Outdoor Running vs. Treadmill Running

Let me tell ya, I felt a huge difference between the two when I ran outside on Saturday.

I know, I know…it’s common sense right? Obviously running outside will be harder because on the treadmill there is no wind, resistance, and the belt propels your feet.

 SashaW via Compfight cc

I have never really done a combination of running outside and treadmill running. I mainly stick outside, but this winter (due to getting a gym membership) I decided to run inside more because I hate the cold. I have done the best I could to simulate outdoor runs, such as setting the incline to 1% and throwing in some hills periodically. But I guess that wasn’t enough!

My goal was to run 3 miles, and I figured that could be accomplished in 30 minutes. I mean, I have been running 9:50 minutes per mile usually on the treadmill. Welp…I was wrong! I felt good for the first half mile then it all went downhill. It felt like my legs were lead and just could not go any faster. I ended up averaging 11:30 minutes per mile…and only ran 2.6 miles in 30 minutes. And my shins definitely hurt after as well.

I have a feeling this is why I didn’t PR (set a personal record) at the Big Chill 5K in December. I had mainly been treadmill training before that, and I wasn’t fully ready for a slightly hilly course.

Anyway, why am I sharing this with you? I’m not sure…but I figured other runners would be interested and could give me some tips as well! I plan on doing a half-marathon in April, and really want to set a PR. Hoping my running coach could help me hit 2:00 or sub-2:00?? After Saturday, it was clear to me I need to do mainly outdoor runs. I came home and napped after that run…that’s how much it tired me out! #sad

Because I needed a picture of a cute animal sleeping.

How do you motivate yourself to run outside in the winter? I have ZERO desire to do that…help!


You can follow me on:

Share this article!


  1. I’ve just started running, and right now I run on a treadmill, because of the cold.
    I don’t know how cold it is where you live, but I have no problem running in a little cold, I can run outside In around -5 degrees (celsius), but right now when it’s usually around -15 I prefer the treadmill.
    I’ve never noticed a big difference in running on a treadmill or outside, but I’ve never really manage to get into the routine of running, usually I stop after a few times.

    Right know I’m just working to be able to run 5 km without walking some of it.
    I do however feel really worn out and tired after just half an hour/3,6 km on the treadmill.

    But to get motivation to run outside you can always think that it could be colder.

    • That’s a great goal! You’ll be able to run 5k in no time. And that’s a good mindset (it could always be colder). I’m ok with it I suppose but my toes get numb! I hate the winter haha

  2. Does your gym have a track or small running space? I know my YMCA has an upstairs track in the gym portion of the whole facility. It would definitely be helpful because then you’d get to run inside but also propel yourself.

  3. I am combining both into my schedule actually. I find that when I run outside, I tend to run further than if I run indoor on my treadmill, as I get bored easier because there is nothing to distract you from running. I started out my running training on my treadmill to get my legs used to running great distances that 1km. I would interval walking with running and slowly progress my running spurts longer than my walking ones. Once I had accomplished a few pb’s on the treadmill, I took myself outside and tried to beat them out there. It worked. I was running 5km in exactly half an hour on my treadmill but I managed to beat that running 5.2 in under 30 minutes outside. Due to it being summer here in Australia, I can run outside later at night rather than have to run on my treadmill.

    Just last sunday, I set a pb for 15km in just over 1.5hrs. There is no way I would run that far on my treadmill. Ever. :)

    Keep up the good work ladies!


  1. [...] Outdoor Running vs. Treadmill Running (reach-yourpeak.com) [...]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge