It’s like when Anthony started that one race five minutes late, only the opposite. Seems like the Gomers spoke too soon on their marathon choice, and recorded two entire podcasts before they realized it. Sounds like a job for Future Anthony! And with the first appearance of Future Steven, they do their best to remedy the situation. MOVE THAT BUS BACK!
Also, there’s two new Songs to Run To, a Gomernation-themed Listener Feedback, a positive Week in Review (for once), and Gomers Tips that quickly turn into the guys freaking each other out more and more about the looming marathon (whenever that may be).
Monday Survey of the Week: At long last, give us your input concerning treadmill vs. street running. What’s the difference? Is one better for you than the other? What’s with the different parts of our bodies aching when we alternate? Will our bodies ever STOP aching?
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First, just wanted to say that I LOVE the podcast, you guys are really inspiring.
My take on treadmill v. street running (spacial locomotion?) is that street running is all around more difficult, and yields a greater outcome in stamina and strength. Treadmills regulate your pace for you, and they do most of the work! But, they are great for practicing your form…and if you are at a gym like mine, you can run alongside someone who is potentially better than you, and you can watch and learn.
I ran the nike (I know, evil) Human Race 10k on a treadmill and after two miles my ankles and shins hurt immensely. I read about it and heard that it is normally caused by bad shoes (mine still have less than 200 miles), or by bad form, particularly from heel-strike. I adjusted my form and center of gravity and have felt better since then. Conversely, I imagine that your upper legs and quads hurt more during street running because you actually have to propel yourself forward.
Actually, the scientific studies that have been done comparing roads vs treadmills have found that there is little, if any, difference in the physics of the two (see http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/id110.html). However, in a real-word environment, things like temperature, humidity, incline/elevation, etc. can make a big difference.
In my own experience, when I first got out on the roads and off the treadmill, my quads were sore for a week. I’m not sure why, maybe different running form.
The two biggest factors are 1) you should train for your race in the same way you will run it, and 2) treadmills are boring (Full House notwithstanding) – they don’t call them “dreadmills” for nothing!
If you do run on a treadmill, you should set it at a 1% incline to better mimic the level of effort you would exert running flat outside. I like treadmills for speed work and tempo work because it’s easier to set the speed I want and keep up with it. It’s still hard for me to know what pace I need to cover a .25 mile or half mile in X minutes/seconds. And when the weather is bad – I just won’t risk running in the dark and ice when the treadmill is available. If you do run on a treadmill – try to stay in the middle of the belt and watch your form (don’t look down too much). If you land on your heel – I think the tendency is to pull your toe up more on a tredmill so you feel it in your shins. If you can run with a midfoot strike, that helps. If your quads are sore when you run outside – try to not lift your knees as high and, again, work towards a midfoot strike with most of your leg motion behind you. You shouldn’t have to use your quads much when you run. I follow ChiRunning and it has great tips on form.
Hey, Gomers! Sorry to hear about your marathon scheduling issues. If you’re still looking for a marathon replacement, the St. Louis Marathon is April 11th!!! I think Missouri is somewhat of a mid-point for you guys and my wife and I would be happy to open up our home so you don’t have to worry about lodging costs. It could be the start of a trend where GomerNation supports you on traveling races.
Good Luck with your training!
Oh… and Monday Survey:
There are pros and cons to treadmills and running outside. I think it’s mostly personal preference. Whichever keeps you training and doesn’t lead to injury is great.
Treadmill Cons: They can be boring which can make you feel tired faster. They sometimes lead to soreness and pain that road running doesn’t (shins especially). Running outside can be a shock if you’ve only been training indoors (weather, stationary ground, new aches and pains, etc.)
Treadmill Pros: One of the challenges of a race as long as a marathon is simple boredom. You have to get used to distracting yourself and keeping your mind busy. Running on a boring treadmill can help you train to deal with the boredom. Also, it can be good for your form. Especially if you can run facing a mirror. You will see how look while running and make adjustments to your form. And the obvious advantage is a treadmill provides an escape from weather that might otherwise make running less enjoyable.
