If you’re new to running or intend to start training, you may have questioned what is better for you; treadmill or road. While you may think they’re very similar, and in essence, the art of putting one foot in front of the other is pretty much the same, they can be very different experiences.
What suits you depends on why you’re training and the goals of your excise regime. To help identify what is best for your needs, read on and learn the pros and cons of both running experiences.
The most noticeable benefit of road running is the rejuvenating effects the open air and sunshine have. The fresh air makes you feel more alive and can help propel you further. However, the weather can also be a major negative as heavy rain, strong winds, icy roads and inches of snow deter you from hitting the pavement.
Road running, while being essential for improving your personal mileage and conditioning, can be somewhat harsher on your joints, so if you’ve suffered an injury or know of a weak knee, invest in supportive equipment and shock absorbing shoes like something from the Asics running range to navigate a comfy run.
Road running provides you with an endless number of routes which will greatly help with keeping the experience exciting. These routes can also greatly aid your balance as you navigate any uneven terrain, however, the danger here is tripping and possible road traffic – stay safe and ensure you wear high-visibility clothing.
The most common reason for road running is marathon or endurance training. Getting outside will aid your ability to run that 10k completion better than a treadmill, but it is subject to weather conditions and your own determination.
We all enjoy training in comfortable surroundings and running on a treadmill can provide this, whether it be at a gym or your own home – this is especially enjoyable should the weather be unforgiving. The machine option is also considered to be a much safer alternative and the soft belt is more comfortable on your joints and feet.
If you’re looking to vastly improve your speed, treadmills are excellent for helping you do so. Regular use of the machine boosts stamina and you can set it at varying intervals to change up the challenge. If you’re serious about training for improved speed, investing in your own will ensure you’re never put off going to the gym. Websites like Gym Company sell a range of treadmills perfect for at-home training.
While there are noticeable benefits of a treadmill, a lot of the work is actually done by the machine and your hamstrings don’t get the workout they would on a road. Another con is the possibility of becoming bored by your surroundings. Ensure your training doesn’t become stagnant by playing loud uplifting music; or if your treadmill is in your own home, move the machine about for a new weekly view.
Are you a runner? If so which do you prefer? If not, what fitness activity do you prefer?