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April 16, 2018 06:11 PM

Running: Treadmill To Outdoors

While it may not look like it outside, the season for outdoor running isn't too far away. 

But switching from a treadmill to a sidewalk comes with some changes.

Ann Henkhause has been an active runner for 14 years, but she's not a big fan of treadmills. 

"Running outside gives me a change of scenery. I like to listen to music at the same time. Anything to distract me from the actual running," Henkhause said.

Henkhause also says running outdoors better prepares her for races. 

"It's good to train in the elements that you might be out in," Henkhause said. 

Henkhause isn't alone. Many people are anxiously awaiting the change in weather so they can get outdoors.

But before changing your routine, personal trainer Rachel Breidenbach says take it one day at a time. 

"If you run an 8 minute mile on a treadmill it's going to be hard to maintain that at first outside, just with the different factors," Breidenbach said. 

The change in terrain, temperature and wind conditions can make a big difference. 

"The belt is moving your legs, where as outside your feet have to move yourself forward so that's a little different factor," Breidenbach said.

Shin splints, a swelling or pain in the front lower part of your leg, commonly accompany the switch.

"A difference in how their body feels. Especially their legs, their shins, quads, glutes, hamstrings. Just from the difference in surfaces," Breidenbach said. 

And you'll have to say goodbye to setting that pace on a treadmill.

"You have wind as a big factor in there versus running on a treadmill. So it's going to be hard to run the same pace outdoors for the first time as it is on the treadmill,"  Breidenbach said

One way to stimulate the effects of running outdoors is by raising your incline on your treadmill. 

"A lot of the research says to have at least a 1% incline as you run, to make it a little more like running outside," Breidenbach said.

Breidenbach says when the snow finally clears off the sidewalks, take it slowly and don't be afraid to add in some walking during you first couple of runs. 

For more information on how to prepare for outdoor running, click here.

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