Avoid the Pitfalls of the Treadmill-to-Outdoors SwitchApril 5th, 2013
It might not feel like spring with all the snow we’ve seen in places like New York over the last couple of weeks. With temperatures in the mid-50s in Washington DC and low 70s in California, however, it does seem like all that wintry weather might finally be behind us. Which means that many of you home fitness enthusiasts are probably considering trading in some of those evenings on the treadmill for mornings on the trails.
The team at Smooth Fitness is just as excited about spring springing as you are. But transitioning from the soft cushion of a treadmill belt to the unforgiving rigidity of concrete can mean harsh consequences for your body and your psyche. Before you hit the pavement, keep a few things in mind:
- Losing momentum: If logging 3 miles on the treadmill feels slightly easier than logging three miles around your neighborhood, that’s because it is. It’s not noticeable enough to detract much from your workout, but by propelling you forward, the treadmill belt does some of the running work for you – and that’s without taking into account factors like hills and wind. So don’t be a hero; start off slow and give yourself time to adjust to running outdoors.
- Problems with pacing: One of the best parts of a treadmill is that it keeps your pace for you. Whether a 5K or a marathon, everyone who’s completed a race knows that pacing is perhaps the most vital aspect of becoming a good runner – and often one of the hardest. Try running with a friend so you can pace each other, or plan a playlist of high-tempo running songs.
- Pavement pains: There’s just no getting around the fact that running on pavement is terrible for your joints, not to mention it makes you more prone to shin splints and muscle cramps. If there’s a shortage of dirt trails around your area, avoid pavement pains by taking a few minutes to walk, warm up your muscles, and stretch them out before you begin running. Stretching cold muscles is useless, so try to make post-run stretching a habit as well.
Of course, if you’re in the market for a new treadmill, warmer weather doesn’t necessarily mean you should put off buying one until November. April is famous for rain showers and other wet weather that’s less than ideal for a jog in the park, and the 100-degree-plus weather of summer isn’t always the most encouraging, either. Stay prepared for whatever the fickle weather throws your way by browsing through our Smooth treadmill selection for the home fitness equipment that keeps you fit, rain or shine!