Treadmill or Pavement?

I am a relatively new runner and live in Florida. I am training for a 1/2 marathon. I really dislike running in the heat & humidity during the summer but I run with my running group on Sunday mornings 3 miles.

I can run 7 miles now on the treadmill but realize that I am going to have to start running outside. Should I get my distance under my belt on the treadmill and then start running outside? Or should I start running outside and run on the treadmill once in a while?

Hey Kathleen, living in south Florida, I can understand the attraction to the treadmill to avoid the heat and humidity! My preference is the pavement because that is where the races are run and, for me, the changing scenery and people is just more interesting. Having said that, the treadmill is a great place to run during inclement weather and, if not using a Garmin, a perfect way to measure your speed/pace. Also, the treadmill provides the ability to get some hill work into your routine. The choice is really yours…just keep up with the exercise and stay healthy!

I agree with all this. Especially if your race is in Florida -- you aren't going to have a great race if you can't handle the heat and humidity! I have run a race in Miami before (a 10k) after training in NC for a few months, and it was pretty brutal. AC is a godsend in the summer, but you should definitely look to train in the closest environment to the racing environment, at least 2 or 3 days a week.

Good point Knittykat! Conversely,training here in Florida, I am hoping to be in better condition from the heat and humidity for an early October race in Chicago!

Thanks for the advice. I will get outside at least 2 times a week to train. I know I have to.

Hi Kathleen I use the treadmill when I up my distance significantly and want to trial my insulin to carb routine before I hit the pavement. Don't run on anything less than a 2 percent incline to help replicate running outside. Plan for a few hills ( 6 percent) to help keep you honest with hills and wind factors. When you run outside in the heat, you will really need to plan your hydration to ensure you don't get dehydrated. I always run with a hydration belt so that I have plenty of water, carbs and ID.

There's nothing like running on proper ground. Treadmills don't prepare you as fully as pavement does. You can do many more miles on treadmills than in real life so the marathon will be longer and more strenuous if you choose treadmills as it shall be longer than you have trained for.