I woke up this AM craving my normal bowl of oatmeal.

DSCN9962

Sometimes I think about the fact that I won’t be able to make my #1 Favorite Oatmeal on our honeymoon (10 loooong days of romance, whoot whoot!) and it makes me sad. But then I remember I’ll be in Napa with Future Husband and I don’t really care anymore.  šŸ™‚

DSCN9965

My #1 Favorite Oatmeal contains:

 

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large sliced banana
  • Toppings: brown sugar, granola, and chopped almonds

 

Perfection!

DSCN9969

Musings on Indoors or Out?

 

Last night’s speedwork session got me thinking about the benefits of training on a treadmill vs. training outside.  As you all know, I typically run outside because I find running on a treadmill outrageously boring.  However, I trained for my first 10K almost entirely inside (it was April – May in Pittsburgh).

 

I’ve always believed running outside is better.  Here are a few reasons why:

 

Running outside….

 

  • Is more challenging physically, as the treadmill tends to "push" you forward.
  • Means fighting additional obstacles, like small hills, strong wind, or having to sprint to get through a break in traffic.  Treadmills can’t recreate these scenarios, despite their numerous settings.
  • Is more similar to "race day" conditions, allowing you to train more efficiently.
  • Exposes you to NATURE instead of a TV.
  • Is better because you can run with a friend or your dog.  Sometimes you can’t get two treadmills next to each other at the gym, and you certainly can’t bring your dog!
  • Isn’t as boring as treadmill running, so you’re more likely to do it.
  • Gives you an opportunity to ‘get lost’ and extend your run; you’re more likely to stop at a certain mileage or time marker on the treadmill.
  • Produces no Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, assuming your run begins at your front door, and saves gas.

 

Clearly, in my eyes, running outside is superior to treadmill running. However, treadmill running does have its advantages. 

 

Treadmill runnning….

 

  • Can be done anytime, anyplace.  If you’re scared to run alone early in the AM or late at night, treadmill running is safer.
  • Is great for Speedwork or Interval training, as it’s easier to measure your time and distance.
  • Is necessary during the winter in cold climates.
  • Is easier on your knees and other joints, as the treadmill creates a padded surface.
  • Allows you to take a break or stop whenever you want.  If you’re running outside and get injured halfway through a 10 mile loop—well, you’ll still got 5 miles to go.

 

In general, do you prefer working out indoors or outside? Have you ever trained for a race on a treadmill?

{ 40 comments }

 

  • Carolina John October 13, 2008, 4:55 am

    I prefer outdoors, the wife prefers the treadmill. She likes it for the speed control and the ability to see who’s hiding around that tree (because there are no trees at the gym).

    I don’t mind the fear of the unknown, and will take fresh air over indoors anytime. But that’s what I get for being a programmer.

  • Sammie October 13, 2008, 5:08 am

    I would much rather run outside – I love to enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately, where I live the seasons tend to dictate where I work out – I won’t run in the snow.

  • runningwithfood October 13, 2008, 5:18 am

    Hey girl! Glad you had a great weekend!! I prefer to run outside … however, I simply do not enjoy the cold, cold weather and when that hits, I stick to the treadmill. šŸ™‚

  • VeggieGirl October 13, 2008, 5:24 am

    No worries, Caitlin – you’ll be having so much fun on your honeymoon, that you’ll ALMOST totally forget about the oatmeal; and then it’ll just taste that much better, when you return!! :0)

    I prefer to workout outdoors, due to the scenery and more challenging “setup” (i.e. the hills, uneven trails, etcetera); but it’s more practical for me to workout indoors, for dance practices and when I’m with my personal trainer.

    Happy Monday!!

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) October 13, 2008, 5:34 am

    Haha, you reminded me of this one time I went running in my new neighbourhood and I ended up LOST in the town over! I have no idea how I ran so far. I called my roommate and she sent out a search party for me and picked me up! I was so far from my house!

  • Katie October 13, 2008, 5:51 am

    I’m sort of scared to run outside… I blame it on not having a heart rate monitor to get my stats, but I think it’s actually being able to visualize where I’m going that freaks me out. On the treadmill it’s boring, but you can always push a button and stop!

