Couch to 5K
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Treadmill v outside

Morning all, I've got to wk9 next run 2 it was a big birthday last weekend and my other half has bought me a treadmill. I wanted one to run on the winter as I have scleraderma and one of the main problems is damage to the tiny blood vessels which means severe raynaulds ( severe enough for me to have open ulcers on my toes in winter) and my circulation to hands and feet is so poor they are white and numb a lot of the time. I am wondering what the difference is one easier than the other I am a bit worried that if I find the treadmill easier it won't be a proper run! In my brain having to propel yourself forward on a road seems easier than having a moving road underneath you.

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I have only run on the treadmill (currently somewhere around week 8) and what I have found is that the treadmill enables me to hold a steady pace. I also think the cushioning effect of the treadmill helps me, as I'm not small.

My concern with running outside is that I would just be a lot slower so whilst the treadmill may appear easier, although most on here just find it boring (iPad mini and wireless earphone and iplayer can help) it enables me to get a more intense workout.

So I think generally, just different, not better or worse, but anything that keeps you running is good.



I think a treadmill sounds great as it'll help you continue when the weather makes it too difficult outside. So whether it's easier, doesn't really matter just enjoy your running!

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I started on the treadmill and moved outside at about week 7. The treadmill can be easier as it sets your pace for you, but don't let that put you off. Not everyone finds it easier. It sounds like a very sensible option for you. You can increase the gradient (not too much!) and that will make it harder.

Better for you to be able to keep running by going inside on the treadmill than going outside and doing yourself damage. On the plus side - you can watch the telly whilst on the treadmill!

What a lovely OH getting you a thoughtful, useful present.

Happy Birthday x


What a great present. I'm not sure if it's easier, but you don't have to run at 100% year round. Winter running for me is easier because it gets icy outside which means slower runs, and I don't stay outside as long. Just keeping the routine is enough for those months.


I have seen recommendations that the treadmill should be set to a slight incline (1-2%) in order to make it more equivalent to running outdoors - presumably to compensate for the bit of work it does for you... Or alternatively, if you're finding the running easy on the treadmill, try changing the incline or speed slightly. :)


Hi, I have used both and both are a good workout - as with the outside you can make it as tough as you like ! It will come into it's own in the Winter - great pressie. I have Raynaulds, and it has vastly improved since I started running. I hope you find this too :)


That's a great solution. You can make treadmill runs more challenging by going faster or using a slight incline. Hardest thing is overcoming the boredom - need some good music, podcasts or tv to combat that!


I did the programme on a treadmill up to Week 7. I had it on an incline (although it was a manual incline so not sure of the gradient). When I eventually ran outside I couldn't believe how much easier I found running out and about! I'm not sure I could manage 30 minutes on a treadmill now. I actually found I ran faster outside too which I know is often opposite for a lot of people. It might be quite individual as to how you get on with it. If you are worried you could always complete your last two runs as normal and then go outside afterwards with no pressure to see how you find it? It's definitely a great option if you can't or don't want to go out for sure!


I have a TM at home which I set to a 1 degree incline. I use that 3x a week and run outside 2x a week. Running outside is much easier for me.


I combine treadmill with one outside run per week. I find it harder outside because of pollen which aggrevates my asthma. However I do also run faster outside and find it tricky to regulate my pace. I don't think either is easier they are just different. I will certainly be sticking to inside in the darker months.


Hey now, a run is a run is a run. A run on the spot is just as 'valid' as a run on the treadmill as a run on the road as a run in the park as a run on the trail. Grammar aside, I hope you see my point.

I would go so far as to say, any movement that gets you off the coach (walking, crawling, skipping, hopping, tumbling etc.) is 'valid'.

Having said that, I think people do have different preferences, some love the treadmill, others (me included) find the treadmill tiresome.

For me, I get bored very easily so I need distraction and the treadmill doesn't give me that. I also get very self-conscious when I use a treadmill in the public gym. It might be the way everybody keeps diving to the floor shouting 'earthquake' when I start running? Dunno.

Anyway, running outside has many many benefits:

- fresh air

- gets you out of the house

- uneven ground (even concrete or tarmac) is subtly more work for your ankles and legs

- different views (in the park at least)

- no distractions from others in the house

But, as I hope I have said clearly, ANY run is valid, it is about personal preference and sustainability.

You list enough challenges without making up your own challenges!

Go you, you are doing brilliantly :-).

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I ve done 1 run on it the other day and I got a better distance 4.4K that my run today of 4K and the treadmill run felt easier I will carry on running outside as long as I can with the weather before my hands and feet stop working, it was always meant to be for the winter but it's nice to have the choice. I m not slim but any means and running outside has always been a " God I bet they are laughing at the sight of a red tomato rolling down the road " but now I think at least all us bigger people are having a go and having a go is better than not

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"and having a go is better than not" is exactly it - well said.


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