Is treadmill running as effective for conditioning as outdoor running?: Time magazine answers this frequently asked question
Treadmills are a popular way of conditioning and every hotel, cruise ship and gym has them. Many of us own one as well and use it to stay in shape. Others use it to train indoors for a race or for a triathlon.
Is it as effective as running outside is a commonly asked question. If you elevate the platform to the first or second level (depending on the machine), it does somewhat simulate a road feel. You can make it feel as if you are going up hill by elevating further, however, you are likely to load the body in a way that you did not intend to and may be quite sore, so you need to use elevation sparingly.
Those who are having any problems related to running that involve over and under striding should be cautious because a treadmill will maintain the same pace from the beginning of your run through the end. The problems are created when your body which normally would slow down when you got tired or your running form caused fatigue doesn’t, and in a warmed up body, you may not realize there was a problem until a few hours later. Therefore, if you are having some running and conditioning problems, running at a slower pace on the treadmill or running outside is preferable.
Check out this article on Treadmill running
You Asked: Is Running on a Treadmill as Good as Running Outside?
Nope—but it can come pretty close with one small tweak
In terms of the mechanics of your stride, there’s not much difference between running on a treadmill and running on ground, says Dr. Irene Davis, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School who has studied the differences between treadmill and over-ground running. “While it feels much different to you, the leg motions and the forces experienced by your body are very similar between these conditions,” Davis says.
But when it comes to your risk for injuries, there may be an important difference. “Most running injuries are overloading injuries that involve muscle, cartilage, bone or tendons wearing down over time,” Davis explains. While there isn’t a lot of good research on this, Davis says those types of injuries probably occur more frequently when you repeat the exact same running motion thousands and thousands of times—as you would on a treadmill or a flat, consistent stretch of pavement.