Treadmill v running outside.: It's been a busy... - Couch to 5K

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Treadmill v running outside.

It's been a busy week and I wanted to get in my week 2 run 2 today and combine it with some arm exercises at the gym. Does anyone know if it is any different running on a treadmill to pounding the footpaths outside. It did feel a bit easier on the treadmill.

11 Replies
JM1888 profile image

Running on a level treadmill is slightly easier because you don't have to propel yourself forward, the belt does the work for you, and you obvously don't have the slopes and inclines you would encounter outside.

Lots of people recommend setting a 1 degree incline on the treadmill to compensate.

in reply to JM1888

Thanks for the tip. I shall try that.

I do my runs on the treadmill. I prefer it because I found that it was too easy for me to stop when I was running outside (and I don't have any excuses if it is raining) - the treadmill keeps me going and I have to think about pressing buttons in order to stop. It also helps with me maintain a consistent pace. I set my incline to 2%.

in reply to CDBlair

I haven't ran in the rain yet and don't fancy it much so think I will be using the treadmill again over the next few days.

rmnsuk profile image

I've done most of my running on the treadmill. I find it easier to do intervals there. The time is obvious and you can set the speed exactly. But it's mind-numbingly boring if you aren't watching the clock doing a long run. It's a little easier on the joints and you don't have to battle against the air. So setting it to 1% will compensate for wind resistance etc. Then depending on which gym you use you will have air conditioning or not, and it never rains!

in reply to rmnsuk

Yes definitely benefits to running outside and inside. We have a few televisions in our gym and I've got some music on my phone now so that will stop me getting bored.

Coddfish profile image

I belong to a gym and use it for its fixed weights machines, swimming pool and structured classes. I loathe the treadmill - boring to be on, stuffy air etc. I used it a bit in the winter, and recently had 3 weeks in South East Asia where the heat and humidity and lack of safe running places meant the hotel gym was my only feasible option. It reminded me how much I loathe the treadmill. Outside can be harder on your body and brings more challenges through the environment. But there's fresh air, (often) sunshine, beautiful places to run, interaction with other runners. I find ways to fit the gym work I want to do onto other days and activities and run outside. The treadmill may seem ok now but wait until you are doing 30 minutes continuous running!

in reply to Coddfish

Good point! I have enjoyed running outside so will keep that up, but the problem I have is fitting it all in. I have been trying to do weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday and running on the days in between, but it only takes being away for 24 hours for it all to start getting behind. I am prioritising the running as that is new to me and I am keen to get to the end of the couch to 5K with as little disruption as possible. Tomorrow I am planning on getting up early and running as I will be out all day.

mfamilias profile image

I love running outdoors - no smells of anyone else's armpits. I only tried running on a treadmill once, and I fell off. Here's hoping I'm never reincarnated as a hamster.

in reply to mfamilias


I tried running in the field outside my friends house yesterday. It was a lovely evening and I really enjoyed it. Luckily she stopped her kids from cheering me on from their garden gate. I would be soooo embarrassed!!

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