Zwift Running vs. IRL

I’m told everybody finds Treadmill running easier and I should put the incline to 1% but this isn’t the case for me.

I have a modern ‘smart’ Treadmill and find that my pace on Zwift is lower than IRL. Does anybody else get this? Or am I weird?

I could be wrong, but my understanding was that treadmill running is easier on the joints as the deck is more cushioned than asphalt or concrete that most people run on outside.

However, since you are indoors in a confined space it is harder on your body for heat dispersion. You don’t have wind resistance you are running through or a breeze to help cool you.

I’ve found running on the treadmill (even at 1% incline) is a perceived harder effort than the same pace outdoors.


My 5k time on the Treadmill is 26mins, outdoors is 24mins… I have a huge fan indoors and rarely overheat.

Ah well. I just have to deal with it I suppose!!

Yea fans can help. But even so pretty sure the body has a harder time dissipating body heat (has to work harder) indoors than outdoors.

I find I only use my treadmill/Zwift during inclement weather (heavy downpours/lightning storms and snow/icy conditions). For whatever reason just don’t find Zwift running as fun/engaging as Zwift cycling. Maybe it’s because I’m a slow runner so the scenery doesn’t move fast enough to make me “feel” like I’m moving forward like cycling does. :man_shrugging:

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I’ve experienced the same. A few months ago, I made some marks on my treadmill’s belt. After measuring the length of the belt, counting the belt’s rpms at various paces, and doing some math, I discovered that the actual belt speed of my treadmill was significantly faster than the treadmill’s speed settings suggested.

I’m the same… Obviously I prefer to be outdoors but too many years of wallowing around in cold wet mud, I’m staying dry now!!

I wouldn’t have a hope in ■■■■ of replicating/beating my 5K PB on a treadmill. I don’t run much any more but whenever I trained on a treadmill - either at the gym or later when I owned one - I was never ever as quick as I would be on a Saturday morning at Parkrun. So you’re not alone. :slight_smile:

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20:35 btw. :wink:

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Very jealous. My target is 22min… I do weight 100kg though… My friend thi ks I’m one of the leading fatties!

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You’ll get there! I had a sequence where I was pushing myself a little further on the treadmill each week (in terms of speed) and it kept turning into a quicker time at Parkrun. But I think a massive part of why I was quicker outdoors was just the psychological factor. I didn’t mind the treadmill, but I could always push myself harder for longer outdoors, on the course I knew, and ‘racing’ people or setting targets. Set my PB at a pacing event where I stuck with the 20min chap as long as I could.

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