Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to running outside but I LOVE my treadmill. Over the years it has gotten me through many bouts of anxiety and depression. It gets me moving in the morning when I’m feeling lethargic. It helped a great deal when I was training for a half marathon.
Here are the 5 reasons I believe a treadmill is more reliable than running outdoors:
This only counts if you have a treadmill in your home. Some people say they just don’t have enough space but I think that’s a poor excuse. There are many treadmills that fold up so they don’t take up a ton of space. I used to have one like this when I lived in a one bedroom 700 square foot apartment and it worked well.
It’s nice not to have to drive to the gym just to get in a quick run not to mention the privacy factor having it in your own home. I can wear the most worn down running clothes (like when I haven’t done laundry in a few days) and not worry about how I look. You can find a good price on used treadmills especially with our cyber world and it’s more cost beneficial than a gym membership. You can then add other items to your home gym that can be tucked away in closets (hand weights, yoga mats, kettle bells, etc…).
I always worried about running outside when I was training for a half marathon. I would do a lot of my training on the treadmill but I also did some of my longer runs outside. I would have to get up at the crack of dawn so I could get in a 9 mile run and still make it to work on time. It was scary running by myself even as it was getting lighter outside. Bad things can happen anywhere. There are many other safety concerns like falling, getting hit by a car or getting bit by a dog. I’ve known people all three of these things have happened to!
I like knowing I don’t have to worry about weather to get my ideal workout in. The winter and summer would be brutal if I didn’t have my treadmill. I give kudos to those people I see running when it’s icy and 10 degrees or humid and 90 degrees! I’m too wimpy for that!
4) It’s easier on your body
Running on a treadmill belt not only feels better than concrete and blacktop but it’s easier on your joints. I know people who have bad knees and feet and have made them worse over the years by running outside. Many people would argue that running in general is bad for your joints, knees and feet but the impact of a treadmill over a long period of time is much less harmful than running outdoors on hard, uneven surfaces.
5) It doesn’t have to be as boring as you think
This is one of the top reasons I hear people say they hate treadmills. It’s a mental challenge because it’s BORING! I run on my treadmill at least 5 days a week which is more than I really need to but it’s for my mental health more than anything. People often ask me HOW I do it and doesn’t it make me crazier? Not at all and here’s why.
It’s my private and sacred time. I’m away from chatty children (sometimes fighting children) and work demands. This is the time I catch up on my favorite television shows (DVR) or my podcasts. I know many people like to listen to music but I need something more engaging. I’ve even listened to audiobooks while running.
Even though I run on my treadmill many times each week, I have not done the same run in a year. I go into my run with a plan. How long will I run? Do I want to work on endurance or build muscle in my legs and glutes? Will I do a hill run or speed run or combination of both? Will I do a fast walk and steep hills with hand weights? Will I incorporate intervals or tabatas? Will I include lunges and side shuffles? I never do the same run twice and sometimes I even tweak it as I go if I feel I’m not getting a good enough workout.
I have some of my favorite runs stored in my programs on my treadmill but most of the time I’m using runs I find on Pinterest. I have a treadmill workout board with 174 pins that I’ve gotten from many people over the years. Once I pick which one I want I pull it up on my iPhone or iPad which I set on my treadmill screen in front of me and follow it while watching TV or listening to my podcasts. I’m really killing two birds with one stone AND I feel great afterward!
Here are a couple treadmill workouts I’ve created: