Treadmill to outdoors : I'm on week 7 and so far... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Treadmill to outdoors

chocolatemummy profile image

I'm on week 7 and so far it's only been indoors. Is there a big difference running outside- and is it harder?!?

11 Replies
Oldfloss profile image

Just really, really different... and for me, who loves the outdoors a useful alternative. I used and still use my cross trainer, for other exercises, core strength and stamina and whilst on the IC, it was a true blessing..:)

For many of us the real difference,apart from the obvious ones, is the variation outdoor running encompasses. The seasons, weathers, the whole ambience of the run and the challenges that every run brings with those elements.

I have to say, I find trainer runs easier; that I run further, faster when on my trainer, even with a fair level of resistance and incline... so I don't compare it with my outdoor runs.

I use it, to suit me and in my own way. I did find however, that after using it whilst on the IC, when I broke my ribs, ( with no incline and no resistance.. my leg strength did improve considerably... I was really focusing on legs and not upper body movement though, because of the ribs!!!

Lots of views on this, as I am sure you will see when folk reply... I found this quite informative too..a report last year..

Many folk on the forum complete C25K on the treadmill and they have great time...:) A run is a run... and we choose what suits us as individual runners.. :)

AlbertRoss profile image

From what others say rather than my own experience.... it's swings and roundabouts. The treadmill is in some ways easier as you don't have to put up with the weather etc. - also you can set the gradient on it to remain constant, which it rarely is if you're outside. Some people may actually have the gradient set too low - the wisdom seems to be that you need at least a small amount (about 1%) as otherwise it's almost like constantly going slightly downhill, and outdoor running then comes as a bigger shock! However there's less variety and interest in being on the treadmill - more potential to get bored, while outdoors you can be thinking about your route, enjoying the scenery a bit, and there's more to occupy your mind. It probably is somewhat harder outside to start with, because you've got to deal with the vagaries of whatever path you're following, differing conditions underfoot, navigating roads that may disrupt your rhythm if you have to stop to cross them, it's also higher impact than a well-cushioned running belt so can be harder on your joints.

I'm an outdoor runner, slimming down a bit to use the treadmill we bought, my wife is the main user of that - however the main thing for me will be that it's an option for a run even when the weather is just abysmal. For her, it's about the convenience as much as anything - I have a lot of evening meetings, and it means she can run when she wants rather than waiting for me to get back and take over the childcare!

Either way is a valid way of completing the programme though -

Irish-John profile image

I would LOVE to be a Treadmill runner.

No 'people' staring at me as I huff and puff in public (of course you quickly learn that you could not give a toss about that, you are having too much fun/sense of achievement to care what the future residents of Cardiac Care Unit think)

no damn irresponsible dog walkers cluttering the path (of course you learn to find the least obstructed routes/times)

No worries about will it rain (have to say - I don't run in the rain. Yet.)

No fussing around trying to find running gear, stashing keys, wallet etc on various credenzas etc and actually opening the front door to go out (but isn't it nice to get out of the house every now and then? )

No worries about some moron on a bike or in a car mowing you down. ( Roller Bladers? - not a problem, cheesewire stretch across the running path takes care of them ;) ) - but isn't it nice to be outside?

Treadmill has many advantages but the downside for someone like me is how boring and literally 'mechanical' it is. I like to decide my own run, handing the speed/distance/inclines etc over to a computer programme does not suit my cantankerous and independent spirit. :)

But have to say - I do run in isolation, I try and find un peopled and especailly un-dog routes. I run with a cap and sunglasses on because I liek to concentrate on my own inner world and I either listen to music or recordings of BBC Radio dramas or comedies. The concept of 'chatting' to someone while running is totally alien to me - number one I can barely breathe enough to run at all LOL and number two there is never going to be anyone that will exactly run like me and I don't want to feel hurried or slowed down when I run :)

It's a very personal thing I do when I run -and while I sometimes would like to have a friend running along with me (preferably of the female variety with supermodel looks and an adoring look in her eye as she watches me prance along) I absolutely enjoy either seeing things along the way or sometimes just getting into that 'Zen' state where the run is over before you realise it and you have spent the time in a state of peaceful meditation without even trying :)

But - as long as it is enjoyable on at least some level, treadmill or road is awesome :)

I've only used a treadmill on one occasion at running shop to check for over pronation. As others say it's whatever works for you. It's all running at the end of the day.

Carolinemcd profile image

I use a treadmill but have just started to walk outside and on today's walk I even braved a little run. I have very dodgy ankles so uneven ground scares me a bit.

Also very self conscious!

I hope to one day run outside though

Carolinemcd profile image
CarolinemcdGraduate in reply to Carolinemcd

Sorry that didn't really answer your question! I quite liked my little outdoor run today but as I was with friends I went quicker than I would normally and wasn't breathing properly. I think it would be an adjustment

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to Carolinemcd

A ton of micro-adjustments :) but it's a fast learning curve :) Unevenness in the pavement, camber of the road, head or tailwinds, Barometric pressure, Humidity, Temps etc :)

But - its also an open air show. I have seen things that put the Tannehauser Gate events in the shade just in the batty local Park LOL :)

Either Treadmill or outside works as far as actually running, but I love the 'Live Theatre' of running outside :)

AlbertRoss profile image
AlbertRossGraduate in reply to Irish-John

Ah, but surely all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain?

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to AlbertRoss

LOL. :)

Slinkyminky profile image

Last year I completed the program and graduated on the treadmill. The reason being I could never pluck up the courage to run outside.

Now I am 2 1/2 stone lighter I finally plucked up the courage to run outside and glad I did. I decided to repeat the program as I assumed it would be harder outside and I was right. But that may be because I hadn't been running regularly since graduating; which was another reason to redo the program.

I would say it's different for everyone but for me I would say it's harder. But also more enjoyable and i know it's possible.

Another first for me also was running while on holiday! That was lovely, running along the seafront. A great sense of acheivement.

However you go the program you are a winner as you're doing it and not sitting at home on the sofa!

Good Luck with your journey X

SueF1 profile image

I used a treadmill for most of the C25k as I started in October of last year and finished just before Christmas,because of the weather. Since January the treadmill has helped in increasing my pace and time spent running so now I can run for 30 - 40 minutes doing 4 -5k. In February I went to my local parkrun and completed the 5k doing running and walking similar to the C25k. Now I have done 6 and love it, even this week in the rain . Do what you feel comfortable with whether inside on the treadmill or outside.

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