How Treadmill Running Compares To Outdoor Running

If you think about it, treadmill running and outdoor running appear to be two similar exercises. On the surface, these two have the same cardio benefits, same body mechanism, same movement. They even use the same muscles! But on a closer comparison, you can set a clearer picture. In this article, we compare treadmill running and outdoor running side by side, taking factors like weather, safety, benefits, etc. into consideration. Here’s a breakdown:

Weather
Treadmill: Rain or shine, windy or snowy, anytime of the day, you can hop on and run on your treadmill.
Outdoor: The weather is your number one consideration. Although, wind resistance intensifies your run so, why not?

Injury
Treadmill: Most treadmills have a one-touch incline feature that allows effective cardio workout at a lower speed and it minimizes the heel-strike impact. Repetitive runs of the same time and pace can strain the same muscles and joints everyday though.
Outdoor: Running outside decreases chances of hip flexor strain but increases your heel-strike impact. Elements like hills, grass or steps shifts the body movement so it creates variation on your run.

Safety
Treadmill: You can watch over your kids/family and stay at the comfort of your own home. You can also just zone out.
Outdoor: Dark, rocky or slippery routes can cause accidents. You can’t zone out at all. You need to stay focused because the roads are busy and constantly changing.

Competitive Running
Treadmill: Recommended for warming up and speed enhancement. The “consistency” sets your body to a different expectation when you actually race on the road.
Outdoor: It gives you the actual feel of the race. It prepares your body for similar conditions.

Shoes
Treadmill: You can wear the same shoes every day.
Outdoor: Most runners wear the same pair of shoes indoor or outdoor. Specialty shoes might be necessary on some circumstances, like rocky roads or icy trails. Check out our online store for specialty train running shoes: Men’s | Women’s

Results
Treadmill: Mostly targets your quads because you don’t have to push forward when your foundation is moving by itself.
Outdoor: Stimulates your hamstrings as well as your quads because you have to push forward and propel to move.

Benefits
Treadmill: You can monitor your heart rate, calories burned, distance and other fitness metrics in a quick glance. You don’t have to miss out on your favorite TV shows.
Outdoor: Fresh air and beautiful sceneries await you. A great way to get away from your busy life and from your gadgets. It’s just you, nature, and maybe a few friends.

Extra umph!
Treadmill: The convenience of having your bottle holder anytime on hot days. Treadmills do cost a lot of money. Knowing that helps in motivating yourself to exercise so your money gets its worth. Since the treadmill is all about convenience, it gives you NO excuse at all to skip a session.
Outdoor: Exposing your skin to the sunlight is the most natural way to get vitamin D, which helps absorbs calcium and phosphorus (just remember sun protection!). Running outside saves you money from actually buying a treadmill and the extra electricity cost it’ll yield. Why should you buy something you can do for free?

What kind or runner are you? And why?


Source: Women’s Running

Solo Thru-Hike the AT: 500 miles in

ATHike Back in April, one of HTO’s own Outfitters, Neha Khurana, from Fairfax started her AT solo thru-hike. We have been keeping tabs on this young lady’s progress, and living vicariously through her adventure. Here’s an account of what she’s encountered this past month.

First Days on the Trail

Approach Trail

“I have covered about 37 miles plus 8.8 miles of the Approach Trail. It has been very busy! I stayed my first night at the Springer Mountain Shelter near the summit. The next day I hiked around 8 miles to Hawk Mountain, where I camped with 30-40 other hikers. The trail is packed with thru-hikers! Everyone is so welcoming and we had a bonfire that night.

Camping Blood Mountain

I woke up and hiked around 13 miles the next day to Preaching Rock. The hike was tough, but the view was incredible. The next morning, we reached the Blood Mountain summit before making it to Neels Gap.”

“The trail has been wonderful. My feet are sore, but the experience is so worth it.”

Of Trail Angels

“From Neels Gap I hiked to Low Gap shelter. And because of flash floods and tornado warnings, we caught a ride the next day from Unicoi Gap to Hiawassee early. That night was spend at a hotel and I took a zero day.

