Which is Benificial Treadmill Trek or Road Run ?

Published Date: February 4th, 2013

Tonya Huseman, who won the women's division of the 2007 Omaha Marathon isn't afraid of running either in the cold not afraid of heat or hills or traffic. But the 34-year-old Omaha runner logs the bulk of her weekly miles — 90 to 100 of them — indoors, on a treadmill.

In a report she said that “I just prefer to be inside and I don't see what the big deal is.” For runners who rack up their miles outside, the idea of doing one run inside — let alone every run inside — invokes images of mind-numbing drudgery on a road to nowhere.

Whilw another runner of Omaha, Samantha Cody said that “There's no fresh air inside”. “Running gives me a reason to go outside and enjoy it.” added the 33 year old runner.

The root of Huseman's running preference originated from the way she started running: in college, on a treadmill, to lose weight. Long before she started entering races, she ran for exercise and to stay fit. And she ran solely on a treadmill for eight years before spontaneously entering a 5K one day. Now, races are usually the only time she runs outside.

Cody, who started running about a year-and-a-half ago in an effort to quit smoking, logged her first miles in the winter. She has since become a fan of cool-weather running and retreats to the treadmill only in the foulest weather. “It's harder for me to run inside,” she said. “I run differently than I do outside, and it's really boring.” Cody, meanwhile, gets a breath of fresh air each day, and plenty of varying terrain. But she also has to deal with snow, ice and less daylight in winter, plus the Nebraska summer heat. She doesn't need to worry about treadmill access, though. She can just tie her shoes and go.

Though any type of running — inside or outside — is great exercise, each setting has advantages and disadvantages. Huseman doesn't have to worry about traffic, weather or personal safety — she often runs on a treadmill in the company gym. But she also doesn't have a very scenic view compared to those who go outside.

Dan McCann, head marathon coach for the Nebraska Team in Training chapter, often helps his runners go through the pros and cons of each setting.

“If you are really covered up properly then those outdoor winter runs can be some of the most tranquil and most pleasant runs of the year,” McCann said. “I know, for me, I just feel better. I have fewer aches and pains, and have generally smoother runs in the winter.” He added.

On the other hand ... . “If your workout area is well equipped, you can catch up on some great TV or movies,” McCann said. “I love treadmilling to 'Braveheart,' and I'm a sucker for the 'Rocky' movies. When I don't want to get on the treadmill, I tell myself, 'You're not watching movies if you don't.'”

Treadmill runners such as Huseman have the benefit of running on a slightly cushioned surface, compared with those who pound the road. Though research indicates that impact exercises such as running help spur bone and tissue development, years and years of running can do a number on joints.

From a physiological point of view, outdoor running offers benefits that can't be found indoors. A great deal of body heat is created when running, and those who run outside have the benefit of using the air moving over their skin for cooling. Indoor runners — who aren't actually going anywhere — miss out. That environmental cooling effect aids thermal regulation, which helps enhance athletic performance. Basically, if your body needs to use less energy to keep cool, it can focus instead on going faster.

Dustin Slivka, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, recently completed a study comparing indoor cycling to outdoor cycling. The conclusion was that power output was about 30 percent higher outside for the same observed operation. “We looked at the difference between core body temperature and skin temperature, the larger the difference is, the larger capacity we have to lose heat and that's a positive under exercise circumstances.” Slivka added.

Huseman, who bettered her Omaha Marathon-winning time on a 53-degree day at the Boston Marathon, has made note of her ability to run faster outside. But that's not always a good thing for those who typically do longer runs. “I don't like doing it because of that,” she said. “I never really noticed that until I started racing more.”

Better temperature regulation also has been linked to increased development of cell mitochondria, which can fire up metabolism. Increased mitochondrial activity has been shown to play a role in the prevention of diabetes as well as helping to slow the aging process.

In a statement Slivka said that exercise helps development and if we can still further enhance that, we may be able to get an extra leg up.”

Ultimately, where a runner logs his or her miles is a matter of personal preference and — quite often — convenience. Though she might prefer to stay inside, Huseman — a Texas native — does have the necessary equipment should she choose to venture outside in the cold. “I do have a good pair of mittens,” she said. “That's the one thing I bought right away when I started running here.”

Cold-weather running tips

» Frostbite and hypothermia are real concerns. “If you're not properly outfitted, don't risk it,” said Dan McCann, Team in Training marathon coach.

» Avoid especially cold days if you suffer from asthma. Cold, dry air might make it difficult to breathe.

» Avoid exposed skin. On particularly blustery days, a thin coating of Vaseline on exposed cheeks helps ward off windburn.

Indoor running tips

» Aim a fan — or two — at yourself if you're going to be on the treadmill for an extended period.

» Be sure to hydrate properly, as you'll likely be sweating more than you would be on an outdoor run.

» Vary the grade of the treadmill. Doing uphill and downhill running helps mimic outdoor conditions.

src- http://www.omaha.com/article/20130204/LIVEWELL02/702049924

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