Treadmill running only: I have just completed... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Treadmill running only


I have just completed week 3 of couch to 5k. All my runs so far have been on my treadmill as I know if I can’t cope I can just come off ( which I haven’t had to do so far) but it does get a bit boring and can find myself clock watching, just need to get the confidence to go out running in the open. Has anyone else started on the treadmill then eventually started running outside?

31 Replies

Great job on the plan. Are you using music? That can help, but I find a good podcast even better as I can immerse myself in it and have no idea how long I’ve been running, when I run to music I have a pretty good idea of how long each track is, but even then adding them up distracts me a little.

Many have started or done this plan on the treadmill and then changed to the great outdoors. It’s best to start on a softer surface when you want to transition.

Thanks for the advice. I have been listening to music so far but think I will try a podcast! Each new week seems daunting and I think oh I won’t be able to handle this but I’ve surprised myself every time. Just my breathing that I’m trying to get to grips with. I was really into running when I was younger and this app is starting to get me back on track. Think i need to push myself to go for an out door run as there’s so much distractions that will take my mind off the time.

April_May in reply to Disney1872

I’ve put a little TV in front of my treadmill and watch DVDs. Distracts me from thinking that I ought to be bored by now! I think as I get fitter alongside gaining more daylight and warmer weather I will start to naturally want to run outside.

Disney1872 in reply to April_May

Sounds a good idea. Yeah I think once the better weather kicks in and the more I progress with this app I’m sure I will be ready to go outside. Can see a great difference already and I am really enjoying it so far so long may it continue


Yes that was me ! I started on the treadmill until week 5 but then needed to get out to do the 20 min run as just couldn’t do it on the treadmill. I’ve never run before doing C25K ( and I’m now on w7r3 ) but now I’ve gone out I don’t think I’ll run on a treadmill again ! I run at my own pace and listen to music which is positive and means something to me. When I run outside I’m pretty sure people could walk past me but I don’t care !!! I’m doing something they aren’t and I’m fitter and thinner for it!!

Disney1872 in reply to Laurzmum

Great inspiration, the treadmill does get boring looking at the same spot all the time. Think I will need to get myself out there and there will be no looking back after that. Your doing great at week 7. The thought of it now scares me but I’m sure come the time I will be ready for it.


You’ll defo be ready. If I can do it you can!!! I had a doubt about week 5 if I could do the 20 mins (as I few times I didn’t mange on the treadmill) but once I went out it changed. It’s as much mind over matter !!! Honestly my running isn’t going to win any medals but every run gives me a bit more confidence I can go the next week . 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

Many use a treadmill and many would not go near very low boredom threshold puts it out of questioning.

Enjoy your journey.

I thought I would have similar issues. I have never ever run before and I have anxiety issues. I used the cross trainer a while ago and rower both at home, but not for a long time. Never thought I would have the confidence to let people see me running in public! Don’t really want people seeing me rocking the sweaty lobster look! Lol.

Today however I completed w1r1 outside with actual people around and a couple of dogs which I did a great job of dodging without falling in the canal! Even a couple of those annoying types glided past me looking like it was no biggie but I kept going. Ok so I didn’t finish the challenge as I was supposed to but I ran. I was out there. I didn’t care as much as I thought I would. Even with a stupid pink rucksack on my back (don’t ask!)

I had my music playing and emersed myself in that. And when I felt myself getting little bit concious I focused on my breathing or my pace or pretended to check my Fitbit for my heart rate (which also sort of made me look like I knew what I was doing haha!) all little distractions to get me through. If I’m been honest it was the people around that pushed me on. Like you say you can get off the treadmill if you need to, I can’t loose face in front of people. So if I saw someone approaching I made it my focus to get past them before I collapsed in a heap (I didn’t I made it through but it pushed me further lol)

Just reading other people’s posts on here, in a few weeks, we will be the frustraing gliders. We will have achieved so much and be looking back and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.

My advice: bite the bullet. Don’t over think it. I’m guessing you started with a goal and motivation to achieve. Keep that in mind and go for it.

Good luck xxx

Honestly you don’t know how much the advice from other people on this group helps. We can do this! I am defo going to try and get and bite the bullet and get an outside run done thanks again and good luck with ur personal challenge xx

Jell6Graduate in reply to Rainbow2019

Even a couple of those annoying types glided past me !!!!!!

How very dare you🤣🏃‍♀️🤣🏃‍♀️🤣🏃‍♀️🤣

Rainbow2019 in reply to Jell6

😂 I went for 2nd run today. I totally have the bug already!. I may have it in me to become 1 of those glider types. Long way to go but feeling a lot more positive and less self conscious about the whole thing. And that was after a day of trying to come up with excuses. Felt a million times better for actually doing it. If I feel like that than ANYONE can get out there and nail this!

Maybe try around where you live, from your door then you know the area and just don’t go too far from home until you feel more confident? Good luck!

