Couch to 5K
60,061 members92,693 posts

Anyone finding treadmill much harder?

Hi all!

I graduated in may last year and was working up 10k however had a knee injury and took time out. When I got back to it, winter was here and I couldn't run outdoors!

I am doing 2 treadmill runs midweek and 1 run outdoors at weekend but finding treadmill extremely difficult! Anyone else find this? I struggle so much even with a few minutes but then I go outdoors and manage fine, annoying!

13 Replies

I got by doing c25k the first time on a treadmill by music and more music! I wanted to get outside but it was winter and didn't fancy running up the side of a mountain or two in SW Sheffield. I found outside really hard back then.

Now, I think its the other way round. Hate treadmills and much prefer to run outside and without music, whatever the weather!

Point is, depends on your circumstances and preferences. Might be harder but you can do it!!!


Yep, I find a treadmill harder than outside too. Don't know why, but it just is. Some people find outside harder. Its just horses for courses I guess. Good to know your knee's better now Sparkly Lady :)


The one thing I hate about the treadmill is the display - I can get in the bad habit of clock watching. Because of this I now cover the display.

Like others say music can help. The only other time I can give is to (I'm assuming you are at a gym) look for q treadmill with an interesting view. My gym has a 'L' shaped layout on three floors so I have a pick of views - an office block and their smoking area (very entertaining, believe it or not!) , a busy road, a view across an estuary to beautiful hills... Or my favourite (being a big geeky kid) the flightpath to the airport. My point is, just make sure you don't get bored. Bordem can aid failure.


In my early days there was a big argument outside the office opposite my treadmill, since then I think my imagination has gone into overdrive. For me it is like watching a soap opera.

And, being male I like watching planes! Every guy does, even if they don't admit it!

1 like


From what I understand it is meant to be easier to run on a treadmill than outside due to the belt movement helping, etc. and that is why you are supposed to angle at 1 or 2 degrees incline to make it more of an equal situation.

Like you though I find treadmill harder, and I personally think it is down to the fact you have to run at a very even pace, whereas outside you are constantly adjusting...

1 like

Thanks everyone! :-) it's always lovely to come on here and get such supportive comments! I'm doing well kittykat, glad to be back into running, I missed it a lot! (Never thought id hear myself say that!) how is your running going?

I think its like you all say, it's the boredom of the treadmill, I can't stop watching the clock so it feels so long. It's also a really small gym with now windows, just a wee room. Partly my own fault as I've gone for a cheap local gym as didn't want to fork out just for the treadmill! At least it's mitivating me to get outside and run!

Thanks everyone! :-)


Welcome back Purple. I think it depends what you have to look at and also what pace you set. I find the treadmill is great for running at an even pace and also useful if you set a target of 5k and run until you hit it. I have a nice TV hooked to a PC and the internet so can watch programs to distract me from the console.

Glad you're getting outside again it is nicer


I never use a machine, i only ever run outside. I can't imagine doing anything else. You work round the weather.

Make the leap to the great outdoors full time


I have got as far as week 8 using treadmill only as the weather has been so bad - I've got to say something is gunna have to give, not only is the view boring but the heat building up in the gym is really getting to me and I think that's not helping so I share your pain!


I have ran on a treadmill twice a week this winter - I used to hate them, but they kept my fitness levels up, plus our vista is Lower Loch Erne 20 feet away from our wall to wall window, so think swans, ducks, fish jumping, trees, boats, birds and flowing water and you have an idea of what we look out at. I did find it tough to get used to using a treadmill, and I don't put it at a gradient - i run flat. Yet, my best times for 5K have been outside! Whichever way you do it, you are still running, so don't worry. When summer comes, it will be outside all the time.


Thanks everyone! Glad it's not just me! I agree about the heat in the gym it's been awful this week.

Only started running at gym since January this year, I love outdoor running but as we live out in the country it's too dark when I leave the house and get home from work so don't feel safe. Bring on the longer daylight hours!

Also I'm wondering if it's less of a workout on the treadmill and will that make me struggle when I get back outdoors?

Thanks for all the replies :-)


Do you have a tablet you could use at the gym? If you do, search YouTube for 'treadmill walks' or 'treadmill runs'.... Might help you a bit


I also find treadmill more difficult, for me it was partly that I found it awkward to adjust speed between run / walk & the reverse, it just didn't feel natural but maybe thats just me.


You may also like...