Transitioning from Treadmill to outside. - Couch to 5K

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Transitioning from Treadmill to outside.

LeeU profile image

I've read the various posts on here and other articles about transitioning from the treadmill to running outside, while I could quite happily run on the treadmill I have in the conservatory I want to do some running outside.

As I'm due to do W6R3 on Saturday I've decided I'm either going to pick a local park or use the local canal toe path (more like 3-4ft wide compacted hardcore path) and attempt to do the 25 minute none stop run on that.

I am expecting some issues on pace, I'll try to work through that as I go, I do run with the treadmill ranging from 2-4 degrees depending on what length of run I am doing.

To be honest, if I make it to 50% I'll be happy, the aim is obviously to complete it but I'd much rather start transitioning now as opposed to in a few weeks when I'm running for 28-30 minutes on the treadmill.

I know on W6R3 Laura tells you when you have completed 12.5 minutes of the 25 minute run, so I'll park the car, do the warm up walk and then jog until Laura say's that's half way at that point, I'll turn around and start heading back to the car.

Of course, pace issues aside, I'll be aiming for slow and steady but don't be surprised if I chalk this one up to a practice run.

23 Replies
Nemota profile image

I am wk4 with last run today. I have only run on the treadmill. I find being able to set speed for the length of run is something that helps me. When I am fitter ( and slimmer) will try outside. Will be interested to see how your run goes.

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Nemota

Maybe take a little jogette outdoors now... you could surprise yourself:)

Sadie-runs profile image

Hi LeeU

This sounds like a great plan. Running outside is quite different, but has so many benefits. Fresh air, scenery to distract you and a sense of freedom.

FYI I just read an article on a running site about the many benefits of running slowly. For us "runners in training", the benefits of a slower pace are that it allows the body to build up muscles and for the lungs to build up that ability to use CO2 efficiently, both resulting in better stamina. Once you have that strength and stamina, you can work on speed. A slow steady pace will stand you in great stead!

All the best! 🏃‍♀️

Jododds profile image
Jododds in reply to Sadie-runs

The main benefit for me of being outside is the joy of the fresh air and surroundings. Can't be beat!

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Jododds

... and you know that is the same for me:)

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Sadie-runs

My middle names, as you know are slow and steady!

Rockette profile image
Rockette in reply to Sadie-runs

This is so true. I cant believe the difference in my pace since I first started .I've just completed wk 9 r 3 and my pace as altered a lot without anymore effort it seems to me

Oldfloss profile image

It is different.. simple as that...the tow path could be useful.. mostly flat, ( but not as flat as you might think :)

As ever.. take it steadily... the treadmill is about a controlled environment,,.out door running is not the same.. there are so many, wind, elevation, and surface type.

Tips to remember, would appear to include,( from my reading);

Choose your route carefully... you seem to have this in hand:)

Start slowly.

...what a surprise:)....Keep it slow and steady:) I know you will

Carry only the light:)

Always take some type of identification on a run... ( we have had quite a few past posts about this... it is a good idea).

Take to the trails and tracks when you feel confident... much more forgiving that hard surfaces, although care is needed, Very useful for our running style though.

There is no reason at all why this should not be a great run and all you need to do is take care, find your pace.. do not fall in the canal... and above all Enjoy!!!

LeeU profile image

Thanks all, after a grand total of 4 hours sleep, I'm up, dressed and just about to go out and survey the canal path, I may try a few walk to jog tests to see what happens with my pace but nothing too strenuous with today being a rest day, after that I may do a little bit of swimming, not sure yet.

Rockette profile image
Rockette in reply to LeeU

Good luck stay safe and enjoy

Hidden profile image

A practice run you know that's ok too! Getting out and running is the main thing. I have a treadmill and wouldn't swap it for the world and when the weather is really grotty or I fancy an extra quick run I use my tread. However nothing beats the feel of the fresh air,the sound of nature ! and just been at one with the world outside as you run each step,it is wonderful!! I guarantee that you'll enjoy it so much that you will wonder why you didn't venture out sooner ha!

Anyway take the transition and enjoy!!👍👍😀😀

Happy running!

