I’ll admit it: I’m one of those weird people who kind of prefers running on a treadmill. Which is why when I stumbled upon an article (The Upside of Running on a Treadmill | Runner’s World & Running Times) dealing with this very subject, I had to read it.
It wasn’t always this way (much like the author of this article). When I first started running, I ran almost exclusively outside. But after a hot summer, a cold winter and a gym membership came into play I grew to not only be okay with running on a treadmill – but discovered that I could actually accomplish things I never knew I could by running outside.
As a mostly treadmill runner, I’ve cut my mile time back significantly. I remember the days that I thought I would never be able to make it to a 10 minute mile. After several years of playing speed games on the treadmill, I’ve gotten my pace down to about 8:45 – and I don’t know that I would have been able to do it outside. Why? Because the belt keeps you accountable. You can speed up, you can slow down, but you have to make a conscious decision to do so. Outside, you face cars that force you to stop. You get bored and slow down unintentionally. You say forget it because it’s raining, or snowing, or hot. Treadmill? No excuse (well, unless it’s January, and the treadmills are all taken, but that’s a completely different beast. We’ll get back to that subject in the next few weeks).
Which do you prefer – outside or on the treadmill? I love both, but I find that for me personally, I’m better off on the treadmill if I want to push myself, but I’m better off outside if I’m just looking for a leisurely jog. It’s a personal preference!