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se_ven's avatar

Runners: Do you prefer to run outside or on a treadmill?

Asked by se_ven (789 points ) October 7th, 2009

It’s starting to get cold where I live and sooner or later I’ll transition to running inside on a treadmill. I tend to prefer running outside, but was curious what other runners thought.

So, do you prefer to run outside or inside on a treadmill? What are the reasons you like one way and/or the reasons you dislike the other way?

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19 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Treadmill. If I collapse, I want to be near a phone.

HGl3ee's avatar

I run outside year round and I’m in Alberta Canada, just need to bundle up a bit more but once you get the blood pumping it’s really quite easy. I much prefer outside in the fresh air over my stuffy house ^_^ – LB

jqlyn's avatar

Outside on a non concrete surface is the best for me. My favorite runs are the beach and the forest. They keep me interested, so I don’t get bored and stop and it helps me to get rid of stress and meditate.

Disc2021's avatar

Outside! Indoors on a treadmill, I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel – might as well put the food network on a monitor in front.

Being outdoors there’s lots of beautiful imagery/scenery to keep you at ease, I get bored a lot less sooner (which means I could go for longer) and the hilly terrain I think provides more of a challenge and gives you a better work out. I feel like I have a lot better of a time clearing my thoughts while running outside – and of course the fresh air.

hug_of_war's avatar

Outside. Treadmill is too boring.

DarkScribe's avatar

I try to run outside always, usually I take my dog. If I cannot for any reason, I’ll use my treadmill but it has always been a last resort. I bought it when recuperating from a serious motor cycle accident. It hasn’t been used for a couple of years now. Where I live it seldom drops below 16C (60F) degrees so winter isn’t really a problem. When I have lived in climates where it goes well below freezing in winter I would still run outside – just wear appropriate clothing and headgear (ears).

charliecompany34's avatar

i love to run outside. even if i’m traveling and in another state—have running shoes and shorts, will travel! whether home or hotel, i’d rather take a chance on running in the local areas, hills, inclines, scenery than be a hamster on a belt looking at TV.

Kraigmo's avatar

I prefer running outside, except on days where it’s over 90 degrees. Then I prefer a treadmill, assuming it’s in a clean, air conditioned room.

I don’t mind running in the cold, rain, and snow, though.

se_ven's avatar

@DarkScribe and @ElleBee yeah, I would still prefer to run outside, but I’m often fearful of ice. I’ve had knee surgeries in the past, which probably adds to my reluctance…

EDIT: @DarkScribe must be nice where the temperature only gets down to 60 ;)

charliecompany34's avatar

@Kraigmo i agree. 90-degree days must be attacked on foot in the early dawn hours. and, yes . i do love running in the winter, rain and snow. very invigorating. people in their warm cars look at you like you are crazy, but you keep running, in your mind thinking, yeah, you will go to a drive-thru and fatten yourself with fast-food sandwiches, but i will be confident all day knowing i went that extra mile to be fit and in shape.


wildpotato's avatar

I cycle, but I’ll pitch in anyway. Outside is much better, but inside has its advantages: I can blast my music on a good system instead of relying on dinky earbuds.

inkvisitor's avatar

For my knees, definitely the treadmill. Plus having the option of a television can alleviate the boredom issue. If my knees don’t feel like they’re going to crack in a million pieces I definitely choose the outdoors. Nothing like being outside and feeling the sun/breeze and also gives me a chance to check out the neighborhood and see what’s going on.

filmfann's avatar

@inkvisitor welcome to fluther. Lurve.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Outside. I like the fresh air. I will run on the treadmill if it’s raining too hard, or there’s some sort of severe weather happening. I’m just lucky to have a treadmill in the flat.

YARNLADY's avatar

I hate using my treadmill. I prefer to take my dog when I go out.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Outside! Treadmills are SO tedious! They make me feel like a rat on a wheel. Outside has fresh air, interesting things to look at, other runners have babies and dogs, there’s sunshine. It’s the best. The other thing I don’t like about treadmills is I can’t let my legs choose the pace and do whatever they want. I MUST select a pace, and if I want to slow down or speed up, I can’t just do it, I have to push stupid little buttons. It’s so artificial.

Roory's avatar

It actually depends on the weather and if I got someone willing to run with me…
If the weather is good and one of my friends joins, i would definitely run outside, otherwise id prefer going to a gym and using their treadmill, i like running with company…

robmandu's avatar

Outside. And I’ll wear shorts down to 25°F or so.

Running has always been a challenge for me. Running in place (watching tv?) is doubly so.

wickedbetty's avatar

Outside on a foggy day in the hills, it is the best in the whole world!

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