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Treadmill vs. Outdoors
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Which is easier, treadmill or outdoors?
Treadmill
45%
 45%  [ 39 ]
Outdoors
54%
 54%  [ 46 ]
Total Votes : 85

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I_TLK_DOG



Joined: 15 Nov 2008
Posts: 124
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Be prepared, you may find that the transition to outdoor running is quite challenging. Heart rates, breathing or perceived effort levels may feel harder outdoors then at the same pace as on a treadmill. This is because there are several biomechanical differences when you run on a treadmill versus the road.

You have to run against wind resistance and the elements (hot and cold) which requires more energy to run at the same speed as on a treadmill.
Stride for stride, running on the roads requires more energy expenditure to move your body forward. On a treadmill, you are keeping up with the tread as it moves under your feet.
The smooth, flat surface of a treadmill is very predictable. Running on the roads trains your neuromuscular system to run on unpredictable terrain like hills, banked surfaces, trails and uneven surfaces.



Yeh, what he said! Laughing

It's so interesting the way we are all different. Everyone has their own interpretation of the question. I read harder as "physical", others read it as "mental". I find that "physically", road running is far harder, for the reasons stated above. Yes, I run on both. IN fact, I will run on the TM with a 1degree incline(same speed) and still find it easier than road runninng. However, I find that I go "ga ga" after about 1/2 hour on the TM. SO BORING!
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moiettoi



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 464

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually find it physically harder to run on the treadmill than on the road.
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linneamae



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 156
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this thread turned into a very interesting debate!

It really is different for everyone, that's for sure. I think this weekend I'd better get outside and see how I feel running outdoors. Back home in BC I loved running outdoors, but this whole -20 and -30 is just not for me at all!

Thank you all for your input!
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d_rosenblat1



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find its easier to get on to a treadmill and start a run, but much easier to finish a run outside...
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jwolf



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 5263
Location: Sunny Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Coach Jenny"'s advice is decent, except that air resistance has been shown to have a very minor effect. Most treadmill runners that have trouble when they first transition to outdoor running do so simply because they have trouble pacing themselves and run too fast. The consistent and forgiving surface is also a factor for sure.

Daniels has workouts in his book to use treadmill running in place of speed training. He has "equivalent" speeds for outdoor running (track) wrt incline and pace on the treadmill. Generally people say that treadmll speed is about 0.1-0.2mph easier than outdoor running, but this can vary greatly depending on the treadmill. Others say that you should "set the incline at 1-2% to simulate outdoor running", but there is lots of disgreement over that, too.

Here's another take on treadmill running:
http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id112.html


Bottom line is that you can adjust speed/incline to simulate the effort of outdoor running, knowing what you want to do for whatever workout it is. If you just enjoy running on it, don't get so caught up in all the numbers.
Just run.
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i_postwaytoomuch



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 2389
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went out for an 8K run tonight, on a completely frozen sidewalk that our good city has yet to plough (thanks Mayor Miller, oh how I love you....not). My ankles twisted this way, and then that way, and then this way again, and I had to slow to a stop and walk each 90 degree turn for fear of wiping out. Now, I don't own a treadmill, and I've only been on one a few times when I was away on business and wasn't sure of the neighbourhood I was contemplating running in....but there's NO WAY IN HELL that treadmill running even comes close to what I went through tonight. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But that's just my experience and everyone is different.
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jwolf



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 5263
Location: Sunny Vancouver

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i_postwaytoomuch wrote:
....but there's NO WAY IN HELL that treadmill running even comes close to what I went through tonight. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But that's just my experience and everyone is different.


Come on- You really don't think that I meant that running on a treadmill was equal to running on ice and snow, did you?
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icanspel



Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 657
Location: Manly, New Brunswick

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My ankles twisted this way, and then that way, and then this way again, and I had to slow to a stop and walk each 90 degree turn for fear of wiping out... there's NO WAY IN HELL that treadmill running even comes close to what I went through tonight. Zero. Zilch. Nada.


That's the whole point, who'd want to simulate that!!?? Laughing
OK, up next...the rowing machine!!!
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Mike7890



Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwolf wrote:
Bottom line is that you can adjust speed/incline to simulate the effort of outdoor running, knowing what you want to do for whatever workout it is. If you just enjoy running on it, don't get so caught up in all the numbers.
Just run.



