Is running on treadmill cheating?: Yesterday I... - Couch to 5K

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Is running on treadmill cheating?


Yesterday I decided to give the treadmill at the gym a go. It seemed a lot easier, I guess as the surface is even, good suspension and no weather to contend with. Plus I could watch TV as boredom is a factor for me. Is this cheating? 🤔

21 Replies

were you moving your legs in a vaguely running motion for the allotted time?

Depends what you call cheating. Is 30 minutes on the rowing machine cheating because you are not in water?

It's not actually a competition. Its a means of building stamina and endurance to be able to do 30 minutes of cardio exercise non stop. If you were doing that, you're not cheating.

marbz in reply to Rignold

Thanks 😃 I recently graduated but had a break due to illness. Managed 20 minutes outside on Sunday but 30 mins no problem on treadmill yesterday, 4.5k. Don't think I could have done that outside. Just don't want to get false sense of security.

Rignold in reply to marbz

It's only cheating if you put your dog on the treadmill and sit at the side reading a magazine.

wizzbangGraduate in reply to Rignold

I tried to put my dog on the treadmill, he ran away and hid! when he sees me on it, he looks very nervous!

Rignold in reply to wizzbang

I'm not even going to go into the nightmare I had trying to get my dog in the rowing machine.

wizzbangGraduate in reply to Rignold

start worrying when he lifts bigger weights than you!

OldflossAdministrator in reply to wizzbang

Not possible.. have you seen Rig without his shirt on!!!!

Rignold in reply to Oldfloss

My Frenchie's shoulder Gainz put me in the shade. He is bulking like a Beast.

Gabby08Graduate in reply to Rignold

I knew I was going wrong somewhere...


no, it is not cheating. Some people will say it is easier than running outside, I disagree, it is boring. I did the full c25k on a treadmill in my lounge where the temp is 20c, no air con, sweat constantly pouring off me. Day one I struggled to run for 60 seconds, now I can run for 30 minutes, that is not cheating that is an improvement in my fitness, so not cheating.

I saw a headline the other day that stated more people run at a gym than outdoors, so are they all cheaters?



What Rig says... :)


I am a treadmill graduate. I had no confidence to run outside due to weight and ability, or lack thereof. On Monday I decided to go out for a walk and ended up doing very short running bursts just to get a feel for it. Oh and I also fall over easily.

I enjoyed it so decided to give outside running a go. Last night I went out and did week1 run1 a go. No idea why I started at the beginning but I thought it was as good a place as any. My thinking is that I will do a run of each week until I get to one that I can't finish and then i'll move on from there. That plan may change. I did find it quite tough but I'm not sure why. The uneven surface? The intervals? Battling to maintain a slow speed? Could be all those things.

I've registered to do a 5k in September so I know I needed to get out sooner or later and I'm glad I did it sooner.

It's not cheating but it is different


The sun is gonna shine soon. Get outside, make the most of it. Dreadmills must be the most goshdarned boringist thing known to humankind. Other than that I have nothing against them

The only form of cheating is saying you have done the runs when you haven't. Treadmills are great for increasing your speed and getting your form right, when I was a member of a gym I looked forward to my speed training on it. You are a runner and it really doesn't matter if it is inside or out.

Apparently, due to lack of air resistance and a slight gain in momentum from the belt, treadmill running is very slightly less beneficial than outdoor running. I'm told (by people who know their stuff) that adding a 1% incline makes he treadmill about comparable.

I am a beginner and a mile is my current limit. I run with a group twice a week and practice on a treadmill on a Saturday. I can run further on a treadmill. During the Easter break I did 3 sessions a week on the treadmill and when I went back to outside running I was disappointed with my ability. It's not cheating, or boring if you have something to think about. The gym I go to has treadmills that face a large window, overlooking fields and trees. When I'm more confident I'll be running out there! The music is a pain in the arse though! I recommend using the gradient button to make it a bit tougher. It's all good excersise though.


I started on the treadmill with a 1% incline and was really worried about running outside as I'd read so many the posts saying how much easier it was to use the treadmill. I now run on the flat near to where I live and maybe I'm strange, but I'm actually finding it easier to run outside! I love looking around, plodding to my own music, smelling the air and feeling the cool breeze. (Probably different in a force 10 gale with rain though....).


i use a treadmill and i certainly hope it is not cheating or all the hard work i feel i have done will have been in vain ! i couldnt run for 1 minute , now ive just run for 25 mins so i dont think its a cheat , i did run outside when i went away and to be honest found it about the same , ... i sweat ive worked lol


I run on a gym treadmill following a bad ankle injury a couple of years ago whilst walking on uneven ground. It took six months before I could even walk again properly, so I want to build up strength and confidence before venturing outside to run. It certainly isn't cheating - I couldn't run for a bus two months ago, but today I am attempting Week 5, Run 3 ... The BIG one!

I think a run is a run whether it is on a treadmill or outside - same effort is used regardless. I wouldn't consider using a treadmill cheating at all, just a different run. We all have different preferences, I prefer to run outside; run wherever you prefer it will increase your fitness & that's what it's all about :)

I hope it isn't cheating! as a lone woman runner I do not feel safe running around my area so I go to the gym as it is safer. It is a shame as there is a lovely park near me but I run early morning or late night.

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