Couch to 5K

Road vrs treadmill

On Sunday I decided to try 30 mins on the treadmill at the gym. Set the pace for 10k per hour so 30 mins should have taken me to 5 k. Well I only made it to 25 mins as I found it SUCH hard work.

Today back to the road and a new distance record for me of nearly 7 k. Feeling very pleased with myself I must say. Actually I think I only managed that distance because of the treadmill trauma on Sunday. The road just felt so much easier so i felt i could keep going. My theory is that the treadmill kept my pace so regular I was struggling to keep up! Perhaps also I set the pace to quick. I have just about managed 5 k in 30 mins but its not my normal pace, but I thought it would have been easier on the treadmill, inside, less pounding on the old feet, no wind etc.

Just wondered what everyone else's experiences were?

6 Replies

I have had exactly the same experience and now I hate treadmills! I have done all the programme outside but because I was travelling for work last week, runs one and two of week nine were on the hotel treadmill. And my goodness it was hard work - I had a few bits where I had to turn down the pace and I hated the whole thing. I was hot, bored, completely focused on various aches and pains, and couldn't stop looking at the time/distance and wishing it was over. I'm pleased to say that my final week nine run was outside and it was soooooo much nicer, plus quite a bit quicker.

My only theory is that I'm enjoying being outside, looking at what's going on around me and being nicely distracted from what I'm actually doing! Why this would make me quicker I have absolutely no idea, but apparently it does. Just about to go back out for my first post-graduation run and test the theory :-)


I've only ever run on treadmill, haven't attempted road yet. For some reason I thought it would be harder but after reading this maybe ill give it a go! I usually run at 8km/hr but only just finished wk 5 so think ill aim to run 5k first then see about speed!!my only problem with running outside is near my house is all very hilly. There is a lovely loch nearby that is about 3km and an option to go through the woods to make it 4.5km. But how do I know how far ill run??? What if I get back to the car before the podcast is finished?!??


yelsel, I am only at the begininning of my journey (week2) but I have done it all outside upto now in my local park and around a fishing pond, and on Saturday mornings I have been going to my local park run. My first park run was week 1 run 1 so my podcast finished way before the end of 5k park run, so did what I could with the intervals and managed to finish. On my midweek podcasts I have been changing the route for variety, and the podcast always finishes about 5 mins before I get home, but just treat that as a bit extra cool down walk, so if you are back at your car before it finishes, just go around one more time :) good luck x


Ok so weather dependant (ie not if typical Scottish rain) I will be attempting my first outdoor run next week. Either as w6r3 or w7 so I figure if I go round twice I could walk 1km, run 4 and walk last km? (Or run 3km and walk 2 as extra cool down) Hopefully the nice views will spur me on to run a little faster (acc to treadmill manage 4.5km including walks). Ill let you know how it goes........


Ooh, running round a loch sounds lovely - and running round it twice sounds even better! ;)

I definitely find the treadmill easier than outdoors (even with an incline set), and always go quicker on it than I can hope to do in the big wide world. Even on the (relatively) smooth roads, rather than the bridlepaths or field footpaths, I'm around 3 mins slower for 5k than on the mill. So I use this to my advantage. If I've had a series of tough runs outdoors, or for some reason need an 'easy' one, I retreat indoors, just to build up my confidence again. :)


I can't run on a treadmill either, for all the reasons stated above, bored, focused on every ache and pain... no, much better to run around open country.


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