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Yesterday’s run was 5 miles – I did another one of the Landice treadmill workouts but bumped up the time from 30 minutes to 40 minutes. I wrongly assumed that if you increased the time it would just add another 10 minute segment to the workout. Instead it increased each mini section to 2 minutes – which again doesn’t sound bad until you have 4 minutes of running fast uphill. I REALLY don’t like finishing in the middle of the mile so I used the rest of the mile as a mini cool down at the end.

Woke up this morning a tad sore – which in my eyes is mostly a nice feeling. I think once I start training for Boston {123 more days till race day!!} I am going to do one of these workouts a week – it’s nice in a way to not know exactly what is coming next.



Thank you for all the TV show suggestions on yesterday’s post!!!

While procrastinating before yesterday’s run I found a couple of interesting articles on treadmill running.

I am in the camp that feels like running on a treadmill is drastically harder than running outside…….going back to my 4:xx am runs in the dark is starting to sound like what I am going to need to do if I want to get in a decent training cycle this time around.


What do you think – is running on a treadmill harder or easier than running outside??


  1. I think treadmill is harder! When I was at my peak training my outdoor steady runs were at 6:25 pace and on a treadmill the fastest I’ve ever been able to maintain without feeling like I’m falling off is around 8:00 pace…and that felt drastically harder than necessary! I don’t fully understand it but it’s good to know others think the treadmill is tougher, everyone else seems like they think treadmill is much easier!

  2. I think treadmill is much harder, but only because of the boredom factor. If I was able to stay in the same mental place inside as outside it would be no problem. But the fact that I just get so bored makes running in -40 a more desirable option.

  3. I used to think treadmill running was a lot harder, but the more I did it the easier it got. I always enjoy being outside more but since the weather up here is not cooperating I don’t mind the treadmill at all. It could have something to do with the fact I was injured for a long time so to me any form of running is AMAZING!

  4. I really don’t have enough data for a comparison … there are very few things that will stop me from running outside, mostly active lightning and heavy ice. Snow, cold, rain, whatever … I’m there! :)

  5. I completely agree that treadmill running is harder – but I’ve also found that when I make it a regular part of my running routine, it helps me improve my overall running.

  6. I run faster on a treadmill than outside, but I find it painful mentally when the run is longer than an hour..

  7. Treadmill is a lot harder for me, but it’s better than slipping on ice and not getting to run for a few weeks due to something being twisted or broken.

  8. I’m probably in a very small minority but I think that running on my treadmill is much easier than outside. I used to be the opposite but after having my first son (years ago) and having a husband who travels I converted to the treadmill – now I love it!!

  9. Dorothy, I have a question for you: I remember reading in one of your posts a while back that you had said that you don’t run at an incline on the treadmill because it’s likely to lead to injury; instead you increase your speed. Now it sounds like you do use the incline. What made you change your mind?

  10. Hi Lis! You are correct – I don’t use the incline normally. I’ve only been using the incline on these programmed in treadmill workouts….I do not believe in setting your treadmill at a 1% incline for an entire run because I do believe it leads to injury – most of us would never just run slightly uphill for an entire run….I understand arguments against this but for me – I typically will always run at no incline on the treadmill. Unless – it’s a specific workout like these where the incline is constantly varying every couple of minutes. Hope that helps!! :)

  11. Agreed!! That’s why I use it so much in the winter :(

  12. Yes, that definitely does help, thank you! I’ve been taking your advice about the inclines, and feel that it has helped with my plantar fasciitis. The treadmill certainly is different from running outside, and although I would have to agree that they are two different beasts, I also have noticed that despite the constant varying terrain outside, I tend to run at a faster pace than I do on the tm. But I’ve also noticed that the treadmill has helped me increase my speed tempos, so I am not going to complain!

  13. Great workout Dorothy!

  14. I think there isn’t a huge difference for ME on treadmills vs outside. What I do struggle with on the treadmill is finding the right warm-up pace. When I run outside, Its easy to settle into whatever warm-up pace feels good that day, where as on the treadmill finding it takes a little playing around with the speed.

  15. I definitely find treadmill running to be a lot harder! I trained for my last two marathons about 80% on the treadmlll because that was the only way that I could get runs in with a newborn baby and a husband who is at work all the time. Physically, I always feel there is about a 30 second per mile difference on the treadmill v. outside (but I run at a 2% incline because on my treadmill, 0% feels downhill). Mentally, it is just draining for me, so I’ve gone through a couple of Netflix shows on my ipad (Scandal, Friday Night Lights). But, I will say, that I think in large part due to the treadmill, my speed and mental focus has improved drastically. In my first treadmill trained marathon, I went from a 3:58 marathon PR to a 3:39. This last cycle, I took my half marathon PR from 1:45 to 1:40 and my marathon PR down again from 3:39 to 3:31. So it has its benefits!!

  16. Good question. In terms of actual effort – hands down, easier on the treadmill. My HR is always lower on the treadmill at the same pace. In terms of perceived effort – I think speedwork is easier on the treadmill, and tempos are easier to hold, but longer and easier runs DRAAAAAG so those are almost always outside. Easy runs on the treadmill always become progression runs because I get bored.