  • Gina October 13, 2008, 5:56 am

    oooh those oats look amazing šŸ˜€
    i prefer running outside… i used to hate it (no tv! the tragedy!), but it’s a lot more therapeutic to be outside with my own thoughts than having a stinky man running right next to me.
    hope you have a happy monday!

  • Allie October 13, 2008, 6:09 am

    I love to run outdoors, but I do agree with you about the treadmill. Interval training and speed work are BY FAR easier to do inside!

  • Meghann October 13, 2008, 6:11 am

    Yay Road Trip!! I am so down for that!! My weekends are kind of sparatic to the next month so let me know what she says! šŸ™‚

  • Amanda October 13, 2008, 6:16 am

    I definitely prefer running outdoors. It really wasn’t until I started running outside regularly that I really began to LOVE running – I think it’s the ability to let your mind wander, enjoy being outside (especially after sitting at a desk all day!) .. I am afraid that the cold weather will deter me – I’d love to hear some cold-weather running tips/clothing picks!

  • amy. October 13, 2008, 6:18 am

    Interesting points about running indoors versus out. I preferr outdoors! Much more to take in visually.

    I always miss my traditional breakfast if I have to miss it for some reason! Ten days is a long time to go without it, but you’ll be in paradise so its okay šŸ™‚

  • BeachRunner October 13, 2008, 6:38 am

    As far as running in or out…I prefer outdoors, but I really do like both. The treadmill was my best friend when I was first starting out. I could keep to a pre-determined pace (not go out too fast), easily monitor my HR, listen to my ipod, and take walk breaks. I assume I will always use indoor and outdoor runs to balance my workouts.

  • Girl on Top October 13, 2008, 6:41 am

    I totally prefer outdoor as indoor on a treadmill is too boring!

    I have trained on a treadmill and hope to not have to once busy season gets underway at work.

  • bitesoflife October 13, 2008, 6:49 am

    I prefer to be outside, but unfortunately the neighborhood I live in has no sidewalks and some really busy streets, which makes it tough. The nice thing about the gym is that there is at least some choice of equipment.

  • Meg October 13, 2008, 6:56 am

    I have always liked working out indoors, but I am not sure why!

    Your oatmeal looks fantastic..and you probably will not be thinking about it on your honeymoon!

  • Krista October 13, 2008, 6:56 am

    I use my treadmill everyday because I run on my lunch hour and it’s more convenient. I love to run outdoors weather permitting but I find that my lungs are sore after an outside run. Can’t figure out why, but it can be a deciding factor for me on if it’s gonna be and indoor/outdoor run.

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 13, 2008, 7:02 am

    krista- are you running alongside busy roads? inhaling car fumes can wreck havoc on your lungs, especially if the cars are idling — it’s basically like smoking a cig.

  • sarah October 13, 2008, 7:11 am

    i like indoors OR out! i like the treadmill for when it’s dark and i also enjoy it because i get to catch up on trashy magazines and tv šŸ™‚ outdoors is a much more meditative, ‘special’ experience to me but i think i really like having both in the mix.

  • sara October 13, 2008, 7:30 am

    caitlin, I read your blog every day and I love it. I’ve recently began running, and I started to do it at the gym on the treadmill. However, Im trying to force myself to run outside, bc I do think this is better.
    I really want to try and run a half-marathon in january. how do you think I should train? I’m trying to run at least three times a week + one long run on the weekends, but the longest i’ve managed to run so far is about six miles. How should I push myself to run more?? .

    Time on weekdays is pretty limited, bc I have so much other stuff going on. Im a law student + I work, and I also like biking, weight training and yoga…
    I appreciate any sort of advice!

  • Jordan October 13, 2008, 7:31 am

    I don’t know what it is, but ever since I started having my eggs-in-a-basket for breakfast, I can’t go back to my oatmeal. I think I’m just a savory breakfast kinda gal. =P

  • sara October 13, 2008, 7:31 am

    caitlin, I read your blog every day and I love it. I’ve recently began running, and I started to do it at the gym on the treadmill. However, Im trying to force myself to run outside, bc I do think this is better.
    I really want to try and run a half-marathon in january. how do you think I should train? I’m trying to run at least three times a week + one long run on the weekends, but the longest i’ve managed to run so far is about six miles. How should I push myself to run more?? .

