Is running on a treadmill the same as running outdoors? Is it worse for your knees? Do you actually run faster on a treadmill? What’s the best practice for running with an incline rule? Does treadmill running alter your mechanics? Does treadmill running create “lazy” runners & weak muscles?
These are just a small number of the myths and misconceptions that are out there when it comes to running on a treadmill. With this blog our aim is to help clarify some of these and give you some helpful hints and tips.
Before we begin, we're proud to be the sole Irish distributors to some of the top fitness brands in the fitness industry including DKN and Life Fitness. Check out their exclusive treadmills on our site here.
- There is no enjoyment running on treadmills
I can personally dispel this myth. With the right music, mindset, screen and creativity running on a treadmill can be just an enjoyable as running outside. Also, during the winter months I think it's fair to say that running indoors is far more enjoyable than outside!
Today, connected fitness options and consoles provide numerous ways to help you stay engaged and challenged while you run on a treadmill.
- It isn't as good as running outdoors and can hurt your technique
Critics of treadmill running will claim that running on a treadmill can mess with your natural running technique and that it can impact on you by creating so called “lazy muscles”. However, it is agreed that there are no large differences in technique, deep biomechanics and muscle activation between running on a treadmill and running over ground, so don’t worry about treadmill running ruining your running technique or weakening muscles.
- It can cause knee pain
Realistically running outside and on a treadmill can have a small impact on your knees. Many will argue that running on a quality treadmill will be softer to your knees that running on outside on roads each week.
Most high-end treadmills that we sell today have some sort of a compliant running surface. Some real engineering went into how this suspension works. The goal being to reduce the effect of the landing phase while you run, thus restricting the impact on your body and your joints.
- They are just for runners
This is a common misconception across the country. Treadmills are made equally for both runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. The beauty of a treadmill is that it can cater for and are built to provide an excellent workout for both runners and walkers.
Ultimately, the goal of both walking or running is to either improve or maintain a superior level of fitness over time and a treadmill is perfect for just that.
- Do you run faster on a treadmill versus outdoors?
Most people tend to find they do actually run faster on a treadmill. There are a couple of reasons for this but the most important one been that a person's energy cost and output is lower on the treadmill due to lower air resistance.
Some more lighthearted myths around running on treadmills are;
- People smile when running on treadmills. Yeah, that only happens in stock photos
- Down in the southern hemisphere, treadmills run in the opposite direction. We can confirm that Treadmills run counter clockwise no matter where they are on the globe
- Grabbing the bar on the front of your treadmill, making a “revving” motion with your right hand, and saying “Vroom! Vroom!” isn’t cool or funny.It’s the coolest and funniest thing you can do on a treadmill!