One difference between the treadmill and outside is the surface you’re running on. The treadmill surface is way more cushioned than asphalt or concrete, which could be contributing to your hip flexor pain when you’re outside. From what I’ve read, concrete is the worst surface to run on because it’s the most jarring, so if you’re running on sidewalk, you’re gonna be sore. If it’s not too unsafe, you might try running on the road since asphalt is a bit softer than concrete (assuming the roads there are asphalt), or you could try running on grass, although your pace might be a bit slower. Hope that helps!
I definitely prefer to run outside than on the treadmill. Running outside builds up muscles that help you stay stable on different terrain. The treadmill is somewhat like using machines for weight training. You’re working a specific muscle, but not the surrounding supportive muscles as much.
Depending on where people live the weather is a major factor in why they run inside on a treadmill. I was able to run most of the winter in Chicago last year. If you dress correctly you can do it safely.
That said, I like using the treadmill for specific speed workouts or if I need to mimic hills if I don’t have a track or actual hills nearby to use. For interval workouts it’s easier to up the speed on the treadmill and know about how fast I’m going than try to guess at my speed if I’m running on a trail. I’m sure an expensive gps watch could help me with that too!
Overall it’s good to mix it up and not only run on a treadmill, especially the race is outside. I trained in Chicago for my first half marathon in Madison, Wi. Even though I trained outside, it’s much flatter in Chicago compared to Madison, so I was feeling a lot of back and hip pain after that race. I learned the hard way you need to take into account the terrain of race location.
My coaches have always said if you do train all winter on a treadmill it’s a good idea to ease back into running outside once starting up again.
Have fun training!
Definitely Street. If we were made to run on treadmills we would have been made more like hamsters!
With regards to the different muscles used between the treadmill and street running, try raising the angle of the treadmill by 2 or 3 degrees as this mimics the running action of running on the street.
Running on the treadmill is my fast track to insanity. For the first 6 months of my running life I was scared to run outside. But once I started venturing out I can not -will not – run on a treadmill. I run in Florida all summer by getting up at 5:00 am and it’s still ungodly humid….but it beats the treadmill. Ran on a cruise in September and did a zillion laps on the ship…still better than the treadmill. With the proper clothing and equipment (e.g. for running in the dark) it can be done! You just have to hate the treadmill as much as I do.
Oh, I’m with Ruth. I HATE the treadmill! I don’t know what I’m going to do this winter. I’ve decided that I don’t want to go another icy season on the track at the YMCA, but I may have to…that or brave the snow and ice because I’m not about to go back to the treadmill. I just think it’s so incredibly boring.
Oh, and by the way, I was wasting some time online this morning at work and came across this website that lists marathons on a map. Maybe it could help you guys in your search for a new race.
I have to do the road, because on a treadmill it’s just to easy to hit the stop button when I am uncomfortable or bored. But if that happens and I’m out side, it doesn’t really matter that I want to be done – I still have to get my bum back home!
I like to run outside the most, but I do live in the UP (Upper Michigan) and winter here is very icey with alot of snow. So in the Winter I do alot more of my runs on my treadmill. I do like to use the treadmill for speedwork even if it’s nice outside.
I just moved from Florida to California and I don’t see how anyone could safely run outdoors in Florida for more than 10 minutes. Anthony– I feel you!! Even at night, I would be absolutely soaked in sweat/ dizzy/ nauseous. Treadmills are necessary in some areas. I personally prefer road/ trail running vs treadmills, but I agree with statements above about using treadmills for speedwork and hills. I have purchased some of the Nike run mixes off itunes made for treadmills and love them! Also, keeping the treadmill at at least a +1 incline at all times is a good idea. It forces the runner to propell him/herself forward more like being on the road.
I had some hip trouble in my earlier running days and when i asked my doctor about it she said it was lack of stretching. Running 1/2 to 1 mile before stretching will help warm the muscles and you’ll get a great stretch from that.
I think focusing on pushing yourself a little harder on a treadmil will help you out in the end. add to the speed and the incline. Incorporate intervals, etc… But also get outdoors. The weather should be perfect for running in many areas around the country right now. I love running in my new northern CA home!
