Treadmill v. Outdoor running
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
When I first started the C25K, I was a treadmill girl. Of course, it was winter in Minnesota, so exercising indoors made sense. But as I approached my first 5K race, I was scared. I had done a lot of walking outdoors, but not running.
When I ran outdoors I realized--this is hard! Suddenly I had to deal with uneven pavement, regulating my own pace, propelling my body forward and wind resistance, not to mention the weather. I wanted to head back to the exercise room and embrace the treadmill and never let go!
But I forced myself to keep running outside, and before long, I preferred it. There were things to see, different routes to run, people to greet. It made me feel strong.
Today, I went back to the treadmill for the first time since about May. The weather was yucky, rainy and cold. I had a 4 mile run on my training plan for today, so I loaded up my audiobook on the MP3 player, and headed to the townhouse complex workout room. I set the incline up to 3.0 to increase the difficulty and, after my warmup, set the pace on the treadmill to faster than I would normally run outdoors.
Wow, that kicked my butt! The consistently faster pace made the treadmill workout more of a tempo run--I had to take three short (less than one minute) walk breaks during the 4 miles to catch my breath. I don't do that outdoors normally. I must subconsciously just slow down.
The treadmill is now back on my training plan for occasional runs. Until I get a Garmin to keep more accurate distance and pace during outdoor runs, I think the treadmill will prove useful for intervals or tempo runs.
Good thing my townhouse complex has one, and also a good thing that my DD just bought one, LOL.