– Don’t change your entire running regimen right away. Make a gradual transition from the treadmill to outdoors.
– Treadmills absorb more shock than the ground so when you first start running outdoors it’s harder on your joints. If you can, start running outdoors on a softer surface such as an outdoor track, on a dirt trail or even asphalt as opposed to running on concrete.
– Take your time getting used to running outdoors- you’ll need to get used to not having the movement of the treadmill help you run, as well as other factors including wind resistance and the conditions of your new route.
– Don’t forget the effects of temperature when you’re running outdoors- dress accordingly!
Michael Silverman, PT, MSPT, USATF-1, is a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery‘s James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center, specializing in rehabilitation for runners and other performance athletes. He has a special interest in running-form analysis, which he performs at the Tisch Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.