LeeU profile image
LeeUGraduate in reply to Hidden

Peggy - that is my plan too, I've used the treadmill to start building up my fitness and stamina and I want to get to a point where I am mainly running outside but have the treadmill to fall back onto when it's really bad weather or time doesn't allow a run out.

Indigogirl profile image

As one who is "transitioning", I am finding that it is very different, but it offers so much more. I run VERY slowly outside (but to be fair, not much faster inside😄). I am aware that other runners who happen to be out at the same time as me are much faster, have longer strides etc, but I'm concentrating on my journey, and that, for me, is all about reaching those time targets right now. My top tips would be

1) it doesn't matter how slow you are going, as long as you're running when the programme says you are supposed to be

2) head up, shoulders relaxed

3) as Oldfloss says, travel light. I used to think I needed a water bottle...I have found on my last two runs out without it that I don't need it at all, and it's so much nicer not to have keep swapping a bottle from hand to sweaty hand!



LeeU profile image
LeeUGraduate in reply to Indigogirl

Thanks, I'm really not bothered about speed, OldFloss has already taught me that part, in the past I have tried running outdoors and my pace was all over the place if I'm honest. I hadn't been following a plan and was mainly doing HIIT type runs so I was used to going from a walk to near-enough sprinting for 1-2 minutes max so there's no wonder really.

I figure, a nice 5 minute walk followed by a few, maybe a dozen or so, walk to jog transitions to help me gauge any potential pace issues should help and shouldn't be too demanding for a rest day and gives me the chance to test the surface too.

Sounds like a nice plan, but have faith this could end up being a real live proper run, not a practice. Have fun doing it

LeeU profile image

OK, I have pace issues but that's something I can work on moving forward, I did multiple jog from walk, jogging for a minute or two to try to regulate the pace but I think I may have been trying too hard. Initial pace goes from current treadmill pace + 50%, I'd be happy with that in 6 - 8 months but at the minute, I can't maintain that for more than 4-5 minutes (better than the 1-2 minutes 6 weeks ago).

I'll do a session on rest days where I can fit them in and continue on the treadmill for now BUT I did enjoy the time I got to play outside ;)

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to LeeU

Sounds like a great plan LeeU! Don't be hard on yourself ! From what I've read you seem to be doing great! 😀

But don't forget all of us here were once where you are now and wondering if it will get better ,will we be able to keep it? up and make ourselves runners and hey presto! we all did.😀

I used to run in all the time whilst in the army,but that was nearly 40 years ago. So I hadn't been running until I started myself training for my first RFL in 2015. Then my running took a step back because of a back injury. Once that was sorted I started C25K in Feb this year and I haven't look back. Some days are better than others but all in all it is a great way to exercise and have fun too.

Have fun with it and most of all enjoy ! and don't worry!😀😀

LeeU profile image
LeeUGraduate in reply to Hidden

Peggy, I'm not being hard on myself at all, I'm more than happy with my progress on the treadmill, I'm continuing that and will work on my outdoor pace on rest days as I don't think 20 - 30 minutes of walk to jogging transitioning is too heavy for those days.

I love running, seeing the outdoors this morning was a good taster, adds a totally new slant to running and one I will take part in.

Thanks for the extra advice.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to LeeU

Apologies !Didn't mean to offend. I think you are doing fab !

Good luck and happy running!😀😀

LeeU profile image
LeeUGraduate in reply to Hidden

Peggy, please don't take it that I was offended, I'm not, I value every piece of advice I can get, so far no-one on this forum has given me any advice that I would worry about, quite the opposite, I wouldn't have gotten to the point where I am if they didn't help me.

So please, I'm not offended, I'm open to any help and advice I can get.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to LeeU

Brilliant! Your right there is a lot of good advice on this forum. It certainly spurred me on and gave me confidence.

Anyhoo LeeU happy running and keep posting!😀😀

Sounds like a great plan LeeU

Great advise from Oldfloss..

Good luck and enjoy it😊x

LeeU profile image
LeeUGraduate in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Jan, thank you, I do and will continue to enjoy running, even when it gets tough.

I want the graduate badge and my shiny graduation treat that I've promised myself ;)

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