  17. Treadmill running is impossibly difficult. I can cruise along outside w/ hills at <9:30 minutes per mile (sometimes dipping into the high 8s) but on the treadmill? I'm lucky if I can get an 11 minute mile! Glad to know I'm not the only one; I'd always heard it was supposed to be easier to run on a treadmill.

  18. I like running on the treadmill is so much harder! First off, what your pace is isn’t necessarily what you are running. I find it difficult to actually run a certain pace because I always seem to put in more effort and run faster than what the pace reads, but when I speed up I find it hard to maintain that. When you’re outside everything just feels easier, you can actually see and feel your pace which I think is most important.

  19. I think running on an incline contributed to a foot injury I had a few months back. It was the combination of the incline and the push off that aggravated the joint of my second toe.

    I don’t run at an incline anymore, although I do male sure to run hills outside. I really like the treadmill and find it easier to run faster on it than outdoors, but it definitely has improved my street speed with speed workouts on the treadmill.

  20. I definitely think treadmill running is more difficult for me – can’t wait to get back outside!

  21. I am fortunate enough to live in a mild climate (Houston, TX) so the mention of treadmill brings shivers down my spine. I mean it isn’t called satan’s sidewalk, the dreadmill, hampster hangout for nothing. BUT…you didn’t ask which is more enjoyable.

    as far as actual intensities. I think running on a treadmill is easier, you have a set climate and set conditions. The treadmill cushions you as you run. You don’t have an uneven surface like the road offers you. You can place a fan in front of you on the treadmill.

  22. I also find treadmill running to be much harder physically. It’s definitely more boring…but I also find it physically more tiring. I have no idea why. Even running outside, uphill, against the wind is easier than the treadmill, for me at least.

  23. For me, running outside is harder. That said, I still prefer it, because of the connectivity to nature.
    Running inside, it is easier to distract myself with music, tv shows, etc.

  24. The treadmill is doable for me mostly because I only use it in the winter. It does take more mental effort to go the distance, say 6/7 miles, but I can do a 4 mile run and then do some strength work and feel good about it.

  25. I’d definitely say it’s easier! It’s much more convenient, I can make myself run faster, and I’m never cold :) HA such weeny answers. But, I prefer to run outside, for sure! It’s much more similar to race day conditions!

  26. Thanks for all the great information! :)

  27. I think it depends on what you are used to. I used to do my M-F runs on a treadmill, so I found it easier than outside. But now that I do 95% of my runs outside, I find a treadmill extremely difficult. Ultimately, I do think outside is easier because it’s not as hot and it feels more natural. Unless it’s 75 degrees outside, it still feels cooler outside because you have the air cooling you off.

  28. my treadmill broke. which one would you recommend?

  29. The treadmill seems much harder to me. The boredom factor is a huge part of it but my knees tend to feel a little more beat up when I’m done also. It gets tough running outside here in the northeast during the winter. I’m like Scott. The cold and rain aren’t a problem but you can’t necessarily count on everyone cleaning the snow and ice off of their sidewalks.

  30. I guess it depends what kind of outdoor running you are doing. Weather permitting I think outdoor running is always better as it is more functional. You enhance balance and ability of running in various terrains with constant distraction. And on the plus side you can get fresh air and exercise in nature.
    Though I sometimes do like to people watch on the treadmill at the gym. And if you are doing strength training it can be more efficient to run at the gym.

  31. I think treadmill running is hard at first, but eventually treadmill season comes along for me… and a few runs later it isn’t so bad! I am in that small group of people that doesn’t mind it. I don’t LOVE it, and under any other circumstances I’d prefer to be outdoors, but I’m not a treadmill hater either! It keeps me from slipping on ice, getting hurt, and squeezing in runs when time-wise running wouldn’t be an option otherwise!

  32. For the past five months, I have consistently been walking outside and find it much more fulfilling than the treadmill. For me, the treadmill seems to place more strain on my knees. I am doing something wrong? I am new at this fitness thing, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

  33. Treadmill running for me is harder, at least on the brain :) It can get so boring… In general, I don’t like running, but do it because it’s easy, effective and fast workout. During winter it gets too cold for running outdoors, so I’ll have to switch to treadmilling it. One tip: listen to a podcast on your fav subject while running, it may make it easier.

  34. Running on a treadmill is defiantly harder for me. My pace is always off and I never fail to feel like I’m going to fall off the back of! There’s nothing better than running in the sunshine :0)

  35. Ya I Agree treadmill is much harder than normal running, but in India due to weather conditions I used to prefer it. Nice comparison, Thanks.

  36. I find running on the treadmill to be harder in spite of the mainstream view in the running literature that states it is easier. I have calibrated and recalibrated my treadmill. My footpod matches distance pretty close to the treadmill when running on it, but heartrate and perceived effort is consistently and significantly elevated. This has also been the case with nearly every treadmill I’ve tried. I’ve found that if I adjust my treadmill speed (or pace) to 92% of pace, both perceived effort and heartrate drop to normal levels. Actually, this works very consistently across all of my training zones. Just simply convert pace to miles per hour, multiply that figure by the multiplier (in my case…0.92 or 92%), then round to the nearest figure on your treadmill speed. I imagine everyone would have a different multiplier depending on how there body reacts to the treadmill. If you can figure out your multiplier, you may find it works across all pace ranges.


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