Treadmill vs Outside Running, Outdoor vs Indoor Cycling.

There are two reasons for this blog – 

  • Winter is on its way, and so some will choose to train more indoors than outdoors in order to stay warmer.
  • There are two major triathlons on their way at the end of winter. The Durban Ironman 70.3 and the Bela Bela 5150. If you have entered these you will need to train through winter.

Treadmill Running Pros.

Compared to all other cross training options, treadmills most mimic outside running. treadmill

The treadmill gives you a softer landing and an even surface.

It allows you to train in poor light and also in cold conditions.

The speed indicator will allow you to get used to a constant pace.

You can set up a few feeding options alongside the machine and experiment with them.

You can catch up on a bit of TV.

For triathletes, it is easy to do a brick session, and transition quickly from a spinning bike to the treadmill.

Treadmill Running Cons.

It can get really boring. The word, ‘dreadmill’ comes to mind.

Treadmills force you to run inside. Many runners love nature and enjoy being outside.

While you can mimic uphill running, you cannot mimic downhill running.

It is possible to do something really stupid on it while being filmed, and end up on youtube –

Outdoor vs Indoor Cycling.

One of the main benefits of an indoor bike is that it allows the triathlete to put time in on the bike and then to transition quickly to the treadmill. If the athlete has worked sufficiently hard on the stationary bike he/she will gain a few free miles when running on the treadmill. indoor cycling

Advantages of Indoor Stationary Cycling.

It’s easy to go for a ride with relatively little prior planning.

It’s triathlon compatible.

It’s safer than cycling outdoors

It is easier to do training based on heart rate, as you don’t have to stop at traffic lights etc.


You cannot develop a feel for the bike, which will be a disadvantage when cornering and changing gears.

There is still nothing like a really long hill to test your mettle.

You need to ride with people around in order to gain vital squad riding skills and manners.

You will not get a puncture indoors and so will never experience the “joy” of being stranded on the roadside changing your tube.


There is no substitute for time spent in the water.  Two vital points here:

  • Join a squad. Swimming can be boring and you also need to constantly work on proper form. We run a swim squad from Wahoo Aquatic Centre on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6 – 7 a.m. Give us a call if interested.
  • Contrary to popular belief, swimming can put strain on the lower back. You can read more about that here – //

  • It is an idea to get some open water experience before tackling a triathlon. However the basics of swimming are best learnt in a pool under the watchful eye of a coach.


Mike Roscoe.
Mike Roscoe

About sbrsport

SBR Sport specialises in Swimming, Biking and Running. On the medical side we are able to do intensive bike setups, leg assessments and soft tissue release. Follow us on twitter - and/or facebook -
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