Outside vs treadmill: So I completed week 9 last... - Couch to 5K

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Outside vs treadmill


So I completed week 9 last week and managed to run 3.8 km in the 30mins which I’m pretty pleased with (more so being able to run 30mins non stop!).

I’ve only ever done this in the gym on the treadmill though and I’m really bored and struggling to run for more than around 23mins now 😔

I’d love to give running outdoors a go.

How does everyone find the difference?

9 Replies

I don’t like running 🏃🏽‍♀️ outdoors and prefer the treadmill! I bought myself a pair of beats headphones, have my music on (Spotify) full blast and get on with it!

I’m just about to start week 5 and I’ve done all but one run outside. I used to run on a treadmill before I started this though.

The only bad thing about the treadmill is the boredom! When I did a week 4 run on one I had to get the image of the forest and pretend I was running through that up lol.

But I found it a lot easier than the outdoor running, but maybe that’s just because I’m getting a lot fitter. But then I also found it harder coz I had the time and my pace staring at me which I don’t when I just have my earphones outside (apart from boring Strava guy piping up every now and then).

I found when I started running outside my knees would hurt a little more, I was getting shin splints and ankle pains. Thankfully that seems to have stopped now as I’ve progressed through the weeks though.

I used to get slight aches in my left leg when I ran on the treadmill, I didn’t the last time I tried.

I’m also gonna do Week 5 Run 1 on the treadmill today, because my boyfriend wants to go to the gym so I’ll fit it in with that.

It’s nice to have the options to do both - have you been running on an incline? That will help with the introduction to outside running (just 1%, no need to run at like 10%!)

Just remember when you first go outside to take it slow and steady. My run on the treadmill was telling me my pace was much faster than I was used to (although it didn’t feel it, and it’s hard to tell what my actual running pace is as it’s still mixed in with walking). I figured when I did the second run outside I wouldn’t need to run as far and made my loop shorter than the distance I did on the treadmill, I actually ended up extending it to the distance I did in the gym and had about 3 minutes extra walking.

Slow and steady, you don’t have the belt pulling you along outside :)

But it’ll be fine! The worst thing for me was having the confidence to run outside. It took me a long time to have the confidence to run in the gym tbh.

I will suggest tryout outdoor , it may be round and round of some garden or park or society ..

just running outside finding some smiling faces .. say hi 👋 to someone stranger ..,sound of birds, feeling sun rays on body all this lifts the mood very much ...

also running outside helps to develop more muscles of leg than running on treadmill ..

go out and feel it 👍


I’ve only run outside. My one foray on a treadmill almost ended in death - for my gait analysis, couldn’t get it to stop!

Lots of good advice above. What has kept you inside so far? For many it’s the embarrassment of being seen running. There are loads of threads on that!

I really never intended to start running, I’ve a lot of weight to lose so started going to the gym and needed something to really push me so started the c25k and I really enjoy it. I’ve lost 5 stone since feb so have gained some confidence to go outdoors but where I live is very hilly so I’m not confident to attempt that yet. I have got a large park near me when I’m keen to give a go though 🤭

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to Chunkymonkey6

Well done on the weight loss. That’s exactly what I need to lose.

Find somewhere you think you’d enjoy running and go there at a time you might run, in comfy clothes, for a walk. 30 min run is something like 45 min walk. See what the place is like - who’s around, how flat is it, what’s the path like etc.

Then go for it! Have a run there one day.

I decided to start C25k outdoors right from W1, and have really been enjoying the freedom that gives me. No having to twiddle treadmill speeds up and down to get the pace comfortable or feeling like you’re chasing after a whirring belt. You can take it slow and steady, and if you struggle at any point then you can instantly just slow your legs down or shorten your stride length. To be honest, I’d feel more under pressure to try to run too fast in a gym on a treadmill, just because of gym peer pressure! Outside, you can happily do your own thing, with the added advantage of changing scenery and fresh air. I’d recommend trying it, even if you just do a shorter “test run” to see what you think. I suspect you’ll soon be hooked and not want to return to that treadmill! 😊❤️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Thank you, I hope so! I’m going on holiday Friday and there is a lovely 9mile stretch along the sea front I’d love to do a couple of runs on! Obvs not 9miles and probably not far but a run none the less x

mountaindreamerGraduate in reply to Chunkymonkey6

Sounds a great plan! Go for it! 😁😎 We live a shortish drive from some good flat sea front running promenades I’m planning to try out once I graduate. I love the idea of running next to the sea. (For now I’ve been a bit too lazy to drive anywhere for runs, but the pavement options outside our front door are thankfully pretty flat anyway!)

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