Running is a great cardio exercise that keeps your body fit and healthy. Some people do it outside with beautiful weather and some do it on the treadmill. Now, the question is which is better, helpful and easier.
In terms of scientific research, what is the difference between running outside and running on a treadmill? Is treadmill running better or worse for you when it comes to running? In this article, we are going to answer all your question and give you a solution to your confusion.
A physicist may even argue that there should be no differences because it is simply a matter of frames of reference. However, because the ground is moving rather than the runner, there are a few major differences in your biomechanics while running on a treadmill, your perspective of your own running, and the physiological demands imposed on your body.
Biomechanical Differences Between Treadmill Running and Outside Running
At first, we are going to know are the biomechanical differences between treadmill running and outside running.
In the first examination, several factors changed between the treadmill and outside running, but the only one that remained static throughout all participants was the foot angle at touchdown. When running on a treadmill, the participants all landed flatter and the feet were less ankle dorsiflexion than when running outside.
Many additional variables varied in a specific way, although the shifts were not constant across all participants. This suggests that we all adapt to treadmill running in our own unique way and that it may strain our bodies is slightly different but unanticipated ways.
The second examination was in Germany, the participants typically spent less time on the ground. researchers suggested that the treadmill walk was a response to a sensation of imbalance on the treadmill and the participants accelerated their step, plantarflexed their ankles more, and spent less time on the ground because their bodies felt that the treadmill was an unstable surface.
Some researchers have also suggested that many treadmills are extremely unstable since the belt comes to a halt as the foot touches on it, squeezing it between the shoe and the steel plate beneath the belt. The electromyography research, on the other hand, discovered little difference between treadmill and overground running, leaving the unstable theory unproven.
Why Does Running on a Treadmill Feel Difficult?
A group of participants ran at a self-selected speed on a track for a few minutes before stepping on a treadmill and being instructed to adjust the speed of the treadmill to the speed they were running on the track.
The only restriction was that the runners were not allowed to see the treadmill’s pace display. After a few minutes on the treadmill, they walked onto the track and were instructed to run at the same speed as before. Remarkably, although running at the same speed on both occasions on the track, the runners’ perceived speed on the treadmill was significantly different.
The researchers do not mention whether the runners were adjusted to treadmill running or not, which may have a significant impact on how they evaluated their effort. However, we can say that running on a treadmill might feel much more difficult.
Physiological Differences Between Treadmill Running and Outside Running
Treadmill running is simpler in terms of physiological demand because there is no air resistance on a treadmill, your oxygen consumption at a set speed will be lower than it would be on the ground. This, fortunately, may be reduced by adding a small incline to the treadmill.
These researchers examined oxygen consumption levels in a group of participants running at various intervals on the ground and on a treadmill at different inclines. The only problem with this is that it magnifies the changes in biomechanics that we previously discovered. If the ground is inclined, your foot placement will become flattered, and your body lean will rise.
Is Running A Treadmill Better Or Worse For Users?
There aren’t many benefits to treadmill running, at least not during the hot summer months. Treadmill running has the added benefit of feeling tougher while being easy. The difference in physiological demand can be adjusted for simply inclining the treadmill by 1%, however, there is no surety that the incline measurement on a health club treadmill is appropriate.
If treadmill running has one beneficial element, it is the improvement in biomechanics. If you have an injury that is hurting you, treadmill running may be less stressful for you.
Because foot placement is flatter on a treadmill, these muscles do not have to work as hard, allowing them to resume running a few days early. But, with these exceptions, there seems to be no reason not to hit the road and skip the treadmill if the weather is beautiful.