Monday, May 18, 2009

treadmill or road running?

Running is one of my favorite exercises. It is great for overall health and fitness and can be combined with a healthy diet creating one of the fastest ways to lose weight. For myself there are various considerations regarding where, when and how I run.

Quality running shoes are important to prevent injury. I don't always buy expensive running shoes however ensuring comfort and appropriate fit is necessary. Taking things slowly to begin with is also one of the best pieces of advice I received. Consistency over the long term being much more important than "going for it" one day only to become injured and unable to train for a week or longer. There are a variety of running websites detailing training plans which I have learned from. Another valuable piece of advice I found was to train in terms of time rather than distance. Running a distance often has the effect of making you want to do it faster and faster each time. However running, jogging or walking for a set time, e.g. 20 minutes means you become much less attached to your speed and focus instead on completing the chosen time. Using this type of routine means that over time, speed naturally increases. Although because it is not the focus I find it helps me from straining my muscles which causes me to take extra time off to recover.

One excellent way to train by time rather than distance is to run on a treadmill as opposed to running outside. There are differences between the two that may make either more attractive. Buying my own treadmill is not really something I have space for however there are cheap treadmill reviews available that can help you find something appropriate if you wanted your own. Personally I just use the treadmills at the local sports gym. Obviously there is the cost associated with going to the gym that I wouldn't have if I ran outside. However using a treadmill allows me to measure the exact time I run for. Other reasons I like using a treadmill at the gym is because I can choose the exact gradient I want to run at; I don't have to contend with traffic fumes; and stretching on the mats is really enjoyable.

Running outside is also great fun. I like going early in the morning before many cars are about and the streets are free.

The important thing for me is really to get out and take regular exercise.

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