Couch to 5K
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treadmill to outside running

Hi everyone,

I have always hated running but wanted to get fitter so I bought a treadmill (I'm 47, mid life crisis perhaps!) as I knew it would be easier than pounding the pavements especially since my knees aren't happy with hard surfaces. I looked at various C25k helpful posts for the best speeds and incline to use and saw the weekly struggles most of us go through and the self doubt we all have and the wonderful encouragement from those who have gone through it all before.

Like most people I found the first two or three weeks hard work, wheezed through the first 60 seconds, was worried, (running for 2,3,5,8 minutes? eek! and there's no way I can go from 8 minutes to 20!!) but I would put my music on, finish the runs and then walk or run for a few minutes more each time as it seemed, not easy at all but perhaps too short a workout.

At the end of each session I would walk and jog a bit longer and over time managed to get up to an hour, perhaps not a good thing to do as it was in effect doing the workout twice. If the session said 20 or 25 minutes then I would try to run an extra 3 or 5 minutes each time.

I was a bit concerned that perhaps I was pushing myself too far too soon and may end up being injured but didn't feel tired and for the first time in my life was actually enjoying running! So I covered up the clock and listened to a few more songs. Perhaps making each session longer helped with my fitness?

My last two runs week 6 run 3 and week 7 run 1, I planned to run for 28 minutes but wasn't tired so I ran for 48 and 52 minutes. I know I should only be doing 25 minutes each time but it seems too short now.

I also know we all have different abilities and I know that it's much easier on a treadmill but I can't see much difference between week 7 and week 9 now, at least indoors, after all it's only a difference of 3-5 minutes between the weeks.

We went (or will go) from 8 to 20 minutes in one go after all, we all panicked but it was manageable. If you had told me six weeks ago that I would be able to run for ten minutes I would have been amazed!

I think I will have to have a few runs outside to see how hard it really is as I think I must be getting too overconfident and will probably have a nasty shock the first time I venture out in the wind and rain. I think having to stop to cross roads all the time, run on hard pavements and look out for cars will probably be sooo much harder.

But then again if I can run for 40 minutes on a treadmill then surely I should be able to manage 15 minutes or more at a slow pace outside?

I will keep you updated on my painful crash back to reality....


7 Replies

Simmypie, Well done! I think you will be fine outside, I find it interesting just looking at nature, and at houses and stuff. Also, I found a decent pair of running shoes really helped my dicky knee! Don't push yourself too hard, and just enjoy your runs :D

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I did the whole plan on the treadmill then when I went to run outdoors I could barely manage 10 minutes - it was so much tougher. With a treadmill obviously you pick what speed to run at and you don't have weather to deal with. You are doing very well, but I would start to introduce outdoor running sooner rather than later :-)

All the best.

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Thanks hoochy and ramsteinqueen for your kind words of encouragement. I will try a few runs outside soon to see how I get on. I do notice that my knees ache a few hours after running on the treadmill even with a knee support on and was a bit wary of running on harder surfaces. There is a large park quite close to me but like so many others I'm a bit self conscious about running in public.


This week was my 2nd week of programme and 1st week in public. You'll get used to it very quickly and are not going to mind other people starring at you (they don't by the way, it's all in your head). :)

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Week 7 run 2 (first "real world" run).

So I went out and bought one of those arm holders for my phone and a water bottle with a hand grip. I didn't sleep well last night, was having anxiety dreams where I was asking olympic cyclist Laura Trott to help me with running?!? I was worried about how hard it would be running in the "real world".

Got up at 5.45, had a banana, and then left an hour later. Started my warm up walk and then realized I had forgotten to bring the water. Doh!

Put my songs on and jogged reaally slowly as most people have advised. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. After a few minutes the gremlins most people talk about grumbled that wouldn't it be better to be back home but I told them shush!

I jogged for about four songs and then the banana was complaining that it would like to see daylight again but then thankfully went back to sleep.

I jogged for another four songs, probably 24-28 minutes total and was surprised that I didn't feel bad at all. Then the moment I stopped for the cool down walk I felt out of breath. Then I caught my toe on a protruding slab and did an involuntary two second run towards a man coming from the other direction and laughed. I don't think I went very far but any distance is better than when I wasn't exercising at all.

I had some cereal and then a nice hot and cold shower. My calf muscles feel a bit more achy than on the treadmill but I'm pleasantly surprised at how I managed to keep going.

I think the fear of failure was comparable to going on the week 5 run 3 where none of us thought we could manage 20 minutes and then we all coped well after all.

Anyway I will alternate between the treadmill and outdoors depending on the weather. The "real world" is quite nice actually.

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Nice one!! :-)

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So, after my attempt to jog in the "real world" yesterday which I found quite enjoyable, my right knee has been aching badly today. I wonder if it's the pavements that I'm not used to compared to the relatively soft treadmill surface?

I tried snowboarding lessons about ten years ago and twisted my knee badly. Surely the damage would have repaired itself by now and shouldn't be a factor when jogging? I ski once a year wearing a knee support and don't have any problems.

My knee ached a tiny bit when I first started on the treadmill several weeks ago, but this is the worst it has been.

I was going to go for another jog tomorrow but think I will leave it for a while.

Do you think that it's better to do some walking on the treadmill on an incline instead or to rest for a couple of days and then see?

What's the general consensus amongst those that have experienced this please?



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