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Couch to 5K
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Outdoor running vs Treadmill

Hi Everyone

I’ve been doing C25K on treadmill at gym, and doing ok. Just about to start week 7 and have managed the longer runs up until now. However! This morning I went out for a jog with my 5 year old and was dying after 10mins! Didn’t think pace was any faster than treadmill, literally red faced after 1mile. I’m gutted, thought I was progressing 😫 Beginning to think the treadmill is not doing me any favours.

4 Replies

I have done all my runs outside but I too am struggling to get from week 7 to week 8. I am repeating 7 again to try to get over the 'hump'. I did a run at the weekend on gravel tracks and found the same problem as you- fine on pavement completely pooped after 10 minutes on tracks. I have found I am less tense when running on familiar territory so to speak and wonder if this might be the issue. All I will say is keep going. I look back to 6 weeks ago when I struggled to run for 90 seconds on the road - I just couldn't do it - my progress may have slowed a bit but I will get there and so will you.


Many people do the whole programme on the treadmill, myself included, and some find it easier, and others more challenging. They both have pros and cons so it's all down to the individual. Saying that, pop your treadmill on a slight incline if you're not already, to help mimic outside conditions, but also be kind to yourself. Running outside is very different to running on the treddy, you might just need time to adapt. You'll get there. Seems you are doing great already. Keep going


Don't be gutted! You ARE progressing. Try to take the long term view with regard to this running thing, which is that progress is progress and if improvement is a bit more gradual than you anticipated it is still improvement. :)

It's quite possible you were going a wee bit faster than you are ready for when you did your outside run. Or, if the air was cold that can be a shock when you're used to the nice warm gym.

But don't be discouraged. You've got this!


I virtually only do treadmill. Have tried outside in park runs and I’m glad I did , but my knees suffer much more outside than treadmill.

It’s what ever you prefer, me I much prefer treadmill. The pace is set by the the machine, the weather does not effect you, watch what I want on tv . It suits me


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