Running on the Treadmill: Pros & Cons List


Running on the treadmill truly takes patience and understanding which I seem to be reminding myself every time I start the belt these days.

Running on the treadmill requires you to be patient with yourself and your body, learning to understand and respect how each part of you reacts and adjusts to running inside versus outside.

Running on the treadmill also takes crazy mental stamina and desire. If you are going to sit there and say, “But I hate the treadmill and I absolutely cannot run indoors!”, then of course you never will or at least never will effectively.

I will tell you the same thing I tell myself:

If you really want to run, you will run on the treadmill if that’s your only option. Take it or leave it. It’s your choice.

As you know, I have been running on the treadmill more often lately not because the weather is keeping me inside but because I really don’t like to run in the dark of the early morning.


Taken after running 5 miles yesterday.

Some morning treadmill runs are awesome and some are not so awesome but I am grateful to have the treadmill as my running option should I need it so I try not to complain.

While running the other morning, I gave thought to the pro’s and con’s of running on the treadmill which sparked my memory of a post I wrote way back in 2013.

I had put together a pro’s and con’s list back then after completing a long run indoors because it was too cold and snowy outside and I want to share that list again with you today. Reading old posts is so funny to me, especially this post in particular since my feelings about running on the treadmill really haven’t changed even though I have become more tolerant and accepting of running indoors.

running on the treadmill pros & cons list

1. You can look constantly at your distance:

Pro: Seeing your current distance displayed in front of you almost forces you to speed up to get done quicker. Agreed. I still like this aspect of the treadmill because I feel as though I am in control of how fast I can get done. The faster I go, the quicker I am finished so I definitely get more speed work accomplished indoors than I would outdoors.

Con: Seeing your current distance displayed in front of you almost forces you to speed up to get done quicker. Double edged sword! While it’s great to push your pace and make the miles fly by, some runs are meant to be easy/recovery runs which I do struggle with sticking to when on the treadmill.

2. The bathroom is easily accessible:

Pro: Should you need to use the bathroom, it is much easier to hop off of the treadmill and go. When I am running outdoors and I need to make a quick pit stop, this can create a real issue of bladder control, if you know what I mean…

Con: Knowing the bathroom is so close to the treadmill makes me want to stop more often.

3. You can watch TV while running:

Pro: Watching TV can certainly distract you and it is something different from listening to the same songs as usual.

Con: The TV is plastered in your face since it is attached to the treadmill can be annoying, especially when I don’t have my glasses on!

4. Running on the treadmill can be done at any time of day and is not affected by weather:

Pro: I can get up and run whenever I want and I can wear whatever I want even if it is freezing outside.

Con: Running on the boring treadmill and seeing the sun shine through the window is sometimes a cruel joke. When the weather conditions (ice and snow on ground, frigid air) make it impossible for running outside, seeing the sunshine can be misleading and make me want to be running outdoors even though I can’t.

5. Running on the treadmill in the gym allows you to be near other people for a set period of time:

Pro: People watching may give you some form of distraction.

Con #1: I like to be left alone so if people want to interact and chat with me, I am not interested. Call me rude, I call it my alone time.

Con #2: You better make sure your deodorant is on because if you are around other people while running at least 10 miles, you are probably going to sweat and then smell.

Other treadmill posts of interest:

Mental Thought Process For Treadmill Running – breaking down the mile

Thoughts on Treadmill Racing

Treadmill “Speed Play” Workout

Peak In The Life Of A Treadmill Long Run – positive thinking

Treadmill Workout with Progressions

Long Run Pacing For Treadmill

Make It Through A Mile Workout

The Pro's and Con's of Running on the Treadmill #running #treadmill #fitfluential Click To Tweet


Tell me how you really feel about the treadmill?

How often do you need to make a pit stop during your runs?

Will you be running indoors or outdoors today?

