Tips for Taking Your Run from the Treadmill to Outdoors

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Spring is here, which means I’m taking my workouts from the treadmill to the great outdoors. Here are four tips to help you transition your indoor running to outdoor running!

Ease into it
When the beautiful springtime weather arrives (and if it’s still cold in your part of the country, it’s coming, I swear!), the last thing I want to do is run inside on a treadmill, but I also don’t abandon ship right away. Instead, I slowly transition my running from indoors to outdoors by swapping one treadmill run for one outside. That way, my joints and muscles have time to adjust to new running surfaces. After a few weeks of single runs outside, I add two and then three outdoor workouts to my schedule until all of my runs are done off the treadmill.

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Split long runs between the treadmill and outside
Currently, I’m in the middle of training for a half marathon, which means I have some long runs on my training schedule. Instead of trying to do them all inside or outside, I split my long runs in half and run half of the miles indoors on the treadmill and the rest outside, so I’m able to get the experience of running in both environments. I save my legs by sticking to the treadmill, but I also start to get my body ready for outdoor terrain and racing.

MORE: 6 Training Tips for Your First Half-Marathon

Seek out soft surfaces
Instead of hitting the pavement right away with my outdoor runs, I seek out softer surfaces to run on—a spongy track or a dirt path—to transition my body into running outside on harder, more uneven surfaces. Once my joints and muscles have had a chance to adapt to the more cushy terrain, I then take my runs to the open road.

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Don’t get frustrated
Every year when I transition my running from indoors to outdoors, I inevitably get frustrated because I feel so much slower outside. Between the new surfaces and wind resistance, my running feels like it requires so much more effort. I remind myself it will take a little time for my body to get adjusted, so I ease my expectations for my first few runs outside.

MORE: The Best Post-Workout Stretches

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

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