Treadmill vs. Road
The other day I came to a realization. Jay Thornton, a.k.a Newbie Runner, and I have decided to meet each others challenge of 450 miles from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13. We did the math and figured out that this was about 1.2 miles a day. Totally doable for almost anyone who runs, and even more so for a walker.
All that being said, I have recently become the owner of a broken, in need of repair, treadmill. I have since fixed the minor issues that it had and have started logging some mileage on it. My wife said that she’d wanted one to start doing some fitness walking. I found this one after an extensive 24 hour search, for free! Since running on the treadmill I’ve been able to increase my mileage a little at a time to where I’m able to log 2 miles at a time. Why only 2? Because I am a visually stimulated person and if I don’t have something to look at that’s remotely interesting, I get bored fast.
So yeah, treadmill vs. road. One particular day I decided to run one mile inside, and immediately one mile outside. The first mile was uneventful, and ok by my standards. Not a sizzling fast time, but under 8 minutes. When I finished that mile I stopped long enough to do a little hydrating and then hit it, on the road. I noticed that I immediately was having stride, foot strike, and posture problems to where my knees and back were hurting. After I corrected that and got into my “groove” I am pleased to report a 7:45 mile.
This experiment has led me to this somewhat lengthy conclusion. Treadmill running, for me, is going to be a rainy day, cold weather, or maintenance mile activity only. My treadmill experience has given me sore knees, and made it almost impossible to practice proper in-run form.
Again these are my personal findings. The treadmill allows me to be more slacked with my theory as I run, this causing the damage or a potential for it. I can’t lean, I can’t absorb the shock properly, and I can’t vary my stride for the terrain. One mile on the treadmill, for me is plenty. More than a mile and I’m asking for trouble.
A big plus I’d like to mention is the fact that you can regulate your breathing, cadence (or pace), and mine has a fan on it. Treadmills as a whole are not particularly my cup of tea, but they are a practical substitute for running in inclimate weather.