Health & Fitness
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Do you find it easier to run outside?

I tried to do C25K a few weeks ago and I was left in so much pain that I haven't attempted it again (I was so sore I had a hard time walking, I didn't have shin splints and I've been fitted for a great pair of running shoes). I ran on the treadmill and I've had a few weeks now building up my endurance with using the elliptical as well as some strength training. 

I don't know if I was so sore afterwards because I just hadn't exercised in a long time or if for some reason it could have been the treadmill. I feel like I can't run slow on a treadmill for some reason :/ 

I'd like to start it again and try running outside this time (may be less boring as well!) so I was wondering what y'all's opinions were. 

Thanks for any advice!  

Re: Do you find it easier to run outside?

  • I find the effort to be similar, but i just get bored on the treadmill. What kind of soreness?
  • Running outside is so much better for me.  You can regulate your pace and watch things go by.  3 miles outside and 3 miles on the treadmill are two entirely different ballgames.

    I can't explain the soreness factor, though.  Unless the treadmill was really forcing you to go way too fast.  You may benefit from determining your own pace.

  • image Joy2611:

    Running outside is so much better for me.  You can regulate your pace and watch things go by.  3 miles outside and 3 miles on the treadmill are two entirely different ballgames.

    This.  It is so much easier for me to run outside---I find treadmills boring.  Also, I find that I push myself differently on a treadmill---I get too hung up on watching the numbers (staying at a particular pace, watching the miles s-l-o-w-l-y tick by), and I am often more sore after a treadmill run because I run much faster than my natural outdoor pace. 


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  • I like the treadmill and pretty much never run outside. I am also not good about 'simulating' outside conditions of wind and hills by putting the treadmill on an incline. I much prefer the treadmill because I find it easier on my knees and I find it easier to pace myself. But I am not an experienced runner, I can't really speak to which is better, just which I find easier.
  • the treadmill makes me hurt.  I am convinced my current IT band/knee issues that I am having are all from the 3 weeks I was running on the treadmill this winter.
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  • I went through phases with my running. When i first started out, I like the treadmill. Now that I run a lot more and have vibrams, I enjoy running outside much more. You can change out your path and there is a lot more to look at!
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  • I used to run on treadmills...can't do it anymore.  It's so boring to me, and you are just so painfully aware of how far you've gone and how long you've been running.

     What kind of soreness did you have?  Did you warm up before and stretch after your run?  I am always sore if I neglect these things. 

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  • I don't like running on a treadmill as much because I find myself getting bored and watching the time and distance.

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  • Running outside was sooo much easier for me. I find myself looking at the treadmill thinking "that is as far as i have gone" also i enjoy the view of my surroundings.
  • I definitely feel like it's easier on my body to run outside vs. on the treadmill.  I don't know why, but every time I run on the treadmill I feel like I'm getting beat up and I'm not able to run as fast or smoothly - I think because our bodies naturally vary their pace from step to step, while the treadmill moves at one constant speed the entire time (unless you're messing with the settings constantly, which also interrupts your stride).  I know I'm not the only person that has this problem with the treadmill, either. Try running outside, you might feel a lot better!
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  • Easier? Yes. Faster? No. At least not in training runs. I do 90% of my running now outside, but I started out solely using the TM. I transitioned  to outdoor running, and it was terrible at first. I was so much slower outside than on the TM, and the effort of running outside vs having the belt propel me was so much more intense. It took me a couple of months to get used to it, but I never looked back after that. I love running outside, and I dread running on the TM now. I have to do speedwork on the TM tonight, and I'm really blah about it. Especially if you are running on 0% incline on the TM do not expect to run faster or at the same pace outside. If you have the TM set to 1-2% the transition will be easier.
  • Most definitely!  I get so bored on a treadmill.
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  • I find it so much easier to run outside. I hated the monotony of running on the treadmill. I'm doing C25K and switched to running outside at W6D3, the idea of running 25 minutes straight on the treadmill made me want to gouge my eyes out. I'm scheduled to do W8D3 tomorrow and am really starting to love running now that I am doing it outside.
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  • I never tried running on a TM, but I will say the first few times I went for a run I was SO sore.  The first time, I could barely walk.  I had to wait an entire week before I could even attempt running again.  I went from zero activity to running... so I'm guessing my body was in shock.  I learned to stretch more (before and after) and the more I run, the better it feels.  It has been 6 weeks and I really don't have the soreness anymore. 
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  • Yes, I think it's much easier to run outside, even in inclement weather.
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  • I worked on my general fitness level quite a bit before starting c25k.  I started on the elliptical.  Then I did some workouts with friends from work, and got to the point where I could run 30 second intervals.  However, even with that, my calves were really sore and stiff for the first few months that I ran.  I had to stop often to stretch them out.  Other things hurt too.  It just took my body a long time to get used to it.  I love running now!  And yes I find it easier to run outside than on a treadmill and MUCH more enjoyable.  But on the other hand, running on concrete can be harder on your body than the treadmill.


  • I like running outside so much more. I used to only run on the treadmill, especially because I have mild asthma and pollen/ cold/ anything seemed to really bother me. Now I have dogs and have gotten so much more used to being outside. I like to race to the next tree, slow down a bit until the next driveway, don't stop until I get to the end of the block, etc. It helps me push myself a little more. Plus, I like being outside, being with my dogs, smiling at people along the way. And, I tend to stretch at red lights, or if I feel myself getting tight, more so than I would if i was on the treadmill. 
  • I personally find it much harder to run on the treadmill.  But that may just be because when I first started running, I did it all outside, so that was what I had gotten used to. 

    I honestly hate the dreadmill.  I can do about 3 miles max.  It's just so boring and it seems so much harder to me, even though my speed is the same as if I was outside.

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