I love to run, but struggle with hay fever at this time of year. Does running on a treadmill have the same benefits as running outside? Iris, 41
Running on the treadmill is still beneficial and will help you train towards your goals, says our fitness expert Kim Ingleby. Make sure you vary your sessions as you would do when outside, so rotate through easy runs, hill work and speed sessions. This will challenge your muscles differently and get results. It’s best to add a 1-3 per cent incline so it’s not totally flat, which will reduce direct impact and assist with good stride and posture.
The limitation of the treadmill compared to the great outdoors is that wind, rain and heat will not influence your pace, plus the treadmill is a smooth surface, so it will not challenge your stability and balance. As the belt moves, it tends not to activate your gluteal muscles as much, so to balance this aim to do a couple of leg-strengthening, core and balance exercises twice a week, such as moving squats, lunges and step-ups. If you can manage to run outside once a week it will help you keep some of the benefits. Going in the middle of the day, wearing sunglasses and washing all your clothes and hair immediately afterwards should help reduce your symptoms.