Member Comments for the Article:

Are You Cheating Yourself by Choosing the Treadmill?

What's Better: the Treadmill or the Open Road?

94 Comments



  • I read this article and felt it was a 'downer' for me. I use a treadmill, of course. The benefits I feel are convenience, and the big one is safety. As a senior trying to lose weight, we could fall outdoors because of uneven surface, also we can control the temperature when we use our treadmill, therefore we can exercise year round. For some reason, the article just didn't do any thing for me. - 3/5/2010 9:10:27 AM
  • I'd rather they compare elliptical trainers and treadmills, I have some serious questions about that! - 3/2/2010 4:51:09 PM
  • I find the treadmill extrememly boring. Send me outside. If the snow would just stop! - 2/26/2010 9:52:53 AM
  • The treadmill is easier on my knees. Plus, I can read a book, listen to music, watch TV, or do weight exercise with my arms. But I love being outdoors. The concrete is so hard on me. So I try to do both. I throw open the blinds, turn on the fan and the music, and do a variety of exercise on the treadmill most of the time. Other days I'll walk outdoors. Tammy - 2/24/2010 12:31:59 PM
  • I'm in MN, so right now I'm running indoors. I was on a tiny track (20 laps/mile) but that got rough on my hip and knee with the tight turns. For now, I'm on a treadmill until it gets a bit less treacherous outside.

    When the weather is nice (anything short of snow/ice) I'm outdoors!
    I can't WAIT for the snow to melt and the paths to be ice free again. I've been doing my best indoors for my half in May but I really want to clock some road miles. The track is closer than the 'mill for showing my endurance but it's still not 100% accurate.

    I need to get out on the road and do my 10-13 mile long run to see how it goes. I've got a 10 mile race on March 13th. Hopefully it'll go well and I'll feel confident for my Half. :D - 2/23/2010 9:17:42 PM
  • Celestialaxis, do you have the option of running on a track as part of your indoor training? That might be one way to overcome some of the issues. Last year I was kind of the opposite - I ran on the indoor track at our Y, which needs 13 laps to make a mile. I had to overcome a hesitation to run outdoors, and then a fear of running on the treadmill. I still prefer the track to the treadmill if I can't run outdoors, but the pacing and incline features of a treadmill are pretty nifty!

    Just make sure you get a couple of outdoor runs in before the 5K event - maybe even at the course if possible, or something similar (e.g. on sidewalks and crossing roads, or on park trails - depends on your event). It is a different experience than the treadmill! - 2/23/2010 3:18:36 PM
  • I love the treadmill because it makes me really conscious of each step I am taking, my breath and my posture. When I am outside, I'm too busy looking around.

    The Privo athletic shoes I wear have extremely flexible soles with bumps on the insole.... the treadmill it helps with the whole heel to toe motion... so it feels like my feet are getting a massage as I walk. Additionally the belt is like walking on grass rather than concrete.

    Great article.
    Of course the better of the two is always the one you're gonna do.
    : ) - 2/23/2010 3:05:29 PM
  • I"m an outdoors person all the way, because I live in a "lucky" climate. Winter may get cold and wet here, but it's never snowy or icy, and since I overheat so easily winter is my best running time. Besides, the gym is always too hot. In our scorching summers, I run earlier or later to cope with the heat.

    For those in snow climates, treadmill-running may be a necessity.

    But I have found that the way your body moves is very different on the treadmill. You're not so much pushing off as pulling-and-hovering, and that change in stride really affects things like your hips and the groin muscles. If you run exclusively on the treadmill, you may not be as ready for outdoor running at first as you thought. - 2/23/2010 1:22:46 PM
  • ILOVEIXOYE
    Celestial Axis, I trained entirely for a 5k once using only the treadmill except for one training run outdoors 2 days before the race. My legs felt weak and sluggish and I was way off my goal pace time. I've found that if I train for a race on the treadmill I will run about one minute per mile slower than if I train outside. I've never stared training on a treadmill though and switched to outdoors for the last 2 weeks. Since this is your first 5k I would try to get as much running time outdoors as you can before the race but if 2 weeks of outdoor training is all you have it beats my one outdoor run. You will finish the race it may just be slower than you had hoped and may require some walking brakes during the last mile. Hope this helps. Enjoy the race! - 2/23/2010 12:49:02 PM
  • I enjoy both,and thanks to Sparkpeople I actually run some of the time too..I do agree that all the bumps and different elevations when outdoors make a difference in the muscles that you use and after the treadmill it's something I really notice now when I'm outside.. for me, the downside of outside is that I worry about being attacked by dogs, which actually happened this month while I was on vacation and walking outside. - 2/23/2010 12:28:18 PM
  • This worries me because I am training for my first 5k, which is on April 11. I live in New England and it's very cold right now, and I have asthma so I can't train outside until it warms up. At best, I'll be running outside a couple of weeks before the race for the first time. Am I going to be completely unprepared because I'm using the treadmill till then? I vary the speed and use an incline, and I'm increasing my total time every week to help my stamina. Now I'm worried it won't be enough! - 2/23/2010 11:57:44 AM
  • COACH_NICOLE
    TINKER-SUKI-- Good question. All of this can be applied to both walking and running. - 2/23/2010 11:39:22 AM
  • JR5641
    I live in Chicago so unless it's from May - October, the treadmill can't be beat :D. - 2/23/2010 11:33:48 AM
  • TINKER-SUKI
    I have a question maybe I read the article too fast and missed it. Running is best outdoor for a better workout but, what about walking does this still apply? - 2/23/2010 10:46:37 AM
  • I have two bad feet with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, and will only occasionally use a treadmill, for level walking (slow pace) and stop before I am limping in pain, of course. I once went to the health club tired, and nodded out while slow, level walking on a treadmill (I was weighing at below my goal weight at the time, so the question of being "overweight=constantly tired" is irrelevant) and fell off of it onto the skidding area, almost hurting myself. I think being outside would keep you from "treadmill hypnosis".

    --Tina - 2/23/2010 10:13:01 AM

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