Recall as a kid when running was the norm? Running all the time without rest and not knowing the benefits of the runs was the child thing you did. As an adult, you are fully aware of the health benefits running comes with.
Running brings a load of health goodies to your body, like weight control, wherein a run as a 60 kg (132 lbs) person, 445 calories are burnt hourly on jogging. Running also ensures your heart health equals your mental health: "Mens sana in corpore sano." A Latin phrase, usually translated as "a healthy mind in a healthy body."
Running, however, also has many different flavors; you can run in the open air or enjoy a run on a treadmill. So let's dive into the differences.
Some people may prefer outdoor running over the treadmill, although running has similar benefits regardless of the environment. Outdoor running seems more fun since it gives dynamic terrain. One can run while attending to a particular issue, enjoying the natural view of a new place, and enjoying the weather. These characteristics of the environment could be encouraging for a runner.
Although it has the goodness of nature, outdoor running can be accompanied by dangers of insecurity, injury in the bumpy grounds, bad weather that could affect your health, and the weather that could make running impossible.
How to prepare for running Outdoors
Before embarking on an outdoor run, it is essential to prepare adequately to optimize the experience and minimize potential risks.
- Right Shoes: Start with the basics – investing in a good pair of running shoes. Shoes tailored for running provide the necessary cushioning and support, significantly reducing the risk of injuries. Selecting shoes based on the terrain you plan to tackle is also essential. PRO Tip: Do not use your sneakers or weightlifting shoes. Test the optimal running shoe for your feet and style of running.
- Appropriate Clothing: In colder temperatures, layering is essential. Opt for moisture-wicking materials that keep sweat away from your body. In warmer climates, light and breathable clothing can help in staying cool. And reflective gear or a light source is necessary if you consider running in the dark.
- Stay Hydrated: Carry water or a hydration pack if you plan on running for an extended period or distance. Staying hydrated helps in optimizing performance and preventing heat-related illnesses.
Where to Run
Finding the right spot to run, especially in a foreign location, can be challenging but possible.
- Hotel Recommendations: Many hotels, especially in touristy areas, will have maps or recommended running paths for their guests. Don't hesitate to ask the concierge for suggestions. For example, check the RunGoMap, which provides memorable running and local experiences.
- Use Apps: Apps like MapMyRun or Strava can be incredibly beneficial. They not only provide routes but also give insights into the terrain, distance, and sometimes even user reviews about the safety and attractiveness of the path.
- Local Parks and Trails: Local parks, river paths, or dedicated running trails can be great options. They are usually scenic, well-maintained, and safer than running on main roads. However, you might want to avoid exploring Central Park (NY) during the night.
- Join a Local Running Group: If you stay in a place for more than a few days, consider joining a local running group. It's a great way to discover popular routes and make local friends.
Remember, safety should always come first. If you are still getting familiar with the area, it is always better to run during daylight, stick to populated areas, and let someone know your intended route.
Running on a Treadmill
Treadmill training is fantastic for many reasons. First, it offers great variety, and you can work on developing different characteristics. As you saw above, there are many ways to structure your workouts. For example, if you want to build endurance, run with moderate intensity for an extended period if you are going to develop your anaerobic ability and speed, dash and take regular breaks.
Second, treadmill training is a fantastic way to burn many calories, which is beneficial if you are looking to lose weight or keep yourself from gaining any. For reference, a 180-pound person running for thirty minutes at six mph will burn over 400 calories. You can use the Treadmill Calorie Calculator created by FitnessVolt to gain some more insights into the potential calories burned.
Third, treadmill training is easy to start, and you only need a little experience or expertise to have great workouts.
Treadmill vs. Running Outdoors
The treadmill is a versatile and efficient cardio equipment for cardiovascular workouts. While running outdoors offers its own unique set of benefits, using a treadmill has distinct advantages tailored to various fitness levels and goals:
- Consistent Surface: Unlike outdoor terrains that can be unpredictable with bumps, ditches, and other obstacles, the treadmill provides a smooth and even surface. This minimizes the risk of trips, falls, and related injuries.
