Treadmill vs. Terrain
A very kind and sport-loving follower of mine gave me the idea, to express my thoughts regarding the differences and my preferences concerning treadmill and terrain running. Personally, I am all for terrain running, however I would most certainly lie, if I would say never on the treadmill!
The treadmill is the last chance for the runner, if one has reason without doubt for not going out for a run. Therefore one must not ever underestimate or scold it.
Pros and kontras
- The band of the treadmill is moving by itself, there is no wind current. However with some cheating, it is possible to quite nicely simulate the basic surroundings of outside running: some research suggests, that with a 1% uphill adjustment, one can generate an average outside flat terrain.
- You can prepare for any competition on a treadmill.
- You can make your sessions more colorful with preprogramming different varieties of terrains, intervals, sections etc. Thus you will have a “personal trainer” who will spur you to change pace.
- It will most definitely challenge your perception of monotone movement, as you have much less stimulus, than outside.
- You don’t need to dress according to the weather, freezing is not an issue.
- Our numbers are in our face literally, as you can follow your pulse, velocity, distance etc. constantly, this being paradise for technocrats.
- Our last escape in freezing rain, and during serious smog alerts.
- And let us not forget those, who only have time to run in the evening after work, those women mainly, who are weary of running alone outside after dark, – quite right in doing so!- this is most certainly their only option.
- Exploring our surroundings: the city where we live, the forest, and the nature that surrounds us. Running downhill, running up to a viewpoint, running on a romantic path, around a starry lake, or why not a snowy terrain in the moonlight, standing on a hilltop, meeting a deer, or arriving to a sunny glade, running with a river, or over a bridge. These are all additional experiences you may be lucky to find while running. Every time different.
- Nature stimulates our minds, helps us to meditate, evaluate, and to think about ourselves. It strengthens our mental abilities.
- The fresh air is naturally healthy for your lungs.
- Outside, nature dictates your pace – it is our personal trainer.
- The unevenness of the terrain moves those muscles as well, which you would not otherwise on a treadmill or on a course.
- Our training has a beginning and an end – it is somehow an important issue to start somewhere and to arrive to a certain point, and it doesn’t hurt if we can experience this physically as well.
- The sound of nature is spellbinding.
- If we are in need of company, it is much better to run along next to each other chatting, rather than trying to outshout our drumming feet on the mill. I have until today, never seen people chatting to each other while on the treadmill at speed, only while walking. However, outside it is lovely chatting to someone, even while pacing at a considerable speed.
- Time passes by faster.
- Experiencing nature during the different seasons, and parts of day. Let us just consider a Monet painting, how many times he painted the same hayrick in broad daylight. This we may experience live.
- Personally I find myself much less ill since I run outside, even though I run in minus 15 and even rain.
- Ok, I agree that dressing for the show is a bit of a pain, but the more often you do it the better you get at it. It is sure worth it.
- Fresh air uses you up in a positive manner. It is certainly no coincidence that the same exercise for a child outside contrary to a playhouse inside, will use more of the child’s energy – which is the reason for playing outside if it is possible. So why not do it to ourselves as well!
Nature is like human nature. Thereof the same wording! Diverse, capricious, sometimes unpredictable, however incredibly attractive, mysterious and full of emotions. Let us use those qualities, live with them, enrich our time spent running with them, both emotionally, visually and technically.
But, let us not underestimate the one and only, that we can rely on in any weather, when nature lets us down capriciously. And that is our devoted robot, who will be there come rain or shine, and will wait for us patiently, our every move – the treadmill.
In my personal experience, alternating terrain and the treadmill at 85% contra 15%, will deliver the most precise, and most exciting workout.