If you ask 100 runners, you might just get 50 different answers when it comes to the benefits of treadmill running versus outdoor running.
Largely, it comes down to personal preference but each method of running comes with its own unique benefits as well as its own limits and below are a few factors to consider when you are outlining your own personal running strategy.
Fresh Air — The ability to breathe in fresh air on your run is something unavailable to most, unless you have access to an outdoor treadmill. The air outdoors will be naturally higher in oxygen which will help clear your lungs, boost your energy and lower your blood pressure. The natural light may also benefit your Vitamin D intake.
It’s more fun — Locating a good running route is key to maintaining an active running schedule. The best part of outdoor running is the ability to switch up your routes to keep things more interesting and is a great way to explore your local area.
It’s more challenging — Outdoor running occasionally presents its own obstacles, such as inclement weather, gradients or different types of gravel, grass etc. These are factors which are entirely absent from indoor treadmill running.
It’s free — Perhaps the most beneficial element of outdoor running is that it is entirely free. Sure, we heavily endorse picking up good running shoes but once that is out of the way, the pursuit is entirely cost-neutral.
Run in any weather — The opposite to outdoor running, exercising on a treadmill allows you the opportunity to get your run in even in the event of a category five hurricane.
You can tailor a treadmill to your needs — Adding an incline to your treadmill can help work out your calves in a way which is just not available short of hill runs. Also, it easier to keep an eye on your time while running on a treadmill to give your a better opportunity of hitting your own personal goals.
You don’t need to add to your running gear — Outdoor running can require more different types of athletic gear. Is it raining? Is it cold? Is it windy? None of these are a factor on an indoor treadmill.
It is easier to avoid injury — The smooth, constant surface of a treadmill is easier on your joints than consistently pounding concrete and while a treadmill doesn’t make you immune to the onset of injury, it definitely puts you in a less risk category.