Running has become an anywhere, anytime sport thanks to innovations like treadmills and indoor tracks. But is it the right environment for your workouts? Let’s dive into the positives and negatives of running with a roof over your head.
Escape the elements: Arguably, the most significant benefit to running indoors is shelter from the elements. Avoiding sweltering heat, wet conditions, or icy winds is very appealing for many people, especially those who have seasonal allergies or other conditions exacerbated by the outdoors. Plus, you’re not limited to daylight hours, so it can mean you’re less likely to skip a run.
Safety first: Not having to deal with heavy traffic, cyclists, and other road hazards is another point in favor of choosing a treadmill over the street. You can crank your music without worrying about hearing an approaching car and leave your reflective clothing in the closet. Novice runners may find the lack of potentially dangerous distractions particularly attractive as they get started.
More entertainment options: While some runners find all they need is the sound of pounding the pavement and their rhythmic breathing to drive them, others need more motivation (or distraction) to get through a workout. Running indoors makes this easier since you can zone out to the latest podcast or even tune in to your favorite show.
Easy on the joints: Speaking of pounding the pavement, unforgiving surfaces abound in the great outdoors. Softer indoor surfaces like padded treadmills and rubber tracks are kinder to joints and feet, making for more enjoyable runs and shorter recovery times.
Customizable workouts: You’re running along and want to add more intensity, or a sudden cramp indicates you need to slow down. Treadmill settings offer near-infinite possibilities so you can tailor your workout to your goals and needs – even mid-run. They also have screens with useful metrics that let you track your vitals easily (and without staring at your wrist). This can make it a breeze to stop running when you’ve reached your calorie goal rather than realize you’re still a mile from home.
Pricey setup: Lacing up your shoes and hitting the road is significantly cheaper than paying for a treadmill or monthly gym membership. If you’re committed to running indoors, you’ll need to be prepared to invest upfront. While there’s a range of models available, decent treadmills will cost you a couple of thousand dollars. And RunRepeat.com recently found the average gym membership rang in around $37 a month or over $500 a year.
Monotonous muscles: While you can change the incline on a treadmill to up the intensity of a workout, you’re still running on the same surface. Meanwhile, outdoor running exposes you to different types of terrain that can engage more muscle groups and work them in different ways.
Not so social: There’s no question that it’s easier to run with friends outside rather than inside. While indoor tracks provide more room than a treadmill, and your buddies can join you at the gym, socialization is less of an obstacle in the outdoors. There’s less noise and distraction, and the conversation can also help increase your lung capacity.
Stale scenery: Let’s face it – running inside offers you one view and one view only. Without visual stimulation, the miles can feel a lot longer. You also miss out on exploring different neighborhoods or finding a new trail in your favorite park. For some people, discovery is one of the most enjoyable benefits of running, so it’s worth considering.
Lack of fresh air: Missing out on Mother Nature is a big drawback to running indoors. Fresh air can do your lungs good, and sun exposure provides your body with crucial vitamin D. Plus, the occasional glimpse of wildlife offers inspiration and entertainment!
Socks For Any Environment
Whether indoors or outdoors, treat your feet to Feetures’ innovative line of running socks. Our anatomical design with right/left specific socks won’t bunch up, provide a custom-like fit, and utilize a blend of natural and synthetic fibers for better moisture-wicking no matter what environment you’re in. We offer a lifetime guarantee that allows for a replacement at any time with no questions asked, so give us a try!