Treadmill or Road: Which is the Best?

It is a debate that has been running as long as the humble treadmill was invented. There will be the traditionalists, refusing to swap the glorious outdoors with the gym. On the other hand, the treadmill with its options for multimedia interactions and distractions is ideal for those who need something to take their mind off the pain in their lungs and legs. These can vary from watching that latest series on Netflix to checking out the latest sports results or bet offers for that week on the likes of oddschecker, to simply tackling that day’s Wordle. So what are the pros and cons of both?

Advantages of Running on a Treadmill
Apart from the ones mentioned above, another advantage the treadmill has over outdoor running is the weather, or rather the lack of it. You don’t have to contend with wind, rain or snow, and the temperature never dips below freezing. You are also guaranteed a safe and steady footing. Treadmills provide better cushioning than most outdoor surfaces, resulting in less impact on your joints.

Running on a treadmill offers more opportunities to take on fluids and/or snacks, plus if the worst happens, and you get injured, or simply can’t go another step, you are not left high and dry in the wilderness. Gym or home-based treadmills also offer a safe environment for anyone to go for a run alone, no matter what the time.

Advantages of Running Outdoors
The lack of weather may be seen as an advantage for treadmill runners, but the feel of fresh air and breeze on your face is something that many outdoor runners love. Added to that is the fact that you are – hopefully – in a natural environment with its own distractions, sights and perhaps even interactions. Netflix aside, running outdoors is more interesting than on a hamster wheel, as treadmills are often unkindly called.
Another reason many serious runners shun the treadmill is that it simply does not give you a true reflection of “real” running. If you are training for a race or event, yes it is a way of getting the miles in, but be aware, those miles are not the same as the ones you will encounter on the big day. For example, on a treadmill, you won’t go downhill or go round bends. It is also hard to get a sense of your own pace on a treadmill. You can see how many miles/kilometres an hour you are running, but how does that equate to real life?

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