Happy running everyone!
eeeeeeee i was quoted!!!!!!!!!!! i’m FAMOUS! FAY-MOUS!
Thanks guys. I’m glad you liked my comment. 😉 Happy running!
Hey Gomers – sent you an email last week re: treadmills v roads, so i’ll just remind that i’m a devout outdoors runner. As the weather gets colder, take a look at a) trail running shoes for better grip and drier warmer tootsies, and b) good technical winter apparel. Sugoi (a canadiana running/tri company) makes absolutely amazing winter running apparel.
Last winter here in the UK, it was usually between 20 and 30 deg (or 35 and drizzle) when i would go out for my morning run. A good pair of running tights with the extra thick windblocker panels on the front (wear tracksuit bottoms over them if your self-conscious), a long sleeve TECHNICAL shirt, and good fleecy lined TECHNICAL beenie (stocking hat) had me red-faced and soaked with sweat 10 minute in to every run. Some of my best runs were at near freezing temps – the cold dry air means your body doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to cool off, you get a lower heart rate, don’t sweat/dehydrate as fast – it’s awesome.
Oh and gloves… again – fleecy lined tehcnical gloves with the towel-like patch (aka snot spot) right where that soft spot is between your thumb and forefinger. Snot-cicles are never fun. 😀
No iPods? I have to say, I think that’s a good thing. There’s nothing like ambling up to a complete stranger during a race and chewing the fat with them for a couple of miles. If music is what you seek, why not run one of the Rock-N-Roll Marathons around the country? You’ll get to see a new band every mile!
Why I like running outside (to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music):
Raindrops to run in and sprinklers in summer
Bright autumn leaves and greeting a runner
Hoping the stoplight will soon turn to green
These are a few of my favorite things
Jumping a puddle and speeding up a hill
Going back down it is oh such a thrill
Wild geese that walk and leave some green droppings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white trainers with twice knotted laces
Sweat drops that get on my nose and all places
Purple orange sunsets that melt to evenings
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dogs chase
When the pain stings
When I just can’t breathe
I simply remember by favorite things
And then I can run with ease
Anthony, I see bottles of water and gatorade placed in spots all the time when I run. My route is an out and back kind of route, so I’ll see a full bottle of gatorade or whatever laying on the side of the sidewalk and then when I come back, the same bottle is either laying there half full or just empty (which if you’re going to leave bottles, make sure you take them home with you or find a public trash can or something). Anyway, I’ve assumed that they were placed there by runners who needed a pick-me-up. On more than one occasion, I’ve almost picked up the bottles to throw them away….trying to do a good deed, but then thought better of it thinking it might belong to someone who is expecting it to be there. So, I guess you should be more afraid of people picking up your litter than putting laxatives in it. I don’t know….something to think about.
Let’s see… treadmill running. Ah, yes.
I would rather eat raw broccoli.
I would rather visit the dentist.
I would rather be stuck overnight in an airport.
It’s THAT bad.
Buy warm clothes, mittens… get up early when its cool, or early when its light. Buy yak-trax for snow running. Do ANYTHING… but run FROM the dreadmill!
Echoing the first post, I have heard that running outdoors may be better for developing strength in the small muscles in your feet, hips, core responsible for balancing. Intuitively, I suspect this may actually be good for preventing long-term, chronic injury. The more rugged the terrain, the better the training for these things. So trail running beats sidewalk beats treadmill. Of course, the downside is that uneven surfaces increase your risk of acute injury (e.g., rolling an ankle). I have also heard that avoiding chronic injury works best of you switch up the terrain on which you run, mirroring the multi-sport/cross-training attitude. Just another piece to consider!
Side note; I’d love to hear something on the podcast about what you have tried/what has failed or worked as far as lights, reflectors, etc. for running in the dark. It is that time…
I truly hate running on my treadmill. I’ve tried everything to try to make it un-boring. I would rather run in -20 weather with booger icicles and blue lips (we just got 10 inches of snow on Thursday night).