Couch to 5K
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Treadmill v outside

Hi all,

I'm currently in the middle of wk7 and due to do r3 tomorrow. Now that the evenings are starting to draw in, I've had to make the decision to do some of my runs on the treadmill at the gym. I would not feel safe running in the dark even with a head torch. I'll be running at least one run a week outside at the weekend when I can get out in the day.

What is the opinion on treadmill running? Easier, more difficult or the same?

Thanks xx

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I've personally found treadmill runs a bit easier physically, but can be mentally tougher due to the boredom factor, lol. Easier to catch yourself watching the seconds slowly tick by when they're on a screen right in front of you 😂

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For me, definitely easier. Being overweight the bounciness of the deck really cushioned my knees. Also found it easier to find a pace I could stick to without varying too much. As you say the boredom can be a bit much, but I've found Laura on the podcast helped.

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I completed the whole thing (except one run) on a treadmill because that's what worked for me, boring yes but I didn't have to worry about running out on my own. This was my second attempt, the first try was last year and I got to around week five and did that outside. There are pro's and con's for both - boredom/clockwatching in the gym and different surfaces/gradients outside. Either way 30 minutes running is 30 minutes running and better to get to that than give up so whichever works for you. Happy running :)

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Shivani05 is the world famous treadmill expert. As I understand it treadmill running gives you the benefit of a consistent running experience, whereas outside can throw all sorts of stuff at you, for example the weather. And if you don't feel safe outside in the dark, then frankly you're better off indoors where that consideration can't impact your running experience As to difficulty, you benefit from a treadmill bounce for sure, as concrete and pavements don't bounce. But any running whether it be on trail, tarmac or treadmill is better than you not running.

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I'm getting a reputation on here, aren't I? 😊 It's true, I am a huge fan of the treadmill. I can't tell you if it's better or worse than outdoors because it's been 8 or 9 years since I ran outdoors so I don't remember. But if it keeps you running then give it a shot! There are so many benefits. I wrote a long, much debated post on it some months ago - I'll find the link when I'm at a computer and share it for you to read why I love it so.

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That would be brilliant, thank you. Would it be worth, when I'm more confident, adding a bit of an incline to make it slightly harder and increase my stamina that way?

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Absolutely! When I was consolidating after graduation I would get bored with the 30min runs and started adding "hills" with the incline for some variety. It improved my stamina and also my speed.

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Thank you so much. For your advice x

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Happy to help! Here's the link to my love letter to a treadmill :) healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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Physically it may be easier, with a softer ground underfoot, but mentally it can prove tough as there is little distraction.

However, if it works for you and means you can keep running, then crack-on!

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