Treadmills have been the one piece of equipment in a gym that I have avoided at all costs for as long as I can remember. In my own personal opinion they are horribly boring to use. Now, I don’t want to write an article completely based on my opinions. What I’d rather do is present to you the reasons why running outside outweigh the need for a treadmill. I suppose I can start off with something positive and say that treadmills are a great piece of equipment to have when the weather outside is too horrible to run in. By horrible I don’t mean it’s too hot or too cold, but maybe there’s a lightning storm, streets are flooded, or you’re snowed in. Treadmills also help you stay at a consistent speed. However, that is also a negative aspect of the treadmill that I notice. The thing with a treadmill is that the ground below you constantly moves at whatever speed you choose whether or not your feet actually keep moving at the same speed. That’s an issue I have is that you could, in essence, start leaping if you wanted and use less energy, yet at the end of your “run” on the treadmill you’ll post on social media how you ran 5 miles on an incline at an 8mph speed. When you run outside, your speed is solely based on how fast you move your entire body. The ground beneath you isn’t moving at all. The distance you track, along with your average pace per mile is all of your work that you put in. One of the easiest arguments, and this may be completely based on opinion is the difference in scenery between a treadmill and running outside. With a treadmill, if you’re in a gym, your scenery is probably the giant tv in front of you that has been assigned to your treadmill plus seeing all of the people on the second floor of the gym using the free weights. Now some people may actually enjoy this. To some, that may be totally fine for them to look at for the entire run. Running outside allows you the opportunity to see all different kinds of scenery. You can always change it up too based on where you go to run. I’ve been on runs where I’ve seen turtles, ducks, a snake, squirrels, and plenty of other wildlife. I was able to enjoy my time outside and get unplugged from the tv instead of being placed in front of one while I run while noticing people constantly watching to see when I’ll finally be done so they can use it. I think one of the toughest challenges is having a treadmill in the house. It doesn’t take long until you’re hanging clothes from it and soon it’s stuffed in a corner of your spare room behind all the other things you’ve collected over the years. Even if it’s not, once you get on a treadmill in your house, you start to look around and think of all the other things you could be doing in the house at that same time. You may also have other people in the house who constantly run up to bug you or ask you questions while you’re trying to run and you have to keep pausing your run just to be able to hear them. When you run outside, you don’t have any of those issues to worry about. You’re alone with your thoughts and no one is there to stop you or bother you while you run. If anything, running outside is a nice therapeutic getaway from the day to day issues that surround you. In general, taking your run outside allows your body to learn how to adjust to different weather conditions. You get the chance to see how tough you are and can brag about your accomplishments all you want. If you ever decide to sign up for a 5k, 10k, half marathon or any kind of race, then training on a treadmill will not fully prepare you for what you are about to endure racing outside on pavement or even a trail. To sum it up, just put on your shoes, walk out the door and find a place to go run. Enjoy the nature and surroundings around you as you shed off the weight and push yourself to new limits. Use the gym for the weights but leave the running up to the roads and trails. Run as far away from your starting point as you can, turn around, and push yourself to get back because then you actually will be going somewhere fast.
Before my mid twenties I was never a runner. I could never wrap my mind around the concept of guys joining the cross country team in school or why anyone would run for fun. It seemed exhausting, tedious and down right boring. Now, I’m 36 and when I tell people I’m a runner I always hear the same thing, “I hate ruining!” Or “I’m just not a runner.” In all honesty, I don’t believe that there are many people who are “runners” from the very get-go. It takes time, dedication, and patience. Running is tough and it does take a lot of energy out of your body. If you stick with it, though, you get to a point to where you’re excited to go run. You challenge yourself to see if you can set a new distance record or a new time record. If you’re like me and you run alone with headphones in, then this time you spend running can be almost therapeutic. You’re mind wanders and you can just be alone in your thoughts. So what would bring me to a point where I’d want to write on why anyone would “want” to run. Last week I had to have surgery on my right foot for a couple of ruptured tendons. I keep getting told by my doctor that the time expectancy for me to get back to running keeps getting pushed back further. Right now I WANT to run more than anything. I honestly miss it and the way I feel after a really good run. There are some people I go to church with who had really never run before and recently did their first 5k. Now they’re looking to sign up for more races and are excited about it. Trust me when I say that once you get in to running, give it an honest try, and see how it changes your outward appearance as well as your inward attitude, you’ll thank me. If you want someone to coach you on this and the fitness that goes in to running as well, then look me up. I have my own training website Run Walker Run Fitness. You can find me on Instagram @runwalkerrunfitness. I’m on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/runwalkerrunfitness/. I’ve also started my own podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. They both have the show title of Sunrise Sessions: Run Walker Run Sessions. I am very passionate about running and fitness. It excites me and bring a smile to my face when someone can see the benefits and results from running.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton