Transitioning from the Treadmill to the Road.

On Sunday I did my long run outside. According to Garmin, that was only my second run outside in 2015. The first one was on New Years Day. That means it has been quite a while since my shoes have hit the pavement and I have been slugging it out on the treadmill for a couple of months. I didn’t even think about the difference between running inside and running outside until I woke up Monday morning with ridiculously SORE CALVES.

I thought it was my shoes. I have been wearing my new Brooks Ravenna 6s lately but not for longer than 12 miles so I thought the 14 miles with a different heel drop than my PureCadence did me in. It may have been a combination, but I think my jump from 0 miles outdoors to 14 (almost 15) miles outdoors definitely took a toll!

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I probably should have thought about it a little more, but I didn’t realize how sore I would be after my first run outside in a while! My calves felt back to normal on THURSDAY. Yup, 4 days later! It was crazy! Turns out running on pavement is slightly different than running on the good ol’ hamster wheel.

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After doing some research, and with the gorgeous weather of spring upon us, I thought I would share some tips and tricks to TRANSITION from there treadmill to the road. Aka. Don’t expect to run 14 miles and feel perfectly fine after. Also don’t run your 14 miles faster than a normal long run just because the sunshine told you too.

  • Move one of your shorter runs outside first. Start with the mid-week runs and then take the long ones outdoors.
  • Start on the trail. Pavement hurts. There is a lot more impact on your body running on pavement than there is on the treadmill or on a trail so start outside on a soft surface and then move to the pavement.
  • Train by effort, not pace. You found your paces on the treadmill, great. Now throw that information out the window and find your paces on the road. They could be slower or faster depending on how much incline you ran up inside and how varied your terrain is outside.
  • Keep up the strength training. You have left the gym and taken your running outside but keep up the strength work you were doing inside. Running on different terrains and in different conditions on the road means your stabilizer muscles and core is working a lot harder and needs to keep up strength!
  • Don’t cut out all road running to begin with (<- this is what the experts say… I can’t say I followed this advice… at all).

For more information you can check out THIS article or THIS article! The key points were to start slow, toss the watch, and run by feel. Just because most of the running articles talk about how much slower you will be outside or how much harder it is to run in wind resistance, it doesn’t mean all of your hard work indoors has gone to waste. Treadmill running can help you learn to settle into certain paces or certain efforts, they train your mind to focus when it wants to wander, and you can get some seriously tough workouts done on the treadmill!

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I bought a giant box of naval oranges at Costco and I am pretty sure I am the only one in my household eating them. I am trying to come up with creative ways of using them so I threw two in the freezer overnight after I peeled them. In the morning I let them thaw while I was packing my lunch, chopped them up (they are easiest to cut along their natural divisions), and blending them with unsweetened soy milk. It was like a creamsicle and it was unreal.

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Now that it is suppose to be above TEN degrees Celsius on the weekend, I am hoping spring has arrived and most of my runs, the weekend ones at least, will be outdoors. I am still too much of a pansy to run in the dark at 5 in the morning but as it gets light out earlier and earlier I hope to do more runs outside! I definitely jumped into road running too fast because 14 miles left my calves screaming for days, and I think I ran too fast, but I am so stoked for sunshine-filled running!

Any tips for transitioning from the treadmill to the road?

Has anyone had any injuries because of this?!

I am loving citrus lately – favourite fruit?