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  1. says

    I am a huge fan of the treadmill for speedwork. Just yesterday my coach gave me a workout of 800 meter repeats at a pace I would never have attempted otherwise. It was really fast for me so having the treadmill to pace the first one was super helpful. I also have been having some bathroom issues which sucks..but being on the treadmill makes it easier until I figure out what’s wrong
    Ellie recently posted…When My Mind Goes On a RampageMy Profile

  2. says

    I am not a fan of the treadmill, but I think if I had one that was easily accessible I would use it. I am in a hotel while traveling for the holidays and went to the hotel gym this morning- I debated between treadmill and elliptical but went for the elliptical since I never have the opportunity to do any type of cardio besides running. I may run a bit on the treadmill tomorrow, but not sure. It was much easier to pack workout clothes knowing i could use a gym rather than run outside! (Usually in Michigan running outside is impossible due to ice, but this year it is unusually warm!)
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Running Highlights of 2015My Profile

  3. AmandaM says

    I like the treadmill as long as everything is set up and I have good entertainment. As someone else said, I think it’s helpful for pace work. It can force a pace – which is sometimes a good thing! The past 3 days I’ve done an elliptical/stairmaster workout. I tweaked my achilles SLIGHTLY on a hard (for me, others’ slow pace!) 10 miler on Saturday and I’m waiting until no pain before running again. I think it’s okay now. In the past this same thing has lasted MONTHS so I’m attempting to be smart about it. Will test it tomorrow 🙂

  4. Rachel says

    Treadmills are necessary for me if I want to keep running in the winter, so I just suck it up and do it. I just try and run as fast as I can so I can get done! And I will not be running today, I am 6 months pregnant and I have no idea how women run all throughout their pregnancy. I had to quit at about 16 weeks, I just was in too much pain.

  5. says

    The treadmill is a beautiful thing. While I prefer to run outside, it’s just not fun year-round! Freezing cold temps, snowstorms, earrrllyyyyy mornings where it’s too scary to run in the dark … All great opportunities to welcome the treadmill into your life and thank it for being available!
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  6. says

    I never thought of it like that… you don’t have a choice and if you want to run, you have to deal with the hamster wheel. Luckily it has been super warm here so I haven’t had to worry about it. Last year I was a crazy person and ran outside even in negative temperatures, but I’m hoping for a milder winter this year.
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  7. says

    I was forced to do a treadmill run this morning due to heavy rain outside, but I always do my speed work on the treadmill so I can control my pace. The longest treadmill run I’ve ever done was 12 miles and man that was mentally tough but I was so proud of myself after. I think the hardest thing for me is that I overheat more when running on the treadmill vs. outside, but I love that I can keep my giant water bottle close by when running indoors!

  8. says

    I despise the “dreadmill” but that is probably because I am one of the people you called out in the first paragraph! I also don’t belong to a gym, so I don’t have access to one. If I’m home on vacation in CT we have an elliptical in our basement and a rowing machine I can use, but my face to face with treadmills is generally only if I am at a hotel. Meaning I run when I really shouldn’t be outside…
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  9. says

    When I first started running in college, I used to run on the treadmill for nearly every run & just got used to it.Funny now I always run outside, mainly because I just like the fresh air, regardless of how poor the weather is outside. But I definitely used to enjoy my runs on the treadmill and would just completely zone out watching tv or listening to music. There’s a certain rhythm to it that’s a bit hypnotic 🙂
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  10. says

    I go through phases with the treadmill. I used it all of the time in grad school when it was more convenient and safer, and I relied on it heavily during winters when I lived in Indiana and there was 2 feet of snow and ice everywhere outside. Now, since it’s so nice where I live, I haven’t been able to tolerate it as much. For me, the treadmill is always better than not running, but I’ll choose outside if the options is available!
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  11. Caroline M says

    I have come to kind of like the treadmill. Some days I actually choose it over going outside, mostly because I absolutely hate feeling cold at all. Today I did a treadmill run and I positioned myself right in front of a giant fan and listened to a podcast and it was great!

  12. says

    The most major pro of the treadmill is the proximity of the bathroom. Because the only way I can get through a treadmill run is if I’m doing speedwork! And speedwork=diarrhea in my world. So, yeah, a nearby toilet is a bit of a necessity.
    Suzy recently posted…Woozy Wednesday: Drowning SorrowMy Profile

  13. says

    I have a treadmill in my home gym but I barely use it! I really prefer to run outdoors but it’s comforting to know I can still run when the weather it’s raining or cold out.