Couch to 5K
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Taking it outside!

I've just completed week 6 and it was going great on the treadmill. On Wednesday, I couldn't get into the gym, so ran around the village. It nearly killed me, and for the first time I had to walk about 6 minutes into my second run. I felt so disappointed with myself. Any advice on moving from a treadmill to the great outdoors? I've challenged myself to take part in a Park Run, and now I feel like this is completely out of reach :-(

3 Replies

That was me on Monday. Search for my posts! Slow down. Then slow down some more!! It is possible! I felt the same but then it clicked. You've prob just gone too fast. Stick at it. Good luck.


It is not out of reach at all: You just need a little more training still!

First of all, you will always find that some runs feel more comfortable/easier/more enjoyable than others. Secondly, I think that even the smoothest outside run is going to be a little more challenging than a treadmill due to the reduced consistency of environment/surface: slightly uneven surfaces force muscles to do little microadjustments you are not even aware of, there is weather to deal with, and rises and descents which are always less consistent than those you can set up on even the most whizzy of gym machines. Take it REALLY, slowly next time and you will be fine. As I am still aiming for distance rather than speed, I slow down till I think I can't slow down any further, and then take it down another notch...I really plod! Try alternating your sessions between treadmill and outside to get yourself used to it.

It is really worth it, as running outside is SO much nicer than running on a treadmill: I ran in pouring rain the other day for the first time and really enjoyed it! Good Luck :-)


Hi MJ. I did all of the C25K on the treadmill, then moved outside. I started outside after graduation and have done both charity 5k and Parkrun so it is possible, and I am no spring chicken. You will manage, it's just different. Just take it slower, it's less easy to pace yourself outdoors. However, several park runners where I ran walked part of the course as it is uphill on the way out, so even if you have to walk a bit of the park run that's not so bad, at least you are out there. You can go to your own park run web page and check out the route beforehand too. Don't worry, it's not out of your reach. Even the most experienced among us have challenges with any change. Best of luck with your next run whether outside or treadmill. I think it's good to have the option.


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