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Taking it To the Streets After Running On a Treadmill

It is that time of year when folks move their workouts outside since the weather is so dang nice. If you have been running indoors on a treadmilll and are looking to move your runs outside there are a few things to take into consideration.

  • The surface of the treadmill is more forgiving to your joints so suddenly shifting all your runs outside can be jarring to your ankles, knees and hips. Try just taking one run outside per week for 2 or 3 weeks. Then add one run outside every 2 weeks. If you are training for a road race it is really important to start planning ahead and hitting the streets.
  • Running outside will have to run against wind resistance and the elements, which in the summer means heat, which requires more energy to run at the same speed as on a treadmill.
  • Keeping your pace outside might feel really different since stride for stride, running on the road requires more energy output to propel your body forward since on a treadmill, you are keeping up with the treadmill as it moves under your feet. Plus, on a treadmill the machine keeps you running at a certain pace and now you will have to monitor your own pace. I suggest using a heart rate monitor to help you keep track of your heart rate and time.
  • The smooth, flat surface of a treadmill is very predictable. Running on roads or trails trains your neuromuscular system to deal with unpredictable terrain like hills, banked surfaces, trails and uneven surfaces. Chances are high you will be looking down much more when running outside, especially if you are trail running.

Have fun taking your running to the streets. Remember, when running outside you need to be more aware of your surroundings since people, dogs, bikes and cars might be out on the road or trail too.

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