Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Getting somewhere . . .

Now that the damn thing is put together, I finally got to try out my new treadmill yesterday. Opinion? Not quite like running on the road, but just as sweaty.

There are definitely pluses to using the treadmill vs. running outdoors:

1. No worries with weather. Yesterday was chilly and rainy (thank you, Chicago), but it was perfectly comfortable in my livingroom.
2. I can track and measure exactly how fast I'm going, and for how long. As I'm a beginner, I know my stride is not terribly consistent, and I get slower the longer I'm out. With a treadmill, you must run the speed you have set, or you fall off. 'Nuff said.
3. I don't have to concern myself with where I am, or with turning the wrong way on my route. I was distracted one day and ended up on a major road, which was a little disconcerting, to say the least!
4. The treadmill is easier on my knees and hip joints; I wasn't nearly as sore after my run yesterday as I usually find myself.

However, every fitness trainer will tell you that running outdoors will always be superior to running on a treadmill. There are definitely minuses to the treadmill experience as well:

1. Even with moving arm handles, my upper body was much less involved in the workout.
2. When running outdoors, the body uses more muscles to compensate for changing terrain, thus involving and building more of the body. the treadmill is pretty tame in that respect.
3. After my treadmill run, I was incredibly light-headed, and actually dripping with sweat. I attribute this to the fact that the perfectly steady beat and speed didn't allow me to be as aware of how hard I was working myself, which can be a little dangerous.

Verdict? Ultimately, outdoor running is superior to the treadmill. While it is essential for me to have one on days where the Chicago weather makes it necessary to remain indoors, I still intend to run outside as much as possible.

It was pretty nice, though, to finally try it out!

Tomorrow: I'll be reviewing my new book/plan, Jillian Michael's Master Your Metabolism. Lots of very good and some terribly scary information here, but there may be some explanations for why I'm not losing any weight!


Sarah said...

It's definitely different than outdoors isn't it? Your leg muscles really have to work outdoors because there is no belt helping to move them back (plus, terrain and wind). If I have to run indoors I usually put a 2-3% incline on the thing, which is ROUGH!! You're right above me on SITS and I guess it's a coincidence that we both run! HOORAY! Have a great Wednesday!

PS: I LOVE LOVE Victorian fashion! Those woman had some serious cleavage!

Ginger said...

Victorian women knew the secret to getting good cleavage: squish everything upwards;)

Fellow runners of the world: unite! (after we get out of the shower;)