why do treadmills feel faster

Why do treadmills feel faster?

If you’ve even run on a treadmill, you know they can feel somewhat different than when you run outside.

Running on a treadmill can definitely feel faster than running outside as treadmills have many different settings you can use such as speed and incline.

These 2 features alone, when used, can make you feel like you are running fast vs when you run outside say on the road or pavement.

why do treadmills feel faster

If you have the setting on the treadmill set at a faster speed than what you normally run at then this will naturally cause a sense of running faster. I’ve also found that my balance can be off to when running at speed on a treadmill.

If you think about it, it’s not as natural as when you run outside which is relying on your natural body weight and movement to guide you through your run.

I personally prefer to run on a treadmill when im focusing on high-intensity workouts and when i run outside, i like to jog at my own natural pace and enjoy the wonderful surroundings outside.

Why running on a treadmill should feel easier and faster

On a treadmill, you are being supported by a machine that has a belt rotating at the speed you set it at. It’s kind of a set it and forget it approach to running.

You are not required to push off the ground with your foot to propel you forwards like you do when running naturally outside.

Having the luxury of a fast-moving treadmill belt will naturally give you the feeling of running faster with minimal effort vs when you are running outdoors.

One of the other major differences as to why you may feel like you run faster on a treadmill is that when you are running indoors, you don’t have the outside elements such as wind or rain howling against you.

Wind resistance will naturally slow you down and hence make you feel like you have to push yourself harder and harder to get te speed you desire and ultimately makes the workout feel more intense. There is no wind resistance to slow you down.

On the other hand, if you want a harder indoor workout on a treadmill then you can simply alter the incle setting to make it harder to move fast through the running motions.

Many people say treadmill running is harder

Many of my friends have said how they feel running on a treadmill is actually harder than running outside. I tend to agree and disagree. I think its all down to personal feelings and some of the factors we’ve covered above.

Setting the speed on the treadmill to fast will naturally make it feel harder than running at a steady pace although both of these things can be achieved indoor running on a treadmill as well as outdoor running on the road.

Reasons treadmill running could be harder

If you run indoors and there is no airconditioning, then naturally your body temperature increases as your workout goes on.

In some countries where it is extremely hot and the gyms don’t have AC’s can make you feel dizzy and thus make your running on a treadmill feel somewhat harder.

Another thing to note is that the belt on the treadmill moves at a consistent speed.

When you run outside you don’t maintain the same speed as naturally, you will move slower and fast over certain periods or the run and for different durations.

The belt also doesn’t allow for your natural movement below the foot. Ive actually found i have a more comfortable run on a slow setting on a treadmill vs running at great speed.

I only use a faster speed setting on a treadmill if ill be training high intensity and even then ill just do short 1-2 minute bursts and slow down again.

Treadmill Running – Good Or Bad For Runners?

There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here. It really depends on how you feel on the treadmill when using it to run.

Some runners swear by treadmills whereas others don’t like them at all.

I like using treadmills as ive covered above but i also like to run outdoors and experience the wonderful nature.

One of the advantages of owning your own treadmill at home is that you can use it whenever you want and in the comfort of your own home.

Those with medical problems or injuries may like to use a treadmill and set it to a pace that feels comfortable and manageable to use and aid them in their recovery stages.

Treadmill running has a double-edged feeling harder, but being easier as you can use the motor and belt settings to assist you as well as the incline.


I do believe running on a treadmill feels faster and the more people i speak to about it, the more i hear the same.

It’s primarily down to the fact in my opinion that due to the technology available on the treadmill such as the speed settings and the surroundings you find yourself in.

When inside of a gym it makes you feel like you are indeed running faster than you would be outside.

Hopefully this helped you to understand why do treadmills feel faster

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Why are treadmills so expensive?
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