Whether you’re just about to embark on a new running routine or you’re a seasoned runner who’s been going about their running workouts for at least a few months, one question that you might often find yourself posing is whether you’re best off running on the treadmill in the gym or whether it would be a better idea to take that run and move it into the wild.
Is there a difference? Is one method of training going to be far superior than the other?
Let’s take a quick peak at a few of the main things that you need to note.
One of the first pros of treadmill running is that the weather will be no hindrance to you. If you wake up and it’s pouring rain, your decision to go out for your regular run may be put on the backburner. Unless you’re one of the most highly dedicated individuals, most people will let harsh climates deter them.
The second nice thing about treadmill running is that you’ll be able to easily control the speed, distance, and elevation. If you’re looking for a highly customized run or you want to track your progress by knowing the exact stats of that run (how fast you were going, the distance travelled, etc), treadmills will be a slightly better option.
You can purchase many fitness devises that can give similar stats to wear while outdoors (pedometers for example), but you’ll be hard-pressed to get the degree of information that you’d get from the treadmill.
Finally, treadmills provide cushioning support. If you tend to suffer from joint pain, you’ll usually find the treadmill more comfortable to be on unless you happen to be running on grass.
The biggest drawback to the treadmill however is that it can get boring. Running in the same spot for hours each week could get to be quite a drag. The outdoors gives you that change of scenery that makes your run more interesting.
Moving on to the wild running side of the coin, one big advantage here is the change in scenery and the fact that it’s just you and the outdoors. You don’t have to worry about someone taking up your ‘path’ outside and having to wait around to be able to go for your run like you might in a gym.
Second, most people find running outdoors to be more freeing and better for stress release. There’s something about getting out into nature and away for the hustle of crowded environments that can give you time to clear your mind and put you into a calmer state.
The drawback to wild running is that you may find yourself on more uneven terrain, which could increase your risk of an ankle roll or other injury. This is why making sure that you choose your path wisely will be important.
Finally, another drawback to take note of is that if you aren’t running with a partner, it may be you all alone in the middle of a park, wooded area, or wherever you happen to be running. If you run in the city this won’t be as big of a difference but if you tend to detour out into the country and something should happen to you or you fatigue prematurely, you’ll have to deal with it yourself.
So there you have the pros and cons of running on the treadmill versus running in the wild. Both are great ways to get in your workout so it’s up to you to decide which method you feel will best serve your preferences.