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Why Do I Run Slower On A Treadmill?

Published by Matthew
Last Updated on May 31, 2021

Some runners are speed demons on the track—the type who fly past you in the second lap—but when they get on a treadmill they're slower than a turtle.

Why is that? It's not because they're running uphill, or the treadmill is set to a higher incline. The reason is more physiological and less obvious than that. It's all about your body aligning with the surface below it.

Treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment in the world. Nearly every gym has a few, and they sell extremely well in sporting goods stores.

The reason for their popularity is simple: they are a convenient, one-stop shop for exercise. You can get a great cardio workout on a treadmill, burn a ton of calories, and you don't have to leave your house to do it.

However, treadmills are not without their problems. One of the most common complaints is that people run slower on a treadmill than they do outdoors.

You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to picking a treadmill to keep you fit. There are treadmills that fold up for easy storage, treadmills that sync with your phone, and treadmills that can play your favorite music.

But one of the most important factors to consider is the belt. This is the surface that supports you as you run, and a good belt will keep you comfortable and safe as you work out.

Many people say treadmill running is harder

Many people say treadmill running is harder than running outside because you can't feel the wind in your face or the ground beneath your feet. In fact, many treadmill runners find the motion of running on the treadmill to be unnatural and uncomfortable.

However, as with many things in life, if you do the same thing you've always done, you will get the same results you've always gotten.

If you want to run more regularly on your treadmill, switch from running on the same old treadmill belt to running on the treadmill's inclined treadmill belt.

Reasons treadmill running would be harder

Treadmill running has a number of advantages over outdoor running. You don't have to deal with weather and traffic, and it's easier to get into a rhythm and stick to a routine.

There are, however, a few challenges that may be unique to the treadmill. Here are a few reasons why running on a treadmill could be harder than you think.

  • Your stride length is different

Running on a treadmill might be easier than running on the street, but it's not all that easy. In fact, treadmill running is hard on your body because your stride length will be different.

Because, well, you're running on a treadmill! You can't run for too long, either, since treadmills tend to give out after a period of time and you're stuck with no way of getting home until the power comes back on!

  • You’re keeping a constant pace

Treadmill running is a great workout, convenient, and allows you to watch your favorite show, or even enjoy your favorite music while you run.

It is also known for being the most efficient exercise routine when attempting to maintain a constant pace. You can always compare treadmill running to running outside.

When running outside, your body will have to adjust to the movement of the ground, so it is more difficult to maintain a constant pace.

  •   The monotony

Many people have turned to treadmill running as a way to stay in shape. The lack of impact from running on a treadmill means you can run for longer without the fatigue you'd feel from running outside.

However, treadmill running can become a bit monotonous, which can make it tough to stay motivated.

  • You’re actually working different muscles

Running on a treadmill is actually a great way to get in shape and lose weight. But, many people don't realize that they are working their body in a different way than if they were running outside.

This is because a treadmill has a slight incline to it and it also does not force your body to adjust to the varying terrain like that of outside running.

When you run outside, your body must work harder to adjust to changing terrain. Your body also must work to keep you balanced as you run, so you don’t fall.

On a treadmill, your legs remain in contact with the same surface, so you don’t have to work as hard to adjust to terrain changes. In fact, you don’t have to do anything. That’s why running on a treadmill can seem easier than running outside.

  • Treadmill running does not simulate downhill running

With the rise of popularity for treadmill running, has come the misconception that treadmill running does simulate running downhill.

However, this is only true in theory, and because of the lack of gravity present during treadmill running, the effects on your body will be entirely different.

To understand why, let's first look at the basic differences between treadmill running uphill and running downhill.

When you run downhill the force of gravity is moving you forward, but because you are moving with gravity you are working against it (going uphill).

On the other hand, during treadmill running gravity is not involved, so you are only working against the resistance of the treadmill belt. This is the main difference between the two types of running, and is the reason why you feel more tired after running.

Treadmill running is boring for many runners

Did you know that the treadmill has been getting more and more boring for many runners? And, believe it or not, this isn't entirely their fault.

Unfortunately, the treadmill has been marketed as the only way to run for decades, and the treadmill companies have resisted any attempts to make the treadmill a more interesting experience.

But all that is changing, and the treadmill companies are doing their part to make treadmill running more fun, and hopefully to encourage more people to run.

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Published by Matthew
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