Transition from treadmill to outside! - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Transition from treadmill to outside!


hi all

Firstly I would like to share my experience of Wk6 run 3..... being very overweight I was always optimistic on this couch to 5k challenge but I completed the 25 min straight through run albiet not at the speed of a hare but more like the tortoise and just as I completed it the red arrows flew over with their red white and blue smoke. How is that for a high 5!!!! I am still very overweight nothing shifting from the scales but the achievement I have made from never being able to 'run' to doing 25 minutes has given me a renewed confidence in myself. Roll on Wk 7 tonight. (no idea what that will bring) :)

the question I have to ask is that I tried to run outside for the first time last week and could not even do 5 minutes. Any advice on making the treadmill transition?

10 Replies

I have just done week 7 run 1 and am still on the treadmill and not planning to change that yet. Reading through other posts, it's usually about pace, the treadmill goes at what you tell it to but you have to get the pace right outside, plus there are hills and rain and wind to contend with, maybe take it a bit easier. I am waiting until I graduate before I go outside.


Well, first of all very well done on getting this far. Even if you are not losing weight I am sure you are improving your fitness and how nice of the Red Arrows to recognise that too !

For running outside...plan. Make sure your route is flat to start with (paths and roads that look flat when you whizz by in a car can be surprisingly slopey) Make sure you have a nice even surface underfoot because that's what you're used to ( no gravel, no woodland paths) and start REALLY slow.

thanks for the advice I think i was expecting too much after my initial success. I need to make a plan of attack as i would really like to try outdoors, especially as the nights are getting darker and noone will recognise me then.. :) I think slow and short will be the way forward. Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.


View going outside as a positive and good milestone, no matter what the time. Why not try going back to week 5 for your outside stint just to regain some ground?

I tried outside for the first time since starting C25K for W9R1 and was so disheartened. It seemed like five steps back in terms of distance covered in 30 mins. But, having had time to reflect and such lovely encouraging comments from others here, I have lifted up my bottom lip, put it back in place and will continue outside (apart from today - atrocious weather). I will just keep plodding my 30 mins until I can fit some more distance in the time that's all. With hindsight I should have got outside sooner and accepted that my fitness level has to dictate to me not the other way around at least for now (I hate being dictated to, especially by a raspy old pair of knackered lungs).

But, whatever it takes to get us moving and motivated is all good, and if the treadmill is it, who cares!

It gets better, bit by bit, so long as we keep with the programme. Good luck!


Congratulations and well done. I think I'm actually putting on a little weight but I've decided to call it muscle! The important thing at present is that you are getting fitter and from what I've read on this forum speed doesn't seem to matter yet so long as you are managing to briefly keep both feet off the ground :) I haven't run on a treadmill but would always suggest looking at the wind direction and do the first half of your run into the wind and the second half with the wind behind you - of course if you can find a course where the wind is always behind you... :)


Just get out there. You go outside don't you? I don't get this big mental hurdle about running outside. Don't make a big deal out of it because it's not. It's lovely. Try it, you'll like it

SlookieGraduate in reply to misswobble

You are absolutely right, but the thing is, MissWobble(NOT), there are PEOPLE out there and if we are feeling a little sheepish about bumbling about in the open, the treadmill is something of a security blanket. I see now it was a mistake to cling to it tighter than Linus holds his blanket, but this is with the value of hindsight. Actually I can't see behind without wing mirrors so this is metaphorical behind sight. Actually I am quite glad I can't see my behind sight. Going to stop now. Pre-last W9 run euphoria sending my appropriate radar off kilter. [whistles 'Feeling Groovy' on the way out to sprinkle happy dust everywhere]



I did my week 8 run 3 outside last night. Up till then all my running had been on a treadmill. To start off with it was partly due to the fact I was embarrassed about being seen outside and being overweight thought people would laugh and also as I hadn't run before I didnt want to colapse in a heap in front of everyone.

Also it helped with childcare as I can run on the treadmill at home with my son right here with me.

I was dying to try running outside once the running spells got longer as I felt like watching the time on the treadmill was making it feel harder.

I was apprehensive at first as I had read that it was sooo much harder running outside but with some encouragment from everyone here I finally ventured out.

I was surprised as I actually found it great! I found I wasn't so focused on my breathing as I normally am as I was thinking about other things so the breathing seemed to come much more naturally.

I do think though that it would have been an entirely different story if id have just gone out there without reading so much advice on here beforehand as I mainly concentrated on keeping my pace nice and slow and I think that might help you too!?

Good luck with the rest of it, I think once you get past the mental barrier its much better.

Like misswobble (not) was saying I was making it into a big deal when it's actually not.

Good luck!


Should also say it was raining and windy when I went out too and nearly used that as an excuse to use the treadmill again but boy I was glad of that rain and wind once I was out there!!


JmJ Slow and short will be fine. Running in the evening is good! If you get a luminous running jacket (Aldi cheapo is great!) you can be seen by traffic, just to be on the safe side

Have fun out there ! Happy running

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