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Couch to 5K
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Day 1 - few questions


I'm starting today, and have a few questions if that's ok

Can you do the plan at the gym on a treadmill?

I haven't the confidence to run outside yet

Many thanks

Rach 😀

13 Replies

Also I have read about podcasts can you recommend one


Yes you certainly can run the whole thing on the treadmill if you so desire.

The podcast is the same as the app just with Laura's choice of music, which, frankly, most sane people would rather be consumd alive by fire ants than listen to. It is useful if you dont have a smartphone ( I did the programme using a littel MP3 player) but otherwise stick with the app.

Congratulations on starting. You'll love it (although not necessarily today).

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Thanks, have downloaded the app, will let you know how I get on!!



Yep, the programme can definitely be done on a treadmill but you might find it becomes pretty boring once you get into the longer runs. Some people on here say that the app can be a bit unstable - if you find that you could use the podcasts - available to download from a link on this site. You would then have to put up with Laura's music though....


Well done for starting!

The podcasts are on the nhs site - they would seem to be a little more robust than the app (but Ringold's comments about the music are spot on!).

Don't be worried about running outside - it is so much more rewarding than running on a treadmill. I was so embarrassed for my first few runs that I ran when it was dark! I needn't have bothered - other runners were supportive and the non runners (including the dog walker who regularly overtook me!) won't care.


I used the podcasts, since the app was dodgy- they are available to download here


I have done one run on a treadmill and loathed it; if you can manage to run outside you can entertain yourself with what you can see, and making decisions about which way to go etc. For me, anything which takes my mind off the effort is a good thing :) It's also considerably easier to control, speed up, stop etc


I think a huge percentage of us felt self conscious about being seen outside in tight pants, I know I did. I ran on a trail where my family wouldn't see me ☺ outside is just so much more interesting as there's just so much more to see☺ Free too

I was a lard ass when I started but the lycra pulls you in as if by magic 😊 I wore a long no-one is watching you though ☺


I did week 1 on my treadmill so yes it could all be done there. However, I crept out the door on week 2 and discovered the great outdoors and no-one even noticed me so I didn't need to be so scared. Since then I have never used the treadmill because it is so much fun outside

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The NHS C25K was designed as a series of podcasts. I didn't have a problem with the music a) it's a shared experience here (look out for references to "Julie"!) b) the carrot of listening to my own choices or none at all or spoken word was another incentive to graduate, and at times really not wanting to have to listen to a track one more time spurred me on to complete a session c) it showed me that running is its own thing.... what I choose to listen to when running is not the same as I would listen to sitting on my butt at home d) it is paced appropriately e) I am noise sensitive but I do wonder about whether anyone who can't hack a bit of not to their taste music for the programme is going to be able to hack running long term - right clothes, right music, right weather etc etc But I might be very wrong about that last one.

My personal favourite audio running companion is the BBC Ouch disability podcasts. Not 'inspiration porn' in any way but a good way to get over yourself and have a good laugh.

I would have thought you are much more likely to be seen at the gym than on a route of your choice. People can and do complete the programme on a treadmill although no-one here springs to mind who has kept on running on the treadmill full time after that which tells you something. There is a very big problem in that you can't adjust your pace in the same way as you do when outside, and you miss out on the myriad benefits of being outdoors. I started running wearing completely normal clothes (I do not especially recommend this but I still don't wear any 'sport' clothing other than bra except in the very hottest weather when I wear running capris.

But treadmills do have their place - if it is treadmill or unsafe places and times or nothing, treadmill is better.

Getting outside now is not a bad idea as a) you won't get too hot and b) there are loads of people out running because of New Year Resolutions, all shapes and sizes c) everyone looks a bit bedraggled anyway.

I ran on a treadmill for gait analysis and sincerely hope never to need to run on a treadmill ever again. The shoes recommended as a result were ghastly in practice (fortunately I was able to return them and exchange them for the very fine ones recommended instead)


Yes, of course you can do it on a treadmill. I would personally feel more exposed and self-conscious in a gym surrounded by fit people in lycra. I run after dark since that's when I have time and the roads are pretty quiet. There are some people about but you are bundled up and probably wearing a hat. No one seems to take any notice and I use the nhs podcasts. Think they are fine.


Hi Rachel,

I did the whole of the programme on a treadmill in our works gym. However, I didn't use the podcasts or the app, but used them to write down the various timings for each run. I had that on a piece of paper in front of me on the treadmill for Weeks 1-3. After that the runs became simpler in their timings and I didn't need it. If you want my timings, I can post them here for you. Of course, the podcasts are probably a better way to go for you right now.

'GoogleMe' clearly isn't a fan but if you feel uncomfortable running outdoors right now, then treadmill it is. Honestly, you'll be fine. I did 130 runs last year and the overwhelming majority of them were on a treadmill. Treadmills can be extremely useful - you have complete control of the speed and the timings.

As long as you take it easy speed-wise, you'll be absolutely fine.

If you want any advice, don't hesitate to ask me,

Good luck!


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Wow thanks for all the replys you've all been really helpful!

I didn't manage to start today, was stuck in work all day but did join my local gym which is in a hotel so has the benefits of a pool, sauna and jacuzzi, I'm recovering from a back injury so the pool will be helpful

I have my gym bag ready, water bottle and iPod with an app 👍

Was also looking into a Fitbit...any opinions ?

Thanks once again 😀


Yes you can. Up until my enforced period of inavity I had been using a treadmill at the gym to do my training. If you use the speed interval option you can simulate both the brisk walk and light run. Hope this helps


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