How To Simulate Running Outside On A Treadmill? Find Out Here

Published by Kieran
Last Updated on November 3, 2021

So in the winter you may find yourself in a situation where the weather is bad and you don't want to go outside to run. You could go to the local gym and use one of their treadmills, but what about the machines that are in there that you don't need to use?

You could turn up the speed or incline and get some resistance that way but what if you are short on time and just want to hit the treadmill for a quick run?

In short, you need to simulate a run outside but inside.  Running outside is a great way to get in shape, but it can also be dangerous (especially in the winter when the weather is unpredictable) and not always possible.

So, if you are looking for a place to run indoors where you can also lose some weight, try running on a treadmill. Treadmills are great for indoor runners, but unless you have a treadmill with a longer belt you'll always run slower when you run outside.

You run indoors on a treadmill at a certain speed and that is considered to be your "base speed" on the treadmill. Running outside will always be slower, because the treadmill belt will always cause you to run slower. This is why there is no "treadmill speed" setting.

The benefits of running

Running on a treadmill is a great way to burn calories, and you must make sure you have the proper running form to prevent injury. Running is a fantastic way to get fit and stay healthy.

It keeps the heart and lungs healthy, and is a great way to improve endurance and lose weight. But if you don’t have easy access to a running path, or you can’t get out during the winter months, a treadmill can be a great substitute.

For some people, running on a treadmill is a simple way of burning calories and improving their health. It can be a time saver, since you can run before or after work and avoid getting caught in the elements.

It can also be safer than running outside, since many gyms are lit well and have mirrors to help you see what’s behind you.

Running on a treadmill can give you a great cardiovascular workout, challenge you, help you stick to your exercise routine, and offer the convenience of being able to exercise in any weather. 

Running  can also help you take advantage of the treadmill’s incline feature, which allows you to burn more calories than a flat surface.

Does a treadmill simulate running?

For many people, the only way to get the full effect of running is to run outside. But in the winter, or if you're injured and can't run, a treadmill at the gym is the next best thing.

The problem is, treadmills, with their preset speeds and inclines, often don't provide the same cardio workout that you get on the streets. If you're looking to simulate running on a treadmill, you may need to make some changes to your speed and incline to make your workout as effective as it can be.

Treadmills are relatively inexpensive, so they’re convenient for those of us who may not have a lot of space or money. Treadmills work by simulating a run outdoors.

You walk or run on a moving belt, which is called the deck. The faster you walk or run, the faster the belt moves, which simulates running faster and faster on a flat surface.

But does it simulate running? The short answer is no, but it comes close. When you run outside, the ground provides a force against your feet that you have to fight as you move forward.

This force, called ground reaction force, is what makes it challenging to move faster and faster. A treadmill doesn't have any ground reaction force, so it doesn't replicate the exact feeling of real running. However, it does provide the sensation of moving fast. 

How to adjust the speed

Increasing the speed of your running can be a useful way to build strength and speed, but it can also negatively impact your running form.

For example, increasing your speed without simultaneously working on your posture can increase the strain on your lower back and knees. The best way to avoid this problem is to gradually increase your running pace.

Run at a comfortable pace (or even a slightly challenging one) for a few minutes, then gradually increase your speed over the next few minutes. When you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to increase your speed significantly.

Is running on a treadmill equivalent to outside?

Treadmills are great for running, but what if you don't have one? Is running on a treadmill equivalent to outside?

The short answer is yes, it is. While a treadmill has its advantages, running outside has its own perks. Running on a treadmill is the best way to burn calories and build endurance.

 But if you don't have a treadmill at home, you can still run outside.

Why is it harder to run outside than on a treadmill?

The biggest difference between running on a treadmill and running outside is wind resistance. When you run on a treadmill, the belt is set in motion by electricity, so it's easy for you to keep pace.

This is why it's hard to go at a good speed when you first start running: your body isn't used to the added resistance. The belt also won't slow down when you slow down, which makes it easier to keep a constant speed.

Wind resistance is a natural resistance that you're more likely to encounter outside. You're also more likely to develop muscle imbalances, because you're essentially always running on the same spot on a treadmill.

To most runners, it's obvious why running outdoors is harder than indoors: everything from a slight incline to a random dog to the wind can put a damper on your run.

But non-runners might not realize that running is hard work, even at a slow pace. Experts estimate that your heart rate should be 60 to 80 percent of its maximum when running at a slow pace.

That means when you're running at a 6-minute mile pace, your heart should be working as hard as if you were sprinting.

What incline is best on a treadmill?

The best incline for a treadmill are the ones that make you the most uncomfortable. If it makes you nervous to see the incline rising, that is a great sign as you are pushing your body to its limits.

Pushing your limits is what makes you stronger; your body adapts to the demands you place on it. So, if you are not uncomfortable, then you are not pushing your body far enough.

(The minimum incline for treadmills is about 2.5%, but many machines go up to 15% or 20%.)

How to adjust the incline

If you are a beginner or are looking for an easy workout, the incline is the way to go. You can adjust the incline on most ellipticals, as well as treadmills and stationary bikes.

This lets you increase the intensity of your workout to help burn more calories. Many people are intimidated by the incline feature because they don't know how to adjust it.

It's important to understand that different incline settings require different muscles to work harder. For example, a three percent incline requires your hip flexors, quadriceps, and calves to work harder than a zero percent incline.

Similarly, a 10 percent incline requires your hamstrings and abs to work harder than a zero percent incline. Using different incline settings can help you target the muscles that you want to work harder during a workout. 

About the author
Published by Kieran
A star athlete during his school days, Kieran quickly excelled at sports and in particular; football. Kieran's true passion lies in home exercise equipment, and so FitnessHomeHQ.com was born.FitnessHomeHQ.com was built as a source for all of Kieran's thoughts to be put down on a medium. Here he guides you through various nuances of working out at home, tips, guides, reviews and more.The only other thing Kieran enjoys more than working out, is writing about it.
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