Running: In or out?

When I started running my main focus was fitness. I was stuck at my desk for 10-14 hours a day and eating far too much in the way of take out. I was significantly out of shape.

I started on the treadmill in the gym at my condo:

2 minutes running. 3 minutes walking. Alternating until I hit 30 minutes. After a few weeks, I swapped: 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. Slowly I kept increasing my running time 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 9 minutes until I could alternate with 9 minutes running and 1 minute walking for 40 minutes.

Once I had mastered that, I started playing around with speed and incline:

5 minutes warmup, 5 minutes at 5.5, 5 minutes at 6.0 with incline, 5 minutes at 5.7, 5 minutes at 6.2 with incline, 5 minutes at 5.7 and repeat on the way down.

It wasn’t until I started training for my first half marathon in 2010 that I really started running outside. After running outside for a season it was so difficult to force myself to start running on a treadmill. There’s something so wonderful about fresh air, sunshine (and, sometimes, rain), the river and nature that just doesn’t compare to stagnant air and staring at a wall.

I could link to studies about the difference in how you stride on the treadmill versus outside, but suffice it to say, it’s different. Training for a half marathon on  a treadmill really won’t prepare you to run one outside. Not even close.

Disliking a treadmill does come with a downside, mainly because Calgary has what’s known as winter. I dislike the treadmill so much, I’m more likely to run outside in -15C weather than I am to hit the treadmill. It’s really not the cold that bothers me, it’s the possibility that I could fall and break (another) bone. I’m not the most coordinated gal out there. Not even close.

I’m going to have to come up with some sort of plan for this winter. While signing up to run a half marathon in Orlando in February will be an amazing getaway from the grossness that is February in Alberta, this means I need to get my butt running throughout the months of November, December and January. I’ll either need to suck it up and get on the treadmill (ew) or suck it up and head outside (brr).

Are you and outside, treadmill, or equal opportunity runner?

5 thoughts on “Running: In or out?

  1. Equal opportunity, but the treadmill has to have a TV close by. Also, this week I started aqua jogging and good grief if that isn’t the best alternative to running on the treadmill or outside in the cold, especially if the pool is warm.

  2. Definitely outside (I don’t own a treadmill). I’ve always ran outside, even in the cold. You’re right about the nature aspect too. It’s just an added incentive to me.

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