Treadmill Transition: I’ve been doing all my... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Treadmill Transition


I’ve been doing all my programme on the treadmill, which has its advantages - warm & dry, TV to take my mind off running - but I want to transfer outside in the spring, and I’m told this will be a lot harder - any tips please?

13 Replies

It’s going to be different... but you can do it.

So... we’d like a nice warm and dry day to keep that similar to what you’re used to. We’d also like no wind!

If you have a running track you can use, go there... if not find some flat grass. Those are the two closest surfaces to the treadmill to run on... so you’ll get a familiar feeling in your feet.

Go off nice and slowly, talk out loud to yourself... this is to check you are running at conversational pace. Track the run so you can see what pace it was of course, we don’t need to talking to yourself every run, you’ll get too many funny looks 😂

Don’t set any goals for the run... it’s not 30 minutes, it’s not 5k, it’s just a nice relaxed run. Set an alarm though to stop you after a maximum time... we don’t want to run 60 straight from 30!

The TV is gonna have to go... so maybe podcasts would be good... dunno what you were watching, there’s news, drama, comedy, and every other genre of entertainment for your ears out there.

Take the first run stats to give you a pace to run, and look how long you ran, and build up from there again. You may be running a little shorter than you do on the treadmill, but that really doesn’t matter, you’ve proven pretty good at upping the duration weekly already!

Have fun and enjoy your surroundings.

Great advice, thank you. What do you use to track your runs - a watch or an app? I rely on the treadmill and Fitbit now.

UnfitNoMoreAdministrator in reply to Nightingale66

I use Nike Run Club, mainly for the guided runs and free plans. There’s many other trackers available

Hidden in reply to UnfitNoMore

Thanks for answering this post UnfitNoMore

I'm planning to use a nearby outdoor running track come springtime and have similar "concerns" about how it's going to go after using the treadmill. I reckon the hardest thing to learn will be pacing myself. The treadmill makes it so easy - just press a few buttons and my legs do the rest. It'd be nice to have an app which constantly tells me how fast I'm running followed by "slow down" ;)

UnfitNoMoreAdministrator in reply to Hidden

Yeah... most of the guided runs remind you to slow and to run at 4/10 effort... then there’s the speed sessions 😂


I also run on a treadmill some days, the best thing to do is always run on a incline and not flat, set it to atleast 1 and then the transition to an outdoor run isn’t too difficult! 👍🏻

Thanks, I tried that yesterday and will do so for all future treadmill runs 👍🏻


Hi Nightingale

I did the whole of the C25K on a treadmill then started to run outside at the weekend, I still run on a treadmill in these dark nights and run out at the weekend and I have to say I find the treadmill a real chore but love the park and always have better distance and times, so you might find your pleasantly surprised 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Thanks, I’d like to join my local park run in the spring with a reasonable chance of completion, so I’ll start with a weekend run as you suggest and see how it goes 🤞🏻


I’m a treadmill runner and find outside running easier as long as it’s fairly flat. My pace is faster outside and I enjoy it more. The treadmill is just easier for midweek/dark/rainy/procrastination reasons.

Hi - I’ve previously attempted C25k on a treadmill because I felt so self-conscious. This time, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it - OUTSIDE!! I was pleasantly surprised - no one pointed, laughed or stared - and I actually thought it was easier, partly because it was more interesting (I wasn’t watching the clock or the machine) and partly because I didn’t get so hot! Yes, it was cold - but I layered up - and actually, it was such a gorgeous day, it gave me an extra spring in my step. Go for it 👍🏻

Thank you all for your great advice and encouragement. I’m feeling inspired and excited about my next run now. Off to look at tracking apps too...


Running outside is lovely. Just go steady 😃👍

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