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Anyone ever trained partially on a treadmill and outdoors?

  • 19-08-2022 1:24pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭

    I'm close to completing the first half of my marathon plan on a treadmill and am so far hitting all the required paces. I'll be moving location soon and will no longer have access to a treadmill. I'm worried about moving to outdoor training because of the disheartening aspect of suddenly being affected by weather, wind, environment other people etc. and falling short of my required pace. I know ultimately the run itself is outdoors but I was curious if anyone else has moved from solely treadmill training to outdoors and if they noticed a large drop in performance?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭Itziger

    Don't know if I'm reading this right. The race is outdoors but you don't want to train outdoors. Seems kinda weird, not gonna lie. What's wrong with doing at least some runs outside?

    I've used a treadmill on a few occasions, mostly when outside was icy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,395 ✭✭✭py

    All of those things you're concerned about are stuff you'll have to deal with on race day. Unless you're doing the marathon on the treadmill, it's time to get outdoors.

    The impact the body experiences is going to be vastly different too. Always train for race day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,956 ✭✭✭Trampas

    Are you putting the treadmill incline at times? If not there’s another shock coming

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    Haha, yeah I should have provided more detail. Currently where I'm located it's hard to get anywhere to do decent runs that aren't either on dangerously narrow roads or excessively hilly or both. So, for the first half of my plan I'm stuck on a treadmill. It's fine, I mean I'm hitting my paces and have even possibly over compensated by setting the incline to 2% instead of the recommended 1%, also I tend to try and go faster than my required pace because I'm paranoid about the change to outdoor running.

    But I had a few outdoor runs before moving to the treadmill and failed miserably to reach and maintain pace, mainly cause (I think) of a near constant headwind just draining me. In a week or so I'll be completing the second half of the plan outdoors and I was just hoping for someone with similar experience to make me feel better by telling me they also had done similar split treadmill /outdoor training and hadn't found any drop in performance 😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭Itziger

    The one MASSIVE advantage of the treadie is that you dial in the pace and it's locked. But it is a superficial environment. Embrace the great outdoors! Don't know how experienced you are but being able to churn out km after km at the same pace is something that takes a far bit of time and only tough training runs and races can get you there. Knew a fella once who did almost all his training for a Half on a treadmill and performed very well in the target race. He is a bit mad though 🤣

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,211 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Treadmill training has its place but god, no, not as the primary method. Where exactly is your totally unsuitable running environment? And which race are you training for?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer

    There is no such thing as an excessively hilly environment, at least not in Ireland. Running hills will make your legs stronger, which will make you a better runner. Instead of avoiding running outdoors you should thank your lucky stars that you have hills around you!

    So what if you cannot maintain your pace? Time on feet is far more important in marathon training than hitting any paces that you imagine you should be hitting. Btw, I sometime use a treadmill, and the pace is usually similar enough to the pace I hit on the road. If you find there is a massive difference, either its because of those hills you mentioned (in which case it does not matter because it's the training effect that's important, not a pace) or your treadmill is not very accurate (which happens quite often).

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Agree completely with Mr. Bubendorfer. Hills are a blessing. Given the choice between running most day's of the week on big hilly routes vs running a plan on a treadmill, 100% the hills will have you better prepared, even if that means forgetting about paces.

    Treadmills are fine every now and then but by no means will they prepare you for racing if they are your primary means of running, even with an incline.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,256 ✭✭✭Lazare

    Embrace tough weather conditions, embrace hills. Embrace days when you can't hit paces, embrace peaks and troughs in your performance.

    Embrace all adversity, train yourself to be able to handle it.

    Above all have confidence in yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,068 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67

    Have never run exclusively on the treadmill to then running exclusively outdoors, but I do run about 1k miles on my treadmill each year (about a third of my mileage). It's been a very useful training tool for me!

    Like anything, it will be new and feel a little different, so ease into your outdoor running, try and balance with some softer surfaces and ideally find routes that have some variety with the profile and the surface type.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    Thanks, this is what I was hoping for - that the times you were hitting were roughly similar on the treadmill vs the road. Thanks for the other replies, I've been running for years and this year was the first time I've spent any length of time training on a treadmill but I would always prefer the outdoors. Except if it's raining. Or if it's windy. But aside from that I'll go for a run outside :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    By way of an update on this - I ran my first run outdoors after doing 50% of my marathon training on a treadmill. Despite the fact that for all my training I set the treadmill to 2% incline (1% is recommended to match outdoor running) and despite not trusting the treadmill speedo (and instead using a Zwift footpod) I still dropped pace by about 30 seconds a KM. Granted there was a 10mph headwind for half my run and my calf is acting up a little but still - depressing as it changes my estimated marathon pace hugely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,289 ✭✭✭✭28064212

    Two things:

    1. A single run doesn't really tell you anything meaningful
    2. Would you rather have found out twenty minutes into the marathon?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,995 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

  • Registered Users Posts: 280 ✭✭winstonia

    Fair play. I can't run more than 5k on a treadmill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    Fair point on the single run, and I admit I never felt like my tank was empty on the run, just that the perceived effort was far higher than on the treadmill. We'll see how I get on with a few more sessions, hopefully it was just me mentally failing and failing because I expected to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,906 ✭✭✭corcaigh07

    OP, whereabouts are you? Do you have the option to drive to a park or nearby town to give you the option of off road running (and street lighting in a town, getting darker)? Would the narrow roads near you be busy on an early Saturday or Sunday morning?

    I'm definitely biased as I hate treadmills but you mentally NEED the miles outside as well as physically. If it's windy or raining on the day and all your miles have been inside, you will either pull out or severely struggle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    I'm in Dublin now so have access to road running and it's where all my training will be done from now on. As a further update - the treadmill training appears to have given me an utterly false sense of achievement. I've done a number of runs now and am consistently about 30 sec per KM slower than on the treadmill. It's bizarre because I treble checked everything on the treadmill, increased the incline 1% over the recommendation and ran the tempo runs a little faster than required. On some of those runs I was completely destroyed by the end of them but I managed them. An example of the equivalent on the road, I ran one yesterday evening and what was supposed to be a 10k tempo run became a 7k run at a WAY slower tempo and I had nothing left.

    My only possible saving grace is that, since returning to road running my calves have been screaming, cramps etc. I read that running on a treadmill you're using the calfs a lot less as the track is moving and the push required is lessened. So maybe once my calves get used to road running I'll suddenly speed up again but I seriously doubt it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,906 ✭✭✭corcaigh07

    An easy stretch for calves is drop one or both feet down over a ledge or step.

    Well done on getting out and don't get too worried about pace, you need to build your engine for the distance. 80/20 easy running is a general rule of thumb.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,260 ✭✭✭chabsey

    Thanks, yeah that's essentially what the physio has recommended I do. His judgement was that since returning to road running my calves were showing up the weakness vs on the treadmill so I should do daily exercises for them. I've been doing them and since the run last night I've had no calf pain so maybe it's working. Not knowing my pace is wrecking my head a little, I've gone from possibly running a sub 3 (treadmill lies!) to now possibly running a slower marathon than my last one (3:15)!

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