    Time on weekdays is pretty limited, bc I have so much other stuff going on. Im a law student + I work, and I also like biking, weight training and yoga…
    I appreciate any sort of advice!

  • BOBBI McCORMICK October 13, 2008, 7:48 am

    When Hubby and I went our one year to Hawaii, I had to train on the tredmill one day 6 miles at tempo not fun! I hate the indoors with a passion, running outside is so much better. I am a Cali girl so are weather here let’s me do it, but it is starting to get a little chilli in the mornings. I will NOT resort to the tredmill:)

  • Moran October 13, 2008, 7:57 am

    I have always been an outdoor runner for many of the same reasons that you have mentioned, but since I also live in a place where it is cold almost all year long I have to opt for the gym.
    I do want to try to train for a half marathon but I am really uncertain as to whether or not it will ever work out if I train on a treadmill…And the half is my only option; I live in Europe and we don’t have any shorter races….

    Anyhow, I am not finding the treadmill too bad at the moment…we’ll see how long that will last šŸ˜‰

  • Celia October 13, 2008, 7:57 am

    thank you SO MUCH for your kind comment on my blog, I really appreciate it!

    Hrmm, I think there’s both pros and cons for running indoors(treadmill) and outdoors … I guess it really depends on the situation you are in!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 13, 2008, 8:00 am

    sara –

    if you have run 6 miles, you will definitely be able to run a half marathon in january, if you train properly!

    here’s a list of my fav training programs:

    http://www.seebriderun.com
    /2008/09/sweet-potato-
    casserole-oatmeal-musings.html

    (no spaces)

    I like Hal’s programs the best. The “novice” half marathon program is a 12 week program, so you may need to start at Week 2 or 3 to reach your race day goal.

    3 days of running + 1 long run day is excellent! I think Hal’s program requires 5 days of cardio + 1 strength day, so you could add a day of biking and yoga strength training to your current schedule and be fine! don’t feel like you have to stick to the schedule 100% of course, move the long run days around to match up with your student schedule.

    i think the key is not to increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10% at a time. this helps prevent overuse injuries.

    focus on stretching daily as well!

    WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT! Good luck!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 13, 2008, 8:01 am

    moran – i’ve heard of people training 100% for a marathon a treadmill! i think the only issue is that suddenly switching to outdoor running can be jarring, so its good to run a few long runs outside before the race!

  • just me October 13, 2008, 8:06 am

    I always run outdoors…i absolutely hate treadmills; they make me feel like i can’t walk afterwards. that and when i run, i get lost in my own head and gain an appreciation for the outdoors more!

  • Alex October 13, 2008, 8:09 am

    I much prefer running outdoors. I have done speedwork on treadmills at times, but even that is hard – I’ve read that treadmills tend to overestimate both pace and distance. Why can’t someone make some freakin’ accurate cardio machines??

  • Lauren October 13, 2008, 8:36 am

    I’m just learning about outdoor running. No really, sounds funny, but I am. I ALWAYS would workout at the gym, never outside, because its humid and weather is crazy here in Houston, Texas. But since it’s been somewhat “fall” outside, I’ve enjoyed getting out and I definitely agree, that i like it better than the gym. It’s a feeling of freedom I enjoy! Great post by the way

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina October 13, 2008, 8:51 am

    i hate the treadmill. oops, did i just write that? i meant DREADmill or HELLmill!!!!

    but, i run on one in the mornings at my gym because i am too much of a chicken to run in the dark!

  • Serena October 13, 2008, 8:57 am

    You won’t miss oatmeal if you have breakfast at the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville on your honeymoon!!

