Indoor vs Outdoor running

The great debate..

Firstly, indoor running on treadmills has a much shorter history than outdoor running does. 

There has been some research into whether treadmill running is easier than outdoor running because of factors such as lack of wind resistance and the treadmill belt assisting leg turnover.

It makes you question whether the first person to run a marathon (Pheidippides, for anyone that’s unsure) would still have accomplished this remarkable feat of endurance running if he were on a treadmill, which is allegedly much easier. 

Here are a few things to help directly compare indoor vs outdoor running:

FactorIndoor runningOutdoor running
Cardiovascular benefit
Catch up with friends
Racing
Hill training
Wind resistance
Test of mental toughness
Good with time constraints
Good for parenting
Safe to run alone

Cardiovascular benefit

Your heart and lungs get very similar benefits they are inside or outside. As long as your treadmill space has proper ventilation!

Catch up with friends

Chatting to a friend while you run definitely makes the time go quicker, whether you’re running indoors, or outside. You do, however, have a little more privacy when you’re on a treadmill if you are chatting over the phone to running along busy streets!

Also, if you connect to Zwift from your treadmill you can create virtual meetups and attend the same events as your friends. 

Racing

With your treadmill, you can still race (on Zwift). We know it won’t count as an ‘official PB’ but you can still collect badges, prizes and free merchandise for your avatar which are arguable just as much of an achievement!

Hill training

Most treadmills have the option to add incline to allow you to simulate running uphill. 

Additionally, The Altitude Centre use treadmills with their clients for elevation training (in the future we are looking to integrate learnt knowledge from their team into Kinni’s Custom Workouts).

Wind resistance

When it comes to the lack of wind resistance on treadmills, it depends on how fast you are going. The faster you go, the more the wind resistance makes a bigger impact. We recommend setting your treadmill at 1-2%  to replicate the wind resistance of outdoor running. Our treadmills as standard (on level 0) are set to this already due to the way the treadmill board sits on the motor. The majority of home treadmills are the same. 

However, if you do want to simulate more wind resistance, we can recommend purchasing a huge industrial fan!

Test of mental toughness

There is a certain type of human that doesn’t get bored on a treadmill. This can be a great test of mental toughness for longer endurance events when it can be really easy just to step off the gas. However, going outdoor and battling the elements, can be just as sufficient in testing your mental toughness.

Good if you have time constraints

Many people are working from home now and may take shorter lunch breaks. Having a treadmill at home allows your 40-minute run to be exactly 40 minutes, not 48 minutes with all the stops for traffic or petting cute dogs.

Good for parenting

You don’t need to worry about your sleeping baby waking up without you knowing, as you can easily bring your baby to the treadmill room or even rest the baby monitor on the console!

Safe to run alone

Many people struggle with confidence in going running outside alone especially when it is dark or if they are on the comeback from injury. The treadmill provides that safe environment where you can totally relax, feel safe and have a great run! If you struggle to run alone, the treadmill is a great place to do this and feel totally safe (unless you fall off that is..)

Most of all, do what makes you happy. Running is whatever you want it to be whether it be indoor or outdoor.

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