Health & Fitness
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Treadmill vs Street Running

Does anyone know why running on a treadmill is so much harder than running on the street?  Outside, I typically run an 8:15 mile comfortably.  Running on the treadmill, I can barely run a 10:30 pace.  If I jack up the speed to a 9 minute pace, I am try heaving.   I assume it has something to do with different muscles being engaged, but why, I wonder?  Anyone else experience this?

I am sure my treadmill is calabrated properly because it is brand new and the distance syncs up perfectly with the fitness app on my ipod for tracking the distance.

 

Re: Treadmill vs Street Running

  • image MrsFoof:

     I am try heaving.  

    Dry heaving not try heaving  Embarrassed

  • Is your treadmill set at an incline? It should be set at a slight incline (I use a 1) to mimic outdoor conditions. 

    It's been a while since I've run on a treadmill, but I have a hard time running on one due to not being able to regulate my own speed. I feel like I'm trying to keep up with the treadmill vs. being able to run freely. I also breathe better in the fresh air. 

  • I don't know, the treadmill for me is all a mental game. How long can you run and not go anywhere? I can actually go faster on a treadmill because I can time my intervals easily, but mainly I do that to keep the boredom away. 

    Maybe you are just having an off day when you are on the treadmill?  Or maybe just having a mental block on it. 

  • Are you sure you're clocking your speed accurately on the street? Treadmill running is generally easier than street running.
  • image kipnus:
    Are you sure you're clocking your speed accurately on the street? Treadmill running is generally easier than street running.

    Yes, I run several 5Ks all within a 8:15/8:30 pace. 

    I have continued to research why treadmill running is more difficult.  One theory is that the "squishyness" of the belt, similiar to running on grass, dirt or sand, absorbs some of the momentum rather than running on the hard pavement in which the momentum helps propel you forward. 

  • I HATE the treadmill, and find it to be more difficult than running outside. As a PP said for me it is all mental. 

    But personally I'm not sure I'd compare a 5k pace (likely a race pace) to a treadmill pace. My 5k pace is 7:45, but I don't run my daily runs - indoors or on a treadmill - anywhere near that pace.   My training or daily runs are usually 8:45 - 9:15.

  • I have to agree with Mrs Riva. I don't perform nearly as well on the treadmill and it's because I'm not able to maintain my own pace. I need to slow a bit here, speed up a bit here, but it's all done without thinking, and it's all done at my own timing. Just because you keep up an 8:15 mile doesn't mean that you are moving the same speed the whole time. You fluctuate minutely all the time based on feel.

    When you are on a treadmill, it keeps the same pace constantly, there is no variation. You aren't going at your own pace, you are keeping up with whatever the machine tells you to do. 

  • image mrs riva:

    Is your treadmill set at an incline? It should be set at a slight incline (I use a 1) to mimic outdoor conditions. 

    It's been a while since I've run on a treadmill, but I have a hard time running on one due to not being able to regulate my own speed. I feel like I'm trying to keep up with the treadmill vs. being able to run freely. I also breathe better in the fresh air. 

    Agreed. I can't run on a treadmill. I love seeing different sites around me. And experiencing new places. Plus breathing the fresh air helps keep me cool versus hot sweaty gym air. It's probably all mental - but I prefer outside way more than indoor.

     

    But I will say I had the same problem as you the other day in the gym I was trying to do my normal pace that I do outside and I couldn't on the treadmill. I think it's probably because outside I can slow down and speed up whenever I want or need too. Where as it's difficult to do that on the treadmill.

    Good luck!  

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  • Running outside is a lot of fun, just not when it's cold out Stick out tongue! I have the same issue with the treadmill.
  • I feel the same way about the treadmill.  I feel like it's a lot more difficult just because there's no airflow when I'm stuck in the same place. An extra little fan helped, but I'd still rather be outside when I can be.  
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