That makes sense. But otherwise you do have to work harder to push yourself when running on your own.
The fact that the belt helps your leg go faster is one of the reasons treadmills are used to help increase cadence. It's used for sprinting training among others.
You can find tons of articles by coaches and everything confirming that.

You have to adjust the treadmill to achieve some equivalence with running, otherwise it just isn't the same thing.

If used well a treadmill can help you do things you can't do when running by yourself, such as develop a better sense of cadence. And not being stopped by a tornado hitting your town. Razz
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Impet



Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another thought experiment which is a little "closer to home", although Ian's illustrated the point perfectly well.

Suppose, for the sake of the thought experiment, that we had an infinitely long treadmill (so we won't have to worry about falling off the end). Say you and I stepped onto it together, and it being my rest day, I sat down, and you started running. Say you were running at a 10:00/mi pace, and so, after 10 minutes, you would be exactly one mile away from me, as we both move past the scenery on our infinite treadmill. At this point, we both step off the treadmill. You run back to me at the same pace, covering the one mile in 10 minutes.

Both runs covered 1 mile. Both were run in 10 minutes. Your speed relative to me was identical in both cases, and yet, claiming that a treadmill is easier than running overground is equivalent to claiming that the second mile was tougher than the first.

To my mind, the only way this can be true is if there are other, second-order factors. To be sure, these factors exist (wind, terrain, temperature, fluctuations in treadmill speed etc), but that's not what i_blokland or jwolf are arguing. They're saying that the notion that the treadmill "pulls your leg" is an illusion created by the fact that you're not on the treadmill with the runner. [I'll have you know it took all my effort to avoid the obvious pun!]

If you're still reading, i'm going to get technical. This conclusion is a requirement of the laws of relativity; the physics must be invariant in all inertial frames. This is clear from our thought experiment by replaying it with the treadmill running at any speed you like. You will always be 1 mile away from me when we get off the treadmill!

Thus, if a runner expends a certain amount of energy covering a certain distance in one frame, simply translating that frame at a constant velocity does not change her energy expenditure.

Correct me if I'm wrong!
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FishHog



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impet wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong!


Can't, since your 100% correct.

But don't worry, someone will argue with you anyway. I think the real issue is the variability in treadmills. Some are very inaccurate in their speed estimations. And I think for that reason we see a lot of variance in opinions in whether one is harder or easier. The fact is, they are not comparing apples to apples.

Throw in all the other uncontrollable factors, wind, heat, bordom, etc, and its no wonder their are differing opinions.

A couple weeks ago, I did a 20k run outside. And in my opinion, the half of the run going south was so much easier than the half going north. And I was a lot faster going south also. So physics be dammed, its quite obvious that running south is easier than running north. Maybe is something to do with the magnetic north pole.

Or it could have been the fact that it was really windy out, but I see no reason to confuse the matter with physics.

FishHog
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jlang



Joined: 21 Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Markham

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what conclusions we can draw from this but here goes...

Let's try another experiment on this infinitely long treadmill. Say you are alone and sit down on the treadmill, then set the pace to a 10 minute mile. After 10 minutes, you are 1 mile away from where you started. You get off the treadmill and run back to the starting point.

During each 10 minute interval, you covered a distance of 1 mile. Which mile was easier - the one wher you actually ran, or the one where you were sitting down?

Curioser and curioser......
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ottawa76



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 1004

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it harder to run on a treadmill than on the road for 90% of the time, since I have no distraction and have to keep a more than steady pace. Anyway on days like this week, it is accoring to me easier to run on a treadmill than outside...I would say the same if it is really stormy or really hot outside.
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n_m.



Joined: 06 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep it simple guys Smile A treadmill is a great alternative on days where you can't get out for a run. If you CAN run outdoors, get out there. Nothing beats the feeling of an outdoor run. A treadmill can't simulate that.
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purdy65



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 1811
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

n_m. wrote:
Keep it simple guys Smile A treadmill is a great alternative on days where you can't get out for a run. If you CAN run outdoors, get out there. Nothing beats the feeling of an outdoor run. A treadmill can't simulate that.


I like simple!

This conversation was getting way to scientific for me!

I do get outside when possible. Very Happy

Lisa
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