. This all comes into play when deciding what terrain to run on. Varying your running terrain can offer changes in power and speed, injury prevention and diversity. Below are some different types of running terrain and what you can expect from each.
Running on a treadmill is low impact on your joints due to the shock absorbing belt. Basic models come with adjustable levels that you can use to customize the intensity of your run. When you’re running inside, you don’t need to worry about wind speed or unruly weather conditions. You can also monitor your pacing using the built-in speedometer. However, running on a treadmill is not ideal for those looking to train for an event that will be held outside. For those types of events, it is best to train in the environments you will be tested in. However, running inside can be bleak. Try running while listening to music to keep yourself going.
Running on a track is low impact due to its material. This padding helps absorb shock that would otherwise affect your joints. Outside tracks offer a terrain where you cope with wind speed and weather conditions like rain and/or humidity. Keep in mind that you will have to learn to pace yourself on your own without a monitor. Running on a track is good for people looking to transition to running outside. It also offers a nice view change outside the gym.
Running on sidewalks outdoors offers no shock absorption. This can lead to becoming fatigued faster due to your body doing extra work to get the same results achieved on a treadmill. Again, being outside you have to deal with the wind and weather. You also have no monitor telling you how fast or how long you’re going. (Unless you have a watch or other device that tells you, then that’s great!) It’s a good start for those training for an event or otherwise. Also, running in your own neighborhood offers a chance to get to know your area and be outdoors.
On and Off Trail:
Out in the woods, there may or may not be trails. If you run on a trail, you don’t have shock absorption under you; therefor the impact on your body is higher. You may have to deal with obstacles beyond wind and weather as well like rocks, broken branches, mud and/or dirt you will have to muddle through. However, running on uneven surfaces and terrains provide a good challenge. If you are training for a race that goes through the woods, train in that type of area. You also have to self-monitor your pacing. Being in the great outdoors can be a tough journey, but in the end it’s worth it!
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the different types of terrain you can run on! Let us know what type of runs you like to go on by commenting below!