Running pros & cons: Outdoor vs Indoor Treadmill

Whether you are an established event runner or you’re just starting out with a few weekly jogs, it’s worth bearing in mind a few pros & cons of running outdoors vs indoor treadmill running.


1: Fresh air. Unless you’re running along a busy road with lots of traffic fumes, outdoor running will hopefully provide you with lots of fresh air, especially in areas with plenty of greenery such as parks, woods and the country side. Far better than recycled air conditioning at the gym.

2. New places. Outdoor running provides new things to see & places to explore, as you weave through the streets of a different neighbourhood or explore new rural trails.

3. Naturally challenging. The constant changes in terrain when running outdoors, provides continuous challenges for the body & mind to navigate, making you work harder, developing proprioceptive skills & agility.

4. Always interesting. Seeing new faces &/or scenery along your jog, staves off any mundanity, if you’re prone to finding treadmill running boring.

5. Free & accessible. Anytime, anywhere, no membership fee, no time frames. Just go…

Indoor Treadmill:

1. Any weather. Even the most sturdy of runners can sometimes get weathered off – snow, extreme heat or some other weather condition can at the least be undesirable, or could potentially be dangerous to run in, so indoors has the monopoly on consistent, predictable conditions.

2. One kit. There is no need for extra kit, such as waterproofs, trial shoes, reflective apparel or thermals. Same kit all year round, simple.

3. Same session. You can tailor or programme the run accurately, in terms of time, speed & incline, making it easier to log or observe progress and measure comparisons to previous performances, with fewer variables.

4. Gentle on joints. Treadmills provide ‘assisted’ running that absorbs a certain amount of impact, taking pressure away from knees, hips & ankles, unlike hard pavements and roads.

5. Less risk of injury – aside from the odd mishap on a treadmill, there are less obstacles to trip over, or slip on than with outdoor unpredictability

– This article has been published in the October edition of Life Magazines –