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:
|Factor||Indoor running||Outdoor running||Cardiovascular benefit|
|Catch up with friends|
|Test of mental toughness|
|Good with time constraints|
|Good for parenting|
|Safe to run alone|
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 Elite E8.0 or E8i treadmill you can create virtual meetups and attend the same events as your friends.
With our Elite E8i 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!
Both the E8.0 and E8i have 20 levels of incline allowing you to simulate running uphill. We understand that it isn’t the same as scaling Ben Nevis, but one of our ambassadors has helped us create a video to explain how it can be used to even benefit mountain running!
Additionally, The Altitude Centre uses our treadmills with their clients for elevation training (in the future we are looking to integrate learnt knowledge from their team into the Go app’s Custom Workouts).
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. If you want to be super accurate, we recommend purchasing some Zero Shoes that allow your treadmill to be set at absolute zero on level 0 and go from there!
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.
For those who don’t want to test their mental toughness every day, our Elite E8i provides a huge array of apps installed such as Netflix, YouTube and Prime Video to keep you entertained!
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.