How do you run on a treadmill?

Hi all, 

seriously (well, not really) - how do you all manage to run on a treadmill? I have only ever run outside (now in week 8) and 'post match analysis' indicates that while my cadence and pace is fairly consistent it does 'twitch' consistently - many many small adjustments. 

The times I have tried to run on a treadmill I found myself frustrated at constantly having to adjust the speed and never quite finding the right speed.

So, those who have extensively run both on a treadmill and outside, have you found it difficult to adjust - any advice one way or the other?

And don't ever get me started on the torture/cruel and unusual punishment that is trying to find a rhythm on the elliptical trainer that doesn't feel like I am a rag doll in the jaws of a rabid dog!


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

28 Replies

  • I don't. Ever. I tried once, and I was thrown off it. Having said that, I'm very lucky to have miles of gorgeous countryside right on my doorstep.

  • I'm interested in reading the responses too. I've never tried a treadmill but if it gets fantastically hot here in summer, I might have to resort to trying one.

  • Treadmills scare me :( 

  • Me too!

  • No need to be - why?

    If you start off slowly walking on them and then just increase the speed a little, you'll be fine.  Honestly, you'll be fine.

  • I have no intention of trying one hahaha. I like to run outside, much prefer to feel the wind & rain in all honesty :) xx

  • I've done all my c25k (I'm on week 3 run 3 tomorrow) on  a treadmill - I'd never run on a treadmill before - what I found was after the warm up brisk 5 min walk I upped the speed a bit at a time until I felt comfortable - then tweaked it from there.

    Problem I've got is that when I move to outside I'll have trouble keeping a steady pace as I'm used to having the pace on a screen in front of me

  • I think the other thing that put me off treadmills was when I tried one a while ago I was so heavy footed that 21 stone of man flesh crashing down on the treadmill was really uncomfortably loud in a public gym next to all the lithe bones with skin on running next to me :-). 

  • Never run on a treadmill - and don't know whether I want to. I also don't go at a steady pace, but am up and down all over the place. Plus I think treadmill would be boring and I'd be constantly looking to see how long still. On the other hand at the moment I set out and think OMG, I have to run ALL that way AND BACK, impossible. That wouldn't happen on a treadmill. 

  • Wouldn;'t dismiss them completely - they're incredibly useful for interval training and improving your speed .

  • I ran on a treadmill as a way of being near a loo to try and resolve IBS issues. Argh. The restrictive speed, lack of choice, nothing to look at bar tv screen... well I managed it but running outside is much, much better... if things are bad IBS wise but I'm able to get out otherwise I run various different loops near to home :) Treadmill = dreadmill!

  • I ran on a treadmill through last winter (outside at weekends) and found 30 mins quite boring on a treadmill. You can't help but watch the seconds ticking away. The bonus was I knew I was running at a regular speed of 7.6 kph. I tried a faster pace and struggled to finish, but at 7.6kph I did run for 5k (took 38 mins I think) which was very satisfying.

    Haven't run inside for three months now though and dont miss it at all. Much prefer the fresh air and moving forward.

  • I hate the treadmill and wouldn't get my gait analysis done on one as would have been an unnatural gait I ran on the shop floor instead. I have used one now as I joined my college gym I was recommended to put it on a 1% incline and that is much better but give me open roads and tracks any day treadmill = dreadmill ;)

  • I did it once... never EVER again. The outside suits me just fine, and I prefer to switch it up and do other stuff at the gym... so I would stick to whats good for you...😊

  • *waves* :-)

  • I did the whole programme on the treadmill and continue to run on it. You just get used to it after a while. Set a speed and if you find it's too fast/slow, adjust it by 0.3-0.5 increments until you find a speed you're comfortable at.

  • Exactly! Nothing to be afraid of IMO.

  • I have been running both on a treadmill and outside. When I began C25k in January, there was 60+ cm of snow with -2C temps and strong winds. I wanted to get started with the C25k so off I went to my local fitness center. The center has "commercial" grade treadmills designed to  better support the high impact of runners. The suspension and shock absorbers on the machines dramatically dampen the sounds of running. What's my point? The proper equipment is essential of treadmill running. Today I'll be outside running along the beside the Potomac River.

  • Thanks all - some great stories coming. Quite surprised at how many don't use a treadmill.

