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Hi all, new to the forums and making my first post.....

I've been running for a while now, at the gym on the treadmill, and can cover some good distances (well for me anyway). I can average aroung 6km, sometimes going up to 9km. I usually only run once a week and do other cross training for the rest of the week. Anyway, I've decided that I want to run outside and get away from the monotony of the gym, I went out last Sunday and really struggled to cover around 3miles. Granted is was very hot, which doesn't always help.
I was wondering if it is normally so difficult when you get out in the fresh air, or if I was just having an off day.
 

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Welcome Ayrezy.

I assume your used to the air conditioned gym so fair to say you would have felt the heat.

Stick with it for a while and I bet you learn to love it.

All the best.

Dave.
 

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It is simply more difficult to run outdoors than on a treadmill. The forces on the body are completely different, and it takes more out of you. it is far better, as a way to exercise, to get outdoors. Times and distance on a machine rarely compare to outdoor running.
 

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I seem to be the exception to the rule in that I can run much further outside than on a treadmill. I think it's the boredom factor. I'm a very visual person and there's not much less mentally/visually stimulating than staring at the blank wall of a gym, or the might-as-well-be-blank tv screen showing rubbish pop videos or sports (well, football) news, or the sweaty backs of the people on the treadmills in front. I've tried listening to music or to podcasts, but I just seem to need something for my eyes to look at.

I think it is physically harder outside for a number of different reasons - more hills, uneven ground, avoiding obstacles, etc, so you are definitely not alone in finding it much harder outside. But for me the mental difference is so immense that running outside is enormously more enjoyable than running in the gym - which means I can keep going much longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, I agree that that visual stimulation is much better outside and the sense of running in the open air is much more appealing. I think I just need to get over the initial shock of running somewhere new, and not carrying on with what I'm used to.

I would run outside 3-4 times a week outside but if I try and run that much, on the treadmil, I get bad shin pain. I've self-diagnosed myself as having shin splints and am trying to get them sorted. The reason I've always been confined to the treadmil is thinking that the suface is softer to run on, and eventually they'll go away. I've not had any luck yet. I've had some proper running shoes for a while now and had my gait measured. I'm going to the physio next week to see if they can help me out. It can be an expensive thing if I have to take regular trips to the physio though. Suppose it's worth it in the end if I can get out 3-4 times a week in the open air.
 

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I've had bad shins for a couple of months now. Its an ongoing battle of resting for a day, stretching everyday and doing strengthening exercises. The shin-spints go away so I go out running and then they come back again if I increase my training. They are getting less severe though so I know that eventually I'll get rid of them completely. Just make sure you do plenty of calf stretches.
 

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Although I've never run on a "dreadmill" in my life, I would say that the main difference lies in the fact that when you are outside, the ground isn't being pulled along beneath you, thus making the job the legs have to do that bit harder.
... Then of course there's headwinds, hills (up and down), uneven ground, rain, grass, mud, traffic, dogs/dog owners... etc. That's proper running! :d

Then there's the fact that if you're running outside and suddenly feel like you've had enough after a couple of miles, you can't just press a button and step off... you've still got to get back to where you set off from. Or maybe that's the advantage that some of the gym "hamsters" are looking for? :p

OK so I can't compare outside to inside; but I simply can't see the attraction in the dreadmill monotony. :rolleyes:
 

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pedestrian said:
Then there's the fact that if you're running outside and suddenly feel like you've had enough after a couple of miles, you can't just press a button and step off... you've still got to get back to where you set off from.
Its amazing how many times I've ended up running when I feel like stopping so that I dont have to walk all the way home.
 

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pedestrian said:
Then there's the fact that if you're running outside and suddenly feel like you've had enough after a couple of miles, you can't just press a button and step off... you've still got to get back to where you set off from. Or maybe that's the advantage that some of the gym "hamsters" are looking for? :p
I have only ever run on a treadmill and certainly wouldn't say it was better than outside but one of the benefits it has as a beginner is that it drags you on and I maintain a pace and time I would never achieve outside as I would stop at the earliest slope etc.

As for boredom breathing is a challenge :) and whilst one day the run may get so easy it is boring it keeps me happy for now.
 

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Singularity said:
Its amazing how many times I've ended up running when I feel like stopping so that I dont have to walk all the way home.
Me too. I refuse to ever walk home and in the 2 years I've been running, I've never walked back. Once or twice I've stopped for a couple of minutes, but then returned at normal pace. The day I walk home from a run is the day I hang up my running shoes ;)
 

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I started on a treadmill, went outside and found it much harder. After a short time though I now love the outdoors. I hate treadmills. Another big difference outside is your pace, you will speed up and slow down more, making adjustments to your pace as you feel. On a treadmill its set and forget. My first mistake outside was going too fast.

Also outside I can zone out, think things over, look around and enjoy the scenery. On a treadmill now I look at the computer, get annoyed that I have not done much then just get bored. Start trying to convince myself that Ill just finish this song. If you can stick with outside the rewards are so much better
 

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Considering I am lazy (and therefore try and do things as slow as possible!) I find treadmill great for intervals, it's great for forcing a pace.

But spend two hours on a Sunday morning in the gym, or two hours on a Sunday morning in the fresh air? There's no contest :d

Regarding shin splints, I agree with Singularity. I used to have them, stretches and, for me, slow increases in training should get rid of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I really want to start building some mileage but I know I'm going to have to build it up slowly and it'll probably take months. I'll just have to stick with it and stay positive. I don't have much flexibility in any of my leg muscles so I think I need to work on the stretches a lot. Hopefully I can pull through the shin splints and reach my goal.
 

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I have started to get fit again on a treadmill (among other things) hoping to be able to get outside before the end of the summer.

Once thing I remember from running outside in the past is on the treadmill you can't see how far you have to go - where as running outside you can. For me being able to see the distance is a bit of a bad thing, when I am really struggling to keep running I prefer saying to myself "Just this next ten seconds..." rather than "Just to this lamp post..." as I always misjudge the distance and make my targets unreachable.

Thats just me though. I am sure others are different.

I am glad I read this post though - I will try and cover 6-8k on the treadmill before I attempt my first outdoors 5k run.
 

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I absolutely love running outside, I have some woods near me with lovely scenery so that makes a real difference. The only time I've been on a treadmill is when I went to the Up and Running shop in manchester for gait analysis, and didn't really enjoy it (mind you I had just eaten a large subway sandwich and drunk a huge latte for lunch, wasn't expecting such a vigorous run and felt a bit awkward on the treadmill anyway, kept sliding backwards and felt like the floor was moving when I came off the thing!) - can't beat running outdoors for me, even when it's raining :d
 

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A treadmill is definatly a good place to start. It isn't as tough on your legs and you can stop yourself from pushing your body too hard too early on. However once you get into your stride, you need to get outside and run. The undulating surfaces and uneven ground help train your stabilising muscles in your legs to a greater degree. More muscle fibres will be recruited so at the end of the day running outside is a must if you plan on competing or taking your running to another level
 

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Hi all,

I started running outside but i find it really hardwork i went to buy some proper footwear and had to run on a treadmill for the first time and once i realsied i could do this i went to the gym and did 5k on the treadmill and found it so much easier on my legs and find it more motivating as i could see how far i've got left to go. When i'm outside i find it quite boring as where i live the village isn't very big and its all country lanes where i want to run but too dangerous nearly got run over twice so i just get a bit bored running round the same roads Still run outside once or twice a week but only for about 1 and half or 2miles i might buy an ipod and see if this helps
 
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