Find something worse, and the treadmill will not seem so bad.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with running outdoors in the winter time.
When I lived in town it was not so bad as the sidewalks were generally clear. It was basically like running in the summer, but colder and with a couple of snowy obstacles. Here in Bridgenorth is it a bit more tricky I find. If I run on the main road I actually have to run on the road because the "sidewalk/shoulder” type bit is not particularly clear and running on the main road itself is a suicide mission at around 4:30. If I run on the back road when it has just snowed it’s like running in sand. Every push forward loses power because I’m pushing the snow under my feet back.
To ‘solve’ all that I decided I was going to run on the trail yesterday when I got home. I drove down and took a quick look, it was packed from other people walking on it, or snowmobiling on it and such. I would not be run over by traffic, and it was not likely that I would see many people.
Yeah, not my best idea. I like to run fast. Like some people go ‘for a run’ when they are actually jogging, which for them is just fine, I don’t enjoy jogging however. That is too much energy is spent going up and down rather than forward. I find this type of motion inefficient and I can feel it. The problem with running on packed snow (but not as much as loose snow) is that you have to divert energy from going forward simply so that you don’t have your feet slide out from under you. Packed snow also does not like to adjust to your foot and so your ankle gets all twisted up, or your calf and shin muscles have to work harder to help everything get stabilized down there at ground level.
What I like about running outside though is that it is not boring! You have to watch your footing a bit, you get to see the scenery (the sunset was nice last night) you can look for critters and feel that you have actually travelled a distance of some sort.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? Would I rather run on the treadmill? That is a hard decision to make. If the trail was bare, no way, I’d rather run the trail. Do I want to run more than 5k on the treadmill? Ugh No, I hate it (I ran 10k on the treadmill Sunday and it was BORING, and I got way too hot). I have to get the Kms in though if I am training, and trading the treadmill for the outside and then back again will just serve to remind me why I like each of those things, and hate them at the same time.
From a running stand point, spring and summer are not so bad. If spring could just come to the trail and still have winter everywhere else, that would be fine by me.