Pros and Cons of Outdoor Running and Treadmill Running

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Running is a very good habit not only for those who are into fitness but also for those who want to be a better version of themselves. It even helps unwind and think clearer in between hectic days, especially when done in places where greens and oceans are in sight. Not everyone has an access to outdoor running, though. The best alternative for this is treadmill running. With the use of this magnetic or digital equipment, anyone can enjoy running in the confines of their home or office. In this post I want to shed some light on the pros and cons of these two training places.

Outdoor Running

When you go outdoor running, there are a lot of factors that get in between you and your energy. From the wind resistance to the changes in the terrain or pavement, all of these have effects on your energy exertion. This is why running out in the open, like the woods and nearby terrains, is much more recommended to those who are going on a cardio training as well as those who want to maintain or achieve a particular size or weight. The exerted energy increases fat and calorie burning as well as help in the development of better stamina.

Advantages of outdoor running:

  • You get to choose where to run
  • Explore your surrounding
  • Get to see and feel the change of scenery and season
  • It’s a lot more motivating
  • It sets the mood
  • It’s a lot more challenging


Running outdoor therefore offers not just for physical improvement but also mental, emotional, and even social development. It clears the mind of a person and gives a newer perspective while exercising the body muscles and boosting the stamina. From there, all the organs of the body is energized to work and when the point where calorie breakdown and fat burning is hit, body weight and then size will start to scale down. The cardio activity also exposes the runner to the beauty of the environment, which immediately improves mood that transcends to the entire day.

Treadmill Running

Treadmills are increasingly becoming a great choice of alternative to outdoor running because of its wonderful technology and minimalism design. With this equipment, anyone can do their early morning walk, jog, or run in the safety of their homes, the office, or even nearby gym. In fact, it helps people to have an access to exercise like running anytime of the day – especially for those who have very tight schedule in the morning.

Good technology that it is, there is still some differences that set it different from running outside like the energy exertion needed to burn calories and fats. Using a treadmill does not expose one to the same factors as when running outdoors.

Newer designs of treadmills have some help to this issue though in the form of incline-ready treadmills. In fact, the Aug 1996 Journal of Sports Science reported that 1 percent treadmill grade is the accurate equivalent of the energetic cost of running outdoors.

Advantages of treadmill running

  • Workout anytime of the day
  • Workout anywhere in the house, the office, or gym
  • Workout while watching television
  • Safer for the bone joints because they have smoother and cushioned surface
  • No need to do rain checks
  • No temperature and terrain issues
  • Stop anytime you want
  • Safe in the confines of your place


Unlike running outdoors, running on treadmills offers comfort and security inside a room or open space that the runner knows so well. Under a roofed space, there is also fewer worries on how the weather might affect the regimen. In fact, if this is done at home or in gyms where televisions and other entertainment appliances are accessible, indoor runners can even watch their favorite show or sports. Also, the cushioned pads are very bone friendly so this is actually a safer activity compared to outdoor runner where the terrain can be a little risky.

Where do you run?

My mind is set: I’m an outdoor runner with a lot of passion for it. I love the change in my routes but also the different weather, seasons and the nature and fresh air I can enjoy on an outdoor run. I just run on a treadmill when I’m traveling and end up in a very hot and humid place.

What is your preferred running place? Do you love the outdoors or do you choose to run under a roof? Let us know in the comments section.

Happy running

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4 comments on “Pros and Cons of Outdoor Running and Treadmill Running”

  • Radhi says:

    Hi, I am a beginner to running…would it make a difference if I train for 10k on a treadmill?

    • Mikula says:

      Hi Radhi

      Well the best is to train on the surface and in conditions that are similar to the race you want to run. If you just want to build the endurance you need for your 10k then training on a treadmill is ok. Just bear in mind that hitting the surface around 10,000 times (on a 10k race) has an effect on your musco-skeletal system and training on the same surface (road, trails) at least in the last weeks before race day is strongly recommended.

      Hope that helps!


  • Tc says:

    Treadmills suck. I only run outdoor.

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