How Many Miles On
I run on the treadmill, the screen shows a track and I'm not sure
how far the distance is. I would like to know how far I need to
run to complete a mile. Do you know?
One lap around a normal outdoor track represents a quarter of
a mile (400 meters), so when you run 4 times around a track, you
have completed 1 mile. The screen on your treadmill will most likely
be calibrated for this distance when they display a track on the
screen. So, you would basically need to run 4 times around the track
for 1 mile. For people that do not have a computer screen with a
track display, then a normal time increment to measure a mile is
around 8-10 minutes when running at a normal pace. Obviously, if
you are running hard then this time will be decreased and could
be as low as 6-7 minutes per mile.
Another interesting thing to note here is the difference between
running on a treadmill versus running outside. Many people say it's
much easier to run indoors on a treadmill and that you don't get
as good of a workout as when you run outside on the road or on grass.
Well, it is true that running on a treadmill is actually easier
since the belt propels you forward. When running outside you have
to push yourself forward and upward to actually create the running
motion that moves you. You can adjust the intensity and the incline
of the treadmill which will make it more difficult and is recommended
to increase your heart rate to make it a little harder.
The treadmill is great when the outside conditions are not favorable.
For example, if you live in an area of the country where it's very
cold or rainy, then having a treadmill indoors to run on is a life
saver. If you like to run late at night or really early in the morning
when it's dark, this is also a time when a treadmill comes in very
handy. The cushioned surface of a treadmill is also much easier
on your knees and joints when compared to running outside on a hard
surface like cement. You can always try and run on grass but then
you risk the chance of spraining your ankle due to the inconsistency
of the grassy field or area where you're running.
convenience factor of a treadmill is also very nice to have for
many people. You can simply can wake up, roll out of bed and just
put on a pair of running shoes and get right on the machine. No
need for getting ready, doing your hair, or putting on the needed
clothing for the conditions outside. The accessories that come with
a treadmill are also a nice plus for many people. There are iPod
hookups, TVs, cooling fans and water bottle holders on many of the
machines today. Watching TV during your run seems to make the time
go by much faster than running outside but many of the hardcore
outdoor runners will argue that having all these "extras"
on a treadmill makes you forget about what you're really there to
do and that is to get a great workout in and really push yourself.
When you have all these gadgets you're plugged into, you lose the
focus that you get when you're outside in the elements with nature.
Running inside on a treadmill versus outdoor running also brings
up the personal safety issue. When you run in the privacy of your
own home, you have no worries or fears about anything happening
to you when running outside, especially if you live in a big city
and like to run in the early mornings or later at night. This fear
of being outside exercising also has a direct influence on people
who are very overweight or obese. They might be embarrassed to be
seen outside exercising at such a heavy weight and they feel much
more comfortable working out inside their house on a treadmill until
they have lost the weight and feel more confident within themselves.
Advantages of a Treadmill
Disadvantages of a Treadmill
|Avoid any weather issues (rain, cold)
||Less intense vs. outside (wind, terrain)
|Run anytime of the day (morning, night)
||Less energy (belt propels you forward)
|Much easier on knees and joints (cushioned surface)
||Can't train for marathon conditions (rain, cold)
|Cooling fans, iPod hookups, TV
||No downhill running or turns
|Can stop at anytime
||Can't enjoy the fresh air and outdoor scenery
|No personal safety issues
||No new routes or exciting terrain to cover
The biggest disadvantage of running inside on a treadmill is missing
the fresh air and scenery when going for a run outdoors. There is
something very magical about going for an early morning run and
watching the sun rise as you workout. It's very spiritual and can
really add a sense of calm to the rest of your day. The elevation
changes, twists and turn and intensity variations are factors that
you can only get from running outside. Yes, you can adjust the intensity
on the treadmill and even increase the incline, but you really don't
get the full intensity of running up a steep incline or running
around corners when you are busting your butt on a run outdoors.
Being stuck on a small track going forward for your entire workout
can't even come close to the excitement you get from running around
your favorite course or trail outside.
If you're a person who is training for a marathon, the treadmill
will not be able to give you the real world elements of what you
will experience come race day. You really need to get outside in
order to learn how it feels to run in conditions such as rain, cold
weather, a warm climate or a windy area which you will encounter
when the race starts. It would be a big mistake to train 100% on
a treadmill leading up to your big race day only to find that the
weather is so overwhelming that you need to quit before finishing.
To run on a treadmill or to run outside, that is the question.
The answer really lies in what your specific needs are and what
your overall goal is. If you are preparing for a marathon, get your
butt outside and get after it. If you're running for general health
and fitness and you want to workout in the privacy of your own home,
then get a good quality treadmill and enjoy!
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