Treadmill VS. Running Outside, What’s A Better Option?

Treadmill VS. Running Outside, What’s A Better Option?

With many marathons in Malaysia being put on hold, virtual runs have been on the rise. Runners have been building their running endurance by following the SOPs diligently during their jogs around the park or running at home on a treadmill. The question is, which is more efficient? 


What was once a machinery power source has now evolved into the modern day stay-at-home workout device consisting of a rotating conveyor belt to run on. Let’s explore the potential benefits and disadvantages it may have.


What Weather?

Treadmills allow runners to run with shelter, which means that weather conditions won’t be an issue when it comes to your cardio workout. The hindrance of rain can be bothersome especially in our tropical climate because when it rains, it’s going to be pouring rain. In that case, whether it’s rain or shine, the weather won’t become an excuse for you to not hit the gym anymore. 

Can Choose Incline And Pace

Treadmills offer this interactive feature to suit your running habits. Just with some button taps, the treadmill will let you choose your pacing and the degree of incline. This can help you emulate an uphill hike or a light jog in the park. 

Can Multitask

Compared to outdoor runs with the risk of danger due to distraction, running on a treadmill offers much more safety which signifies that you can multitask too! Treadmills allow you to be productive and keep fit at the same time. You can listen to that insightful podcast or watch that curious documentary during your runs.

Can Run Anytime

Since treadmills are kept indoors, you can run anytime you wish. Day or night won’t make much of a difference in running on the treadmill. You can run anytime that is most convenient for your schedule. 

Tracks Distance, Pacing And Calorie Burn

Treadmills have the ability to track some numbers during your workout. It could measure your pacing and run distance and some even calories burnt. This could be helpful for you to know how your progress is while training for your running endurance.


Can’t Go Downhill

Although treadmills are able to simulate an incline, it cannot create a decline. Runners cannot practice treading downhill with treadmills which can be a huge downside for some. 

Can’t Turn

Treadmills also limit you to only move forward. You cannot practice running with turns as it only provides an imaginary straight path ahead. 


To a certain point, treadmills can be boring because of its repetitive nature. Even if you can customise the speed of the machine, it won’t be able to compare to the different stimulations of sight and sound running outdoors can provide.


Running outdoors can be a great practice for actual marathons in Malaysia. There are so many varieties of locations for runners to explore too, like parks, hills and even pedestrian paths around housing areas. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of running outdoors.


Breathe In Nature

Nature can be a nice addition to your training plans. Going for a run to train your running endurance can be mundane but with the sounds and scents of nature, it can turn into a joyous segment of your day to look forward to. Being around nature is proven to have a positive mental effect on your mind, which is a major plus to running outdoors. 


The best affordable alternative to the gym is going outside. All you have to do is lace up and leave with no extra hassle. 

Train and Travel

Running outdoors can be both a workout and also a way to get somewhere at the same time. You can find new unexplored locations to run at during your training. 

A Tougher Workout

There are more challenges such as terrain and wind resistance when you run outside. You have to work harder to maintain your running pace. Naturally, these obstacles will cause you to burn more calories as you run. 

Adapt To Different Terrains

Running outside will help you adapt to running on different surfaces. Traverse various terrains while running outdoors to have maximum preparation for an actual marathon. 


Higher Risk of Injury

Although there is also danger for runners on a treadmill, running outdoors has more risk in comparison. There are more dangerous uncontrollable factors with accidents and criminals being the two primary reasons of risk. Therefore, runners have to be on high alert at all times during their runs.

All in all, it comes down to what you need more to power through your runs. If you need consistency and convenience, hitting the gym’s treadmill would be ideal. However, if you prefer a more affordable way and have more ambiance during your runs, go outdoors. 


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