Wednesday: Ran 4 awesome miles at a 9:05 pace as the day was coming to an end. Aka it was cool outside and felt amazing.
Thursday: A 60-second plank for my 30-day plank challenge. Needed to get a lot done, so I decided to take a second rest day this week and just do a plank.
Today: I’ll probably do a treadmill workout, instead of waiting till the sun starts to go down for relief from the heat. I like my weekends to start as soon as possible.
Recently, I have been running outside more. I love interval treadmill workouts, but I get so bored that I can’t run that far, which has caused my mileage these days to be quite, quite sad (just look at my daily workout log). They say treadmills are easier, but I disagree. I’m so aware of my time, pace, surroundings, and feeling of fatigue that I just want to stop the entire time. However, I still run on the treadmill aaaaall the time.
I’ve often debated which is better–running on the treadmill or running on the road. There are good things about both, and there are also unfortunate sides for each. Check out the various pros and cons I have discovered as I have spent some quality time on the asphalt and the…rubber belt?
Running on the Treadmill
- Great for speed work. You can control the intervals (like my 30-minute HIIT run) and document all the details because all you have to do is punch in the numbers.
- Easily measure your distance and pace. Unless you have a GPS watch, pre-measure the distance, or can sense that sort of thing, the info on a treadmill is quite convenient.
- Absorbs pressure on joints. Treadmills are typically designed to have a little bit shock-absorbing magic, so your knees aren’t crying from the impact.
- Can be safer. Whether it’s dark outside or you’re in a shady area, running on a treadmill can eliminate some dangers of running outside, where you’re exposed to animals, cars, and creepy creepers.
- Available despite the weather. Icy streets and blistering heat aren’t an issue when you’re inside enjoying some quality machine time.
- The treadmill is hella boring. I find that even if I’m watching TV or listening to music, I hate my life.
- You need equipment. The thing with treadmill running is..you need a treadmill. If you don’t have one, this can be difficult. It can also be frustrating to travel to a gym when the road is just out there, waiting for you to frolic about.
Running on the Road
- No equipment is needed. You can just grab your shoes, hopefully wear some clothes, and get out there and do your thing. It’s free for everyone!
- External factors challenge you. Your body has to adapt to terrain, weather, and incline changes, which ends up challenging you more and often using more muscles. It makes for a more thorough workout.
- Routes can be scenic. I find that even running next to businesses or on a boring road, it’s still nice to be out in nature and have some trees to admire while I’m working up a sweat. It gets my mind off the discomfort.
- Weather is unpredictable. Certain weather conditions can come out of nowhere and completely ruin what could have been a great run (i.e. fall and winter running). It can also be difficult to plan a run around your entire day so you’re not in the extreme temperatures, especially if they change.
- Routes may be limited. I try stay away from creepy areas because I don’t want to die. I also don’t want to run on a busy highway because I don’t want to die. Therefore, my routes are sometimes limited, and I also try to stay close and not go too far, so I don’t get lost. (I’m not the best with directions.)
- Dangers lurk. If I had a nickel for every time a random animal freaked me out… Whether it’s a creepy cat, an oblivious driver, or a shady character, outdoor running can be a bit dangerous.
Questions for you:
What do you prefer: treadmill or road?
What’s the most you’ve run on a treadmill (time or distance)? I’ve ran probably 6 miles tops.
Any other pros or cons you can think of? Which ones motivate you the most to run on one surface over another?
What exciting activities do you have planned for the weekend?