We hit the trail the following morning and hiked 13 miles to Deep Gap, then 15 miles through the Georgia/North Carolina border to Muskrat Creek Shelter the next day. After a couple more days, we reached the top of Albert Mountain and completed our first hundred miles! Upon arriving at our shelter, some of our group hitched to town and brought back 13 pizzas… Definitely the highlight of my day!

At the border PIZZA!The following morning, after 4 miles to Winding Stair Gap, we were met by some trail magic (1). The trail angel had spread out breakfast in the back of his truck bed for us. Afterwards, we caught a ride with Ron Haven (famous trail angel) to Franklin, NC.”

Damascus

Neha is currently in Damascus, VA, nearly 500 miles in. She is taking a few days off for Trail Days. We can’t wait to see what else the AT has in store for her. Keep at it, Neha!

(1) The term ‘trail magic’ was coined by long-distance hikers to describe an unexpected occurrence that lifts a hiker’s spirits and inspires awe or gratitude. ‘Trail magic’ may be as simple as being offered a candy bar by a passing hiker or spotting an elusive species of wildlife. (source: appalachiantrail.org)

Solo Thru-Hike the AT!

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One of HTO’s own Outfitters, Neha Khurana, from Fairfax is starting her solo thru-hike of the AT on April 1! She began as the youngest employee in the company and shares our enthusiasm and passion for adventure and travel. Neha tries to get outside as much as she can and loves to hike, rock climb, and kayak. As a frequent world traveler, she will soon be majoring in Adventure Education.

Neha became entranced by the idea of thru-hiking when she read an article about the Appalachian Trail a couple years ago.

“I loved the idea of completely immersing myself in nature and living authentically. I didn’t want to put off such a valuable opportunity, so I decided to graduate school early and hike northbound this year.”

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This young lady is heading places and we are so proud to have her be a part of the HTO family! And did we mention she is just 17 years old?! Impressive!

What are you doing this summer? Ever wondered what it would be like to hike the Appalachian Trail alone? Here’s top 6 reasons why you should do it, as said by Zach Davis at AppalachianTrials.com:

1. Absolute Freedom

If you hike the trail by yourself, no one will be breathing down your neck. You will be able to escape and truly be free. I remember feeling so happy and free only to turn my phone on and have it blow up with messages from my parents asking me where I was and if I was okay. Although I knew they sent those messages out of love, it was nice to have my phone off and live without people on my case all the time. I couldn’t even imagine how awful the trail would’ve been if someone I started hiking with depended on me and had to always know where I was.

2. No one wanted to do it with me

Would I have started the trail with a friend if he or she wanted to hike with me? Definitely. However, in my case, no one I knew wanted to hike with me and I didn’t even try to find someone to thru-hike with.

3. I only had take care of myself

Trust me, on the trail this is a very difficult task. Thankfully, no one else on the trail depended on me to keep them alive. Looking out for myself was a big enough task, but if your hike is anything like mine, you’ll meet people who you want to watch out for and vice versa.

4. I made friends anyway

It’s very easy to meet incredible people on the trail. It was nice for me to have friends on the trail that were separate from my friends in “real life.” I think if I started out with “real life” friends, I would not have tried as hard to create relationships with other hikers.

5. I do what I want

The Appalachian Trail taught me that I can wake up every morning and do whatever I want to do. This is something that has stuck with my way past my thru-hike. Every morning when I wake up, I do what I want to do. Most of what I want to do is what I know will make me happy. With this philosophy I have picked up from the trail, I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.  If I were hiking with a group for the majority of my hike, I might not have developed such a significant lifestyle change.

6. Greater sense of accomplishment

I believe my summit of Katahdin was very different in significance than those hiking in a group for the whole trail. Although I did hike with other people along the way, I finished the trail exactly how I started it; alone and on my own terms. If I had hiked the trail entirely with someone else, or a group, I feel like my sense of achievement on Katahdin would be different. A lot of times on the trail, I had no one to help me through the hardest parts and had to overcome adversity on my own. I get that sharing achievements is a wonderful thing; however, I’m glad I got through the majority of trail because of my own abilities and not having to rely on others.

We will be keeping tabs on Neha’s progress this summer, so stay tuned for more updates! She will be back at our Fairfax store in September, so she will be a great resource for all future Appalachian Trail travelers. We wish her all the best!