Treadmill v outside???: Does running on a... - Couch to 5K

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Treadmill v outside???

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Does running on a treadmill count for nothing? I graduated earlier in the year running outdoors but have for various personal reasons lost inclanation to run outside. I bought a cheap secondhand treadmill & have started building up again but from reading many sites it appears to be seen as a duff. Am i wasting my time & effort ? I still puff & pant & struggle & end up bright red & sweaty. PLEASE dont tell me to get back outside. Not an option for personal reasons.

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If it helps then look at my profile page and read all the earlier posts.

I started out on the treadmill, thinking running a mile was an impossible dream and then just nine weeks later was running 3 miles or more each time and recently ran over 10k a few times. I think buying it has been one of the best purchases I can think of!

I found it easier on my knees on the treadmill, and you can change the speeds and inclines .

There's also no excuse for not running if it's raining or snowing, you don't need any specialised clothing...

I started going outside when the weather was nice but for the last couple of months since it turned cold, wet and windy I have been running indoors to keep up my fitness.

Lots of nice kind people on here would still say that they would never use a treadmill, they "like the views and fresh air, it's boring inside", but all agree that, whilst it might be slightly easier, it counts the same and that any exercise is better than nothing.

You've already graduated so can run for 30 minutes, just keep that up. If you don't feel like running then, if your treadmill has an incline then put it on a steep gradient and just walk slowly for half an hour, it's still exercise.

Hope this helps....

in reply to Simmypie

Oh and look at the replies to my first 10k treadmill run. They were all positive.

in reply to Simmypie

There aren't any views at half 5 on a December morning so I was in the Gym on the treadmill :-)


It counts! Of course it counts! I used to run on a treadmill, then began running outside. Now quite frankly I find it harder to run on a 'mill than outside. You are exercising on it, so it's great! Must be doing you some good, better than sitting on the couch! πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

As Flossie22 says, of courservice it counts! Running is running, wherever you do it! Good for you for keeping going. I don'the think I would have the self discipline to keep running on a treadmill, so respect you for managing to complete your runs this way.


If you are running.... you are running! Simple as that :)

This is your journey and you do it, where and when and how you choose. I love the outdoor running, ( my long rambling posts prove that)... but....whilst I have been on the IC ( broken ribs) my elliptical cross trainer has been a life saver, running wise, and has really, really helped me. I managed to keep my core strength. my legs have got so, so much stronger, and my stamina has improved amazingly.

This was all using it with no resistance or incline, as I did not want to put any pressure on my ribs.. or create an impact. I have been getting back outside for over a week now and yesterday managed a good solid 5K run...:)

So... it is a very valid way of completing not let anyone put you off! I continue to use mine on rest days... or as Simmypie says, on those really vile days where you simply cannot get out. last year, icy conditions delayed my Graduation... I have no excuse now. :)

Go for it... but keep it slow and keep it steady.. think snail on a go-slow...:)


Red is a great colour for Christmas x

I'm sorry to say as with any sport or activity there are people who think they know best when they are not looking at the bigger picture IT COUNTS. Many athletes use the treadmill for their intervals and speed training as it is exellent for that sort of thing.

As some of said before it is not widely preferred due to the lack of out doors but that doesn't mean it dosent count.

I will say, Remember to change your inclines and your speeds to mimic the things that you do outdoors as they help build your other muscles and stamina and help you progress as well and as we say to everyone on here

Happy Running.


I have bought a treadmill about a month ago and cleared a part of the garage. When the weather turns nasty, I go out there for a run instead of into the "great outdoors". Sure, it can feel a little stale compared to a beautiful run in the sunshine with glorious views, but in my mind it beats running after darkness in ice cold rain. So count me in the "it certainly counts" group.


Nothing wrong in using a treadmill, even the great Mo Farah uses one and look what he's achieved!

The only downside I found in using a treadmill to running outside is I struggle to moderate my pace outside and run too fast and blow up. Its still exercise and its a good tool to use to get a sound fitness foundation. I managed to run an outdoor 10k mainly off the back of treadmill running for my training. The thing is to vary your routine to put in an interval session once every 2 weeks to help build some speed.

in reply to Tanethra

if you want some visual encouragement have a look on YouTube for some running videos like this "

have your laptop or iPad in your eye line and away you go.

in reply to Tanethra

That's a good video. The pretty girl gets in the way of the sights all the time though! ;-)

It's good to go on virtual runs, I recently "ran" through new york, everyone was cheering "me" and I was waving back to them as I ran! :-)


I use both, Winter I am usually found on a treadmill and Summer I run mainly outside.

I find they both cause me to perspire (TMI)


I'm with you all the way on the treadmill. I'm overweight at present and I know that if I ran outside my joints would suffer. I tried starting outside last January but had to give up as my knees were impossible. I'm now on week 6 on the treadmill and progressing well. It seems to me that you are still building up fitness and stamina and like you I huff and puff and my heart rate goes up big time, so it must be doing good! Stick with it - each to his own.

I use both treadmill and outdoors and love both


I did all of my C25K outside and tried running on the treadmill this time last year when I was recovering from injury. It was SO HARD !! It definitely counts and I'm full of admiration for anyone who can do more than 5 mins on one. Carry on !


Sometimes reading other runners' reviews about things online can be off-putting. Not in this forum of course. But people can make pronouncements as though they were great authorities on a subject when really it's just their opinion they're giving.

Of course treadmills are good. Lots of top athletes use them lots of the time. If the alternative to running indoors is NOT running then go for it on that treadmill! Blessings. x


I went back to the treadmill yesterday after running outside for the last few weeks and found it quite tough mentally. I had to keep setting mini-goals, so I hit 20 mins, then 30 mins, then stayed on for the 5k. It took more will power then running outside...if you're out doing a loop you've no option but to keep going and you may as well run it!

in reply to Vangus

I did the same today. It was one of those treadmill runs that doesn't "feel" right half way through, so I planned to run for just over 30 minutes but kept saying to myself "ok another 3 songs and you can stop" then decided to run for 500 calories total, then ok why not 40, 45 minutes total, why quit now I'm not tired...

I ended up running for 56 minutes before I gave up and then did a combination of slow walking and running intervals with the incline on between 4 and 6 and speeding up and slowing down several times, depending on the music that was playing, aiming for 700 800 calories, ok make the time a round number...why stop now?

Finally stopped just after the calories hit 1000 and reset, and the time hit 99.59 minutes and went back to zero. And to think that I had only planned to run for 30 minutes!

I probably overdid it a bit but felt fine, stretched and had some breakfast.

It's good having those hills in your pocket that you can dig out anytime :-)

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