  • trustmyintuition October 13, 2008, 10:58 am

    I prefer outdoors as well. Sometimes I run on the treadmill if I’m doing speedwork, if it’s cold, or if it’s dark out like you said. Everytime I run on a treadmill I always end up wishing I would’ve done it outside instead šŸ™‚ I did most of my training outdoors, but the marathon I’ll be training for is in May, so it looks like i’ll be doing a good amount indoors šŸ™

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) October 13, 2008, 12:02 pm

    Outdoors all the way. Being cooped up tends to make me a bit cranky. However I do acknowledge the need for treadmills due to winter conditions. I don’t really want to run on ice. Eep! But if I can be out, there’s my first choice.

  • Erica October 13, 2008, 12:38 pm

    I can honestly say that I attribute my passion for running to doing it ‘au natural,’ but now that I’m addicted I’ll run on the treadmill if I have to! I think there’s just something missing on a treadmill run that you can’t get from being outdoors…but I do like that when I am forced inside in the winters, they sure make speedwork and intervals more effective (and you can see what you are doing). At the gym, you can also utilize the other machines in addition to the treadmill to round out a workout.
    I still need my outdoor-running meditation though! šŸ™‚

  • Anonymous October 13, 2008, 5:36 pm

    I absolutely prefer outdoors. I have been running outside for five or six years. But recently, something happened while I was running, and I realize it’s just not safe. šŸ™
    What does everyone do to protect themselves against predators (human and animal) while running outside? What about cars?
    Ugh, I was so oblivious to dangers. Now I am a little terrified. I have a friend who was attacked (by a man with a weapon) outside. How horrible!

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 13, 2008, 6:37 pm

    serena – thanks for the recommendation!

    anon – oh NO! that’s horrible. i actually worked as a Sexual Assualt Peer Counselor for three years in college. I gave informational speeches on safety to the college basketball team and sororities and what not.

    anyways, i think it’s really important to stay on busy roadways. don’t go off the beaten path or into deep woods. it’s great if you could run wih a buddy OR a dog (perhaps adopted one?!). šŸ™‚

    stay aware and keep your head phones on low so you can hear your surroundings and any incoming traffic.

    here’s a great summary of tips to read:

    http://www.runtheplanet.com
    /trainingracing/safety/
    womensafe.asp

    OR

    http://www.runtheplanet.com
    /trainingracing/safety/
    rtpselfd.asp

    (no spaces).

    as the article states, “running is statistically very safe. If you stay a little more aware and in touch with your intuition you can make it even safer. Just because you give some thought and preparation to the worst case scenarios does not mean you should develop paranoia or fear of your fellow runners. Even as you acknowledge the dangerous possibilities you should run with all the joy in the world.”

  • tami October 13, 2008, 9:06 pm

    Hey Caitlin,
    Love your blog! I prefer to run outside but I usually can only do it on the weekend. The weekday I use the treadmill. Anyhow, my question to you is. I want to sign up for a half marathon but most of the ones I want to do all say “no headphones, ipods”. I know that seems like a silly thing to keep me from doing it but I use my ipod all the time. So did you run with yours in the half or no? If no then was it a harder run to do?

  • Caitlin (see bride run) October 14, 2008, 3:30 am

    tami –

    they say that at every race. however, i’ve never been at a foot race that actually enforced it. i was in a dualthon (running + biking) where they really enforced it, but i think they were concerned about the bicyclist getting hit by cars.

    my advice? take the ipod with you, and if anyone says anything to you, just don’t wear it…. i can’t run without headphones, either! šŸ™‚

  • Sara Winter October 15, 2008, 2:43 pm

    I much prefer the outdoors for running. You just put on your running clothes and running shoes and head outside – easy breezy! However, I DO enjoy running first thing in the morning and now that it is so dark when I wake up I can’t fit in a run before I have to get ready for work! So… they gym becomes my only option šŸ™

  • Elina October 16, 2008, 12:05 pm

    I prefer running on the treadmill because it is much easier and I can control my speed easier (like you said) but also because I can watch tv while doing. I’ve run outside just a few times in my life and it was HARD! It’s definitely something I plan on working on next spring when it gets nicer because running outside still scares me (even though I do pretty well on the treadmill). I think it’s too late/cold to do it this year šŸ™

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