Treadmill Vs Outdoor Running

Everyone always wonders what I run on- treadmill or outdoor. Well, living in Colorado I do love running outside but after one fall on the ice I get good use out of my treadmill during the winter. This is a quite write up on the pros and cons to consider before purchasing a treadmill of your own (they ain’t cheap!) Enjoy!

Treadmill vs Outdoor running

Treadmill vs Running Outside: Pros vs Cons

If you’re just getting into running and trying to figure out which style of running works best for you, it may be a bit difficult to decide. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some things to think about:


The Treadmill

If you are just starting to run, this option was likely the first to cross your mind. Many gyms offer treadmills to their clientele and if you’re really serious about running you can purchase one for your home.


Running on a treadmill allows you to easily track your progress. If you are someone who is motivated by numbers, this might be a good way to keep you on track to achieve your running goals. Treadmills also allow you to grow as a runner at your own pace and keep yourself accountable to finishing a workout properly. The treadmill will act as a coach and help you maintain the correct speed and duration for interval workouts. They are also ideal for cold and rainy climates that commonly receive a lot of snow and ice because they allow you to stay active without risk of injury.


Running on a treadmill doesn’t give you as much freedom as an outdoor route would. The scenery also leaves much to be desired and can be dull at times. Additionally, depending on which settings you’re comfortable with or need to use for your workout, it may take you longer to run a mile on a treadmill than it would to run a mile outside.

Caution: Level 0 of a treadmill workout has a slight downward angle which can put increased pressure on your legs over time and make you more prone to injuries. Be sure to increase the setting to a level 1 or 2 before starting your workout.

Running Outside

Running outside is sometimes seen as a bit more daunting than alternative options by beginners, but it is rewarding nonetheless. It brings with it a sense of freedom and achievement that cannot be matched by indoor running.


If you’re easily distracted or need something to keep you on track, running outside is the perfect option for you. You’ll be able to enjoy the scenery around you while focusing on the terrain ahead, which will make the time go by very quickly. Outside courses are also great for setting tier one goals. Perhaps you know that one street is more challenging than another so you choose to save the more difficult street for a more intense workout day. Additionally, running outdoors is free, which might be helpful to you if you have a tight budget.


Although running outside is exhilarating, it is much more difficult to track your progress. You could opt to use tools like ‘Map My Run’, but you will not get as much information as you would from a treadmill. If you’re very serious about taking up running you could also purchase a GPS watch, but the information it will give you depends on the model (more information = more money) and getting a quick connection can sometimes be difficult. Additionally, if you live in a rainy or cold environment it can also be more difficult to run on a consistent basis.

Caution: Though many are tempted to buy thickly padded shoes when running outside, you need to make sure that you can feel at least some feedback from the ground. Running with too much cushion can cause you to plant too firmly and put unwanted stress and pressure on your legs. Talk to a local retailer to find the best running shoe for you.

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