Is Running Outside Really Better Than Running on the Treadmill? - Deepstash

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Treadmills vs running outside

When it comes to running on treadmills vs running outside, some people say it’s easier to use a moving rubber belt, for reasons including the lack of air resistance and the accessibility of it (you can just hop up and down on it).
Others claim that running on treadmills is actually harder because they feel extremely bored.


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The energy we burn while running

During typical running at a moderate effort, heart rate, oxygen uptake (which is a proxy for how much energy you’re burning), and perceived effort are all pretty similar on the treadmill and overground.


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The lack of air resistance

Studies showed that running on a flat treadmill burned about 4 percent less energy, but that difference could be eliminated by setting the treadmill incline to 1 percent.

Air resistance depends on how fast you’re going. If you’re running really fast, air resistance takes a bigger toll, which means that a really fast treadmill running is artificially easy by a larger amount. Conversely, when you’re running really slowly, air resistance is almost irrelevant.


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How you feel about running is what matters

The biggest differences between treadmill and outdoor running aren’t in how you run, but rather in how you respond to the experience.

People probably run slightly differently on treadmills: when you look in detail at the biomechanics, you find subtle differences in things like knee angles and peak ground forces, but the overall pattern is that the two movements are close enough that you don’t have to worry about the differences, as long as the belt is properly calibrated and not too soft.


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