Couch to 5K

Treadmill V road - injury woes 😕

Just returned from a holiday to Majorca. Very very hot (38) so I figured it was best to try and run on the hotel treadmill instead of the street. first time running on the treadmill, and I thought I was doing ok considering there was no air con and it was boiling hot. I ran for 20 mins at 6 and realised this is very slow as I only covered 3km 😮.. Oh dear, but still I had kept going so was pleased until I got off and realised I have really hurt my knee. It is painful to bend now and trying to get up and down from the pool became almost impossible. I have researched and it appears ice and no running is the only option. I was on wk6 of couch to 5k and now feel I will really be set back. I am very over weight and realise that running when I'm this fat is bound to cause more damage. My question is : does running on a treadmill change your running gait which can lead to injury? I read something about hip and pelvis tilt causing runners knee? Shall I try to run a bit to keep it up? Any advice greatly received . Many thanks for reading xx

6 Replies
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Oh dear! Could be that you changed your stride on the treadmill. This happened to my colleague and she thinks it's because she takes a different sized step outside.

Get some ice on that knee and take an extra rest day or two before reassessing. Hopefully it's a minor twinge.


For C25k the distance covered is irrelevant. Don't bother about it at all

You will have to rest up with ice/elevation and Neurofen etc if you need it (and then only at night before sleep) I think with rest it will probably right itself. If it doesn't then you'll have to see the doc

Lots of overweight folks are doing the programme quite successfully. Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, pilates will all help with running and weight loss, so try and do a combo of all of those as possible as they help your overall strength. When your knee is better, that is

I have never run on a treadmill so I really don't know anything about it. Someone here will doubtless know though. I hope you're feeling better real soon


Quite possible that it the change of style/gait adapting to the treadmill that causd you to use your knee in an unusual way and this has caused your discomfort. But knee gripes and injuries are not at all uncommon at this stage of the programme. As others have said, ice for 10 minutes several times a day, elevate the knee and rest it for a day or two. Don't try exercising on it until the pain has gone, and perhaps if you are still rstricted to the treadmill when you are recovered, just dial the intensity back a bit for the first couple of sessions until you are more used to the machine. Have you considered aqua jogging in the pool? It is supposed to be excellent exercise and I read of a lot of top athletes who do this while recovering from injury as it gives the cardio and muscle workout without any impact.

Don't worry about losing fitness. It takes a lot longer than a week or two to lose the hard-won stamina you have built up, and even if you end up repeating W6, it doesn't matter much in the greater scheme of things.


I have not run much on the 'mill but I didn't like it and I'm sure it made my Achilles niggle worse. I think in general treadmill running is supposed to be softer on the joints than road running, but I don't like the loss of control over your pace and stride.

My guess is that I was tense on the 'mill and that made my gait less natural. I would not be at all surprised if the same applied to you.

I'll say outside at least for the summer but if I decide to try again on the treadmill this winter I expect I'll do a few very short, very gentle runs to start so that I can become more familiar with it before I attempt a proper run.


Bummer or what ! Definitely follow the RICE method and see how it feels in a day or two , speaking from experience of a injury to the Knee ,don't rush it ,take as much time as you need, it maybe just a niggle and go away with rest etc


Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom and advice. All good. It's a relief to be able to ask people who are 'in the know'. I will keep with the ice and try a gentle jog tomorrow as its been a week since I have done anything. I love this forum. Thank you. 😊😊😊😋


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