TOTR: Say “No” to Treadmill Running

Image result for treadmill meme

Some like it and some hate it. I’m sure that runners can all list the benefits of running on the treadmill i.e. you can run when the conditions outside are less than desirable.

I am one of the haters. I don’t own one and I run on one very very rarely.

So here are my reasons why you should NOT run on a treadmill.

  • Lack of air resistance

When running on the treadmill, it is obvious that you are not running through the air. When running outdoors, the wind raises resistance. The quicker you run, the more you feel the air resistance over you. To me, running seems so much harder when there is wind. And we to prepare for such conditions.

I struggled running into the wind during this race

  • Less front slope

Some studies have shown that runners run with less forward inclination of the body when they train on the treadmill. Leaning forward is essential as it maximizes the runner’s ability (and energy) to move forward.  Of course, we want this when we race.

  • Unrealistic Running surface

The treadmill surface is obviously uniformly level and soft. This offers a significant disadvantage. When running outdoors, the surface is mixed: stones, soft and hard surfaces, wet or dry points, and combinations of all these. Running on these varied surfaces is a challenge but it is an important aspect of training as these different surfaces have impact on the muscles, joints and affect balance. And it is rare that we race on a flat, straight (no curves), soft surface.

  • Lack of visual perception

When running outdoors, you move between trees, buildings, cars and other people. When you’re on the treadmill, you are not actually moving so you do not have all this visual experience that gives you the feeling of running. If you are lucky, you can look through a window or at a computer/TV screen. Not the same!!

  • Shorter Length  of Stride

The limited physical size of the treadmill can give you the impression that either you will step off the treadmill or that you will fall.  This usually leads to smaller and/or more perpendicular strides.  I know that I run at a slower pace on the treadmill because when I up the speed, I feel like I will fall off.  I can only comfortably sprint in a race or at the end of a training run outdoors.

  • Running on a limited space

You may feel claustrophobic when running on a treadmill because you are usually in close and restrained space.  There’s nothing like the feeling of the great outdoors (even when it is 0 degrees.)

  • Lack of Confidence

Many runners who do their training runs on the treadmill do not feel properly trained for races (for many of the reasons I  mentioned above.)

  • Boring and monotonous

Running “in the same spot” aka the “dreadmill” can be very boring and very monotonous. No matter what I try…podcasts, music, TV…. 3 miles feels like 13 miles!!

Related image

So there you have it. If you avoid the treadmill like I do, you now have reasons to justify your decision to run outdoors…no matter what.

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and Patty @ My no-guilt life for

Happy Running!! How do you feel about the treadmill? Please share.

28 thoughts on “TOTR: Say “No” to Treadmill Running

  1. You make a good case for avoiding the treadmill. On the other hand, some of the things you point out, can help correct bad form. Some people do lean forward or overstride when they run and working on the mill can help that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will always choose running outdoors over the treadmill. That said, I’ve been walking on one at the gym before my workout buddy arrives, and holy moly, 30 minutes of walking on it takes forever…but 30 minutes walking outdoors? Flies by.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to disagree on the softer surface being a disadvantage — it’s actually kinder to the body. It doesn’t make me feel claustrophobic (probably because I’m not running on one in a row in a gym) nor do I ever feel like I’m going to fall off the back — although occasionally I get a bit too close to the sides.That might be one time when being so short is an advantage. 🙂

    I prefer to run outside most of the time, but there are definitely times I’d much rather be inside on a treadmill.


    • What you’re saying is true but not a realistic preparation for a race. Also you have small strides. I feel closed in because of the lack of scenery and air flow.

      But some people use the treadmill more than others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely feel like my stride and form is different when I run on the treadmill. I’m always worried I’ll fall off or something! But I do like having the option for using the treadmill at the gym when needed for weather or scheduling purposes. I just wouldn’t make it the bulk of my training for a race.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While the mill is not my favorite, I do think a mill run trumps no run. I haven’t experienced claustrophobia on a mill. Nor have I ever felt like I was going to fall off the back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m right there with ya. I find treadmill running to be unrealistic and boring. I avoid it at all costs unless I really need to get a run in and it’s lightning and thundering for days.


  7. I love your spin on this topic! I don’t hate the treadmill but I do find it extremely boring, lol! It definitely feels a lot different compared to running outside and sometimes makes my runs feel harder! Still, in a pinch, it’s good to have access to one!

    Liked by 1 person

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