  • I have tried it once , it was horrible . I couldn't get into any kind of rythmn at all and ended up running out of space to run on , so just drifted backwards and half fell off . I think they must give me a kind of motion sickness or something , I just find them really weird .

    Saying that, each to their own, I know a lot of people use them on here and that's fine. Whatever suits you best :-) xxx

  • When you say you "ended up running out of space to run on"... its was switched on wasn't it... last time I ran on one the track was only about 1.5meters long :-) :-) :-)

  • Ha ha yes it was definitely switched on , maybe I was running too slow ? I just ran out of space , ha ha ! :-) xxx

  • Are you wanting to run on a treadmill ?

    I did the whole program on a treadmill in our on-site works gym. Despite all the negativity here, I found it perfectly fine. It helped that there's 2 massive TV screens with normally BBC Breakfast on .  I really don't mind treadmills.

    If you like metrics and numbers and sense of control, ie knowing what you're doing, then they're perfect. Around my outdoor runs, I use them twice a week for interval training.

    Yes, I get the boredom thing. Yes, I get that outdoors is "way way waaay O.M.G. better" (yes, I *do* like the outside world as well).

    I found no difficulty at all when I did my 1st run almost exactly a year ago - my 1st outdoor run for about 20 years. And since, I've mixed it up.

    Incredibly useful things in my opinion :-)

  • I had a 3 week business trip last year working in Kuala Lumpur, where it is pretty well constantly 33 degrees C or more and very humid.  My trip was just a couple of weeks or so after I had graduated C25K and I was (a) anxious not to lose my new found running ability, and (b) nowhere near fit enough to run outside in the heat / humidity.  At times, I could barely cope with moving in the heat / humidity.  So I managed 9 runs on the hotel treadmill, bored out of my mind and still suffering from heat / humidity as the gym wasn't doing that great a job at keeping a good climate.  Other than that, I occasionally use the treadmill in my own gym, but only when the weather has defeated me.  

    When I am on one, I find it better to do some sort of interval programme because it helps with the boredom and also helps deal with the fact that we don't naturally run at exactly the same pace all the time.  You could try 30/20/10.  It goes something like this:

    5 minutes or so steady running to warm up.

    1st 30/20/10 block:  Run 30 seconds steady, 20 seconds faster, 10 seconds as fast as you can.  Repeat 5 times so you spend 5 minutes doing this.

    Run 2 minutes steady.

    Repeat the 30/20/10 5 minute block and the 2 minutes steady 4 more times.

  • I've done all of my C25k journey on the treadmill and I haven't found it too bad. During the first few weeks I found that I was probably running too fast, so when I got to W5R3 I completely knackered myself. It was a real eye opener and then I spent the next few weeks tweaking to find out what was comfortable and managed to find my groove which helped from an endurance point of view. I used to focus on Laura and the music but when I finished the podcasts I did panic a little bit, but have round rock my run to be quite entertaining, whilst also looking at the reflection of my legs in the window (I find it oddly mesmerising). I'd love to watch the TV but find its at the wrong angle for me and they aren't compatible with my wireless headphones either. I've since moved onto the my Asics plan and that gives an ideal pace to stick too which is working for me as I can plug it into the treadmill and just go. I know some people find it too slow, but it's working for me. 

  • I have a nice path along the north bank of the Loire to run along, so I prefer to do that than run on a treadmill. Fortunately, in the last 2 years, the weather has not been bad enough to stop me running outside.  I am certain that I would find the treadmill extremely boring. Running outside for me is a pleasure, even in the dark on a winter morning.  I am sure that running on a treadmill would feel like a chore. Having said all that, if for any reason I could not run outside, then I would try to maintain my fitness on a treadmill until I could run outside again.

  • I used to run on a treadmill and never really thought about it, until my shoe lace came undone and I trod on it! Several nasty "carpet burns" from the moving belt, quite a few bruises and very dented pride! I've never been on one since except when I had to as part of some medical research, I was terrified!

  • I will only run on a treadmill in general I am a little clumsy and if there is something to trip over I will find it. So after twice hitting the deck hard and damaging both shoulders and a knee. If I ran in the park I would be so busy scanning ahead for dog mess that I would bump into people or things.

    I will happily stay on my treadmill.

You may also like...