- Customizable Workouts: The beauty of the treadmill lies in its adaptability. Users can control their workout pace, starting from warm-up, adjusting the incline for a hill-like challenge, and gradually moving to a cool-down speed. Such control is especially beneficial for interval training or simulating specific race conditions.
- Real-time Fitness Metrics: Modern treadmills are designed to give immediate feedback. They monitor key metrics like heart rate, distance covered, calories burned, and more. This real-time analysis helps in tracking progress and adjusting workouts as needed. Additionally, certain advanced models can dynamically alter workout intensity based on your heart rate, ensuring you stay in your desired training zone.
While both treadmill and outdoor running have their own merits, choosing between them often depends on individual preferences, goals, and environmental factors. Some might crave the unpredictability and scenic variety of outdoor runs, while others may value the controlled and data-rich environment that a treadmill provides.
Treadmill Workouts: 6 Levels of Progression
Our Personal Trainer, Christian Roberts, has created a progressive workout program for our HotelGyms.com followers. Each of these is at a beginner level but comes in different tiers, meaning that the challenge level varies.
1. Walking on the flat (Level 1)
The goal here is to set the treadmill at a pace of fast walking but not jogging. Set a goal of how long you want your workout to be (generally 20 to 30 minutes), and get started. If you have to take a break here and there, do so. Catch your breath, and then continue.
2. Walking up the hill (Level 2)
This is more challenging because you now have to vary the incline level. Here is how: Start with a brisk walking pace (not jogging) and walk for a minute. After that, raise the incline to a level where you feel you can sustain that speed for two minutes. There is no shame in starting more conservatively.
Lower the incline once the two minutes are up and go for another minute. Keep alternating between the two for twenty to thirty minutes.
3. Aerobic running (Level 3)
This is straightforward: Pick a running pace you can sustain for twenty to thirty minutes. The goal is to finish the workout without taking a break or reducing the tempo. Start conservatively and slowly aim to increase the speed over the weeks.
4. On the track (Level 4)
Here is how to do this: Walk briskly for two minutes >> Run safely for one minute >> Repeat.
Do this for twenty to thirty minutes and call it a day. If you have trouble running for a minute, lower the speed for the next round.
5. Hill sprints (Level 5)
Pick a quick enough pace for your jog and run on zero incline for two minutes. Once the time is up, increase the angle to a degree where you can maintain the speed and go for another minute. After that, drop the incline again and go for another two minutes. Keep alternating for twenty to thirty minutes.
6. King of the hill (Level 6)
Here is how to pull this off:
- Step 1: Start with a comfortable jog.
- Step 2: Slowly increase the incline to a point where you can jog at the same speed for two minutes.
- Step 3: Reduce the speed and walk at the same incline for another two minutes.
- Step 4: Once another 2 minutes have passed, increase the speed again and jog for another 2 minutes.
- Step 5: Keep alternating between the two.
The Vital Importance of Progression
There is one crucial difference between exercising and training: progression. A person who exercises generally does the same thing each time to add some activity to their day and keep themselves healthy.
In contrast, a person who trains does a specific amount of work to do more in the future. This is important because the body likes itself as is and is resistant to change. If we want to improve in any athletic capacity (be it to gain muscle, become more endurant, or something else), we need to force improvements.
In other words, we need to push ourselves past the point of discomfort. In doing so, the body has no other choice but to adapt to the stress to handle it better the next time around.
Consider running as cardio training for a moment: If you have not run before and started running for fifteen minutes daily, you will find it challenging. You will breathe heavily, sweat a lot, and feel exhausted by the time you are done. But, as time passes, you will find those fifteen minutes increasingly easier. At some point, doing that workout will be effortless.
If you keep things the same forever, the workout will cease to help you improve. You will only likely burn some extra calories and boost your activity level.
Now, if you start with fifteen minutes but slowly add more time to keep your workouts challenging for months, you will become stronger, more endurant, and more athletic. But to achieve this effect, you need to feel some discomfort along the way.
It does not matter which option you choose; generally, running helps with many things: improved moods, physical fitness, and psychological and mental well-being.
At HotelGyms.com, we support the importance of running and have released a treadmill workout, created by our Personal Trainer Christian Roberts. Additionally, we are working on integrating recommended running routes around hotels – so you can enjoy your outdoor and indoor sports wherever you are.