Couch to 5K

Treadmill speeds?

Hi all,

Newbie here, just did week 1 run 1 on Thursday at the gym and aiming to do run 2 today. But I was wondering if anyone has any advice on what is a good speed to run/walk for? I'm doing the programme on the treadmill at the gym as I'm a wimp and it's too cold and rainy for me outside at this time of year (I take my hat off to all of you braving our English climate!) but I'm not sure what speeds to set the treadmill for?

Annoyingly I didnt really pay attention to the numbers on Thursday but I'm just a bit worried that I'm going too fast and will die when I reach longer runs, or that I'm going too slow and need to pick up the pace! So yeah, all advice appreciated.

Also if anyone has any tips on stretching after a run? I did some stretching on Thursday but I'm still pretty achy so it clearly wasn't enough.

8 Replies

This is the link you need for stretches - it's in the pinned posts.

As far as treadmill speeds are concerned, I can't really help other than to say there is no such thing as 'too slow' at this stage whereas if you go too fast you will simply run out of puff before you finish. You just have to experiment to find what is best for you.

Good luck!


Exactly what ully said, you set the speed and it's your speed not anybody elses


I can walk fast normally as its part of my job. so I tend to walk at around 6.1 and increase to run at around 9.5ish. our gym uses technogym machines - ive mentioned this as different machines have different levels. I am about to do week one day 3 this morning but leaving breakfast to settle first. I am using the gym also as I have no confidence to run outdoors yet and no one judges at the gym. Good luck in the rest of the course.


Hi Natalie,

I did the whole C25K on a treadmill in our works gym.

I kind of agree with the replies above, especially Ully's, that you really have to find your own speeds. But, I'll try and give you some guidance based on my treadmill experience.

First, of all, you should definitely pay attention to the speed & settings control. Make sure you know whether it's displaying km/h or mph. Do you know which? And do NOT worry about going too slow. Slow is waay better than fast at this stage - you can injure yourself very easily if your body isn't used to this. (I did)

Secondly, have you run or jogged before? If yes, do you have any feel for whether you're slow, average or quick? If you do, this will help with speed setting.

Walking: (1) start off on the treadmill by finding the speed that is the same as your normal walking pace, one where you're completely comfortable, where there's no exertion or effort at all.

(2) once you find that, increase the speed a little to whatever feels like a brisk walk, where your stride is longer than normal, and you start to feel warm after a few minutes - that is your "brisk walk" pace. For me, I walk quickly anyway and found 6.8 km/h was brisk enough :-) But that may be far too fast for you (might even be a jogging speed for some). I would expect a range of 4-5 km/h , maybe even 6.

Running: OK, let's call it JOGGING right now. Running sounds fast :-) Once you know your "brisk walk" speed, then just increase that by 1 or 2 km/h and you'll find yourself jogging along nicely.

Some numbers: 10.0 km/h is very fast for a complete newbie. That's 5km in 30 minutes, which is a big goal for many on here. If you haven't run before, think more like 7.5 - 8.5 km/h.

Hope that helps. Please report back with your progress :-)



This is an excellent and sensible reply. Do this !

It IS possible to go too fast and burn out. It isn't possible to go too slow. Slow is the best way to build a solid foundation for your future running. Good luck.


I'm a lot slower than kirbs1984 and I walk on an incline of 1 at 4.7 and run at 6.3 on the treadmill and that works for me. Don't worry about how fast you go just work out what's right for you.

I'm on week 3 day 2 and although I managed day 1 ok in the gym I took it outside for the first time today and failed the last 50 seconds of the second run.....gutted.

Hey Ho I will be back to smash it on Monday!!


Thanks for the advice - stretches were good, although the outside of my thighs is a bit sore (going up and downstairs is interesting at the moment!). Any advice for stretches that might help with that is definitely welcome!

In terms of speeds, I started doing my walking at 4.5k/h today but towards the end I was walking at 5k/h... Running I was between 6k/h and 7k/h depending on how I felt as I started the running parts!

I'm a total novice at running though, the last time I ran at all was when I was at school and forced to do cross country so I can officially say that this week I've run 16 mins more than I have in the last 12 years!

1 like

Hi Natalie,

That sounds like great progress on the treadmill - well done :-) And very sensible speeds in my opinion.

Stretches... did you know there's (1) like the C25K, there's an NHS Stretch and Flex programme and set of podcasts? Here:

and (2) a separate Stretch & Flex community on here?

Hope that helps



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