Treadmill to running outside: I have just... - Bridge to 10K

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Treadmill to running outside


I have just finished week 9 run 2 and looking forward to my graduation on Saturday, but all the runs have been on a treadmill. I would love to run outside but it's very hilly where I live. Can anyone give me some advice on what to do next week, I am no where near 5k so need to carry on increasing time / distance and want to tackle hills? I know if I dont have a plan I will probably give up (its happened twice before) but have no idea what I should do next week. Help me please!

8 Replies

Just some food for thought, not sure how big the hills are or what else might influence you in terms of the idea of outside running, but some ideas for consideration:

- even 10 mins per day strength training calf raises, toe raises, squats will really help

- start off with 1 day of walking up hills in addition to all treadmill days, afterwards stretch calves, butt and quads, and rest the following day. If needed, massage with arnica oil or something.

- when comfortable, add a short manageable hill walk onto the end of a shorter easy run (rest the following day), plus your hill walk day (Again, rest after it)

- see how this goes and consider how to progress from there, but when you feel ready In weeks to come, you could try run-walking on the ‘hills day’ at your own pace, over time build up the run time.

Its often recommended (things I’ve read) to keep hill running to once a fortnight until you build up strength. Gradually increase. Listen to your body.

Over time, when you can run outside on the hills more, you’ll find it gives you a lot more strength and endurance. If racing, this will stand you in good stead.

I know a lot of runners that would love to live in a hilly spot, hills are fun once you get going and you really feel the achievement when you have a good hill run.

Keep stride a bit shorter than usual on the up and down of the hill. Rest at the top to enjoy the view!

Thanks for the advice, something to think about before I venture out.

Good luck, i hope you enjoy it!


I made the transition and so I can tell you how I did it. Ease into it. For the first week, do one run of about 20 minutes outside and the other two on the treadmill. If that feels ok then the following week, increase your outside time to 25 or 30 minutes, then the third week do your second run outside with one on the treadmill and so on.

Run much more slowly than you normally do, although your hills will make you do that anyway. Keep your head and chest up when running uphill and just take it easy. Pacing is harder outside, on the treadmill we just hit a button and away we go but when outside it takes more concentration. Many people who struggle with making the transition run too fast initially so make a real effort to take your time and get used to the different feel of movement.

Outside running uses slightly different muscles than running on a treadmill and so you should give your body a little time to get used to it, but take things slowly and gradually and you’ll be fine.

Good luck for your graduation run and enjoy it! There’s a big, beautiful world out there just waiting for you to explore! 🙂

Thank you for your reply, I was thinking of replacing just one run for a while, but the thought of keeping to a steady slow pace worries me. I suppose the only way I will find out is to give it a go!

IrishprincessGraduate10 in reply to Icandothisagain

Just do what you can do pace wise. How did you get on today?

Thank you for asking I really appreciate that. Graduated on treadmill, cannot believe I managed it during lockdown, especially as I hot up 5:30 some mornings to run before work! I am going to try to run outside on monday evening with my son and his lovely girlfriend, they said they will keep an eye on my pace so all I need to do is put one foot in front of the other, it's quite exciting.

IrishprincessGraduate10 in reply to Icandothisagain

Whoop whoop! Many congratulations to you, very well done 🎊🎈🎉💪🙂

It’s a very special achievement and especially during lockdown.

I’m sure you’re still smiling, enjoy your celebrations and your adventures outside!

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