Yeah I’m doing it on treadmill got to week7 1st does get boring inside I just put music on .and of I go 😳😁🤪


I did all of C25K on the treadmill and am now running on it 3 times each week doing 30 minute consolidation runs. It is boring and I started out listening to music and now am catching up on Scandie dramas on my iPad. I do hope to run outside eventually and would love to have the confidence to try a parkrun too.

RacingGreenBoyGraduate in reply to Kess13

Go try the parkrun. It's such a friendly willing environment with no pressure whatsoever. Once you've done it you'll wish you did it sooner!

If ur near a laptop try Treadmill tv or treadmill runs on utube along with music it helps a lot. You can choose places to run in. I’ve done Paris New York Chicago New Zealand San Francisco etc. Hope that helps. Good luck

I would say give it a go outside. You won’t believe the difference in how it feels - fresh air, sunshine, noticing the buds on the trees, all that cheesy (but true) mental health stuff.

You might find yourself running at a more natural pace which helps you go longer too. And, yes, old men with even older spaniels might pass you but you are still RUNNING! :-)

If you’re scared of running out of steam too far from home, just run 500 metres in one direction, turn back, run back, then do that again.

Or find a school track to run round after hours? You won’t end up too far from your car.

Go for it!

kvz1975 in reply to kvz1975

Only time I ever felt awkward was when Laura tells me to start running just as I approach someone. Always feel they’ll think I only started running ‘cause I've an audience! 😂😂


I’m a treadmill runner (graduated and now on jujus plan to 10K), find it boring but it’s more convenient at the moment than going out. I was away for the weekend mid C25K and did don my trainers and go out then, found it surprisingly easier than expected and not daunting - don’t overthink it and just give it a try if you want to.

Definately try podcasts! I listen to no such thing as a fish and laugh my way through it! You need this when you get to 25 min runs! X

I have just completed W2R2. I too felt uncomfortable about running outside but I soon realised that no one would know if I had to stop and just walk. In fact I have not had to stop so far. I planned a couple of circular routes starting from home. Give it a go. I’m sure you’ll soon be out there with the rest of us!


Hi Disney don't worry about running outside. If you feel you can't cope (per your op) you can just walk home. It will still be good exercise :)

I am a total advocate for outside running, nothing better than a sunny jog on the downs 💕

My only piece of advice is be prepared for it to feel a bit strange to start with. On a treadmill your pace is set by the speed you choose. Outside you may find you set off to quickly or you may be erratic in your pacing. Don't let that put you off, it's just something we each have to work out.

Head outside whilst you are still doing intervals, I think you will find it easier than if you head straight into a 20 Min block. Trust me no-one is watching or cares about the red faced, heavy breathing snail (me) they have just overtaken at a brisk walk.

Happy running x


First time around I did the whole of C25k on the treadmil, then an old friend started a running group following the c25k app. I joined the group as I thought it would give me the confidence I needed. So I have 1 run left till I graduate running outside.

Give it a go, no-one takes any notice and as you are not pouring with sweat it is more of a comfortable experience. I have even run in the rain and the cold but I have enjoyed it - if you knew me you'd know how much I hate being cold!

Good luck

Yes I did exactly that and like you I didn't feel confident outside but I started running outside in week 4. That first run was with my husband and teenage daughter and I really enjoyed it. Now week 7 and I love running outside. I can't sleep on the morning I'm due to run as I get excited about planning my run! Go for it! Best wishes

I started running outside definitely nice to have fresh air and changing senary and you get over the running in front of people, just be carful where you pick I started just by where I live on a housing estate and the impact from the concrete has ended up injuring my knee so on rest for the moment have probably just pulled something but hurst after a day of walking let alone a run so just take it slow outside it’s quite easy to go to fast to soon as well good luck :)

I set up my treadmill in my garage with a TV above it so I can watch my favourite YouTube content running instead of sat at the PC. I still get to watch my channels but actively. Most of the stuff I watch is about 30 minutes which flies by when running.

I run on a treadmill at home so I have a TV in front of me - I like to watch action while I’m running ha!

I have also done c25k outside a few years back. Either is fine, whatever works for you. Just keep in mind when you change from treadmill to outdoors, you are in charge of your pace not the treadmill

I struggled to pace myself and ran out of steam very early on whenever I ran outside after being used to the treadmill and found it much harder. Doesn’t take long to get yourself used to it though.

I used a treadmill up to week 6, haven’t got passed that yet due to a back injury, I find using a treadmill took all the environment hazards away and let me control my pace better, I was also advised to set the gradient to 1% to simulate outside running, not sure why but I always set it, the only thing I would say is it does get very warm in the gym, whereas outside it would be cooler, I’ll probably complete c25k on the treadmill ( back permitting).

I have done all but two runs on the treadmill and now up to week 9. My intention is to graduate this week and then do at least one run per week outside. Everybody is different but i found the treadmill better than outside and safer. I want to ensure i can run 5k on the treadmill before i start entering them in the local park. Well done to you so far. X


Yes, I did. Never had the confidence to run on the road, mainly because I got so red-faced running on the treadmill. But I'm mostly C25k-ing outdoors, and really enjoying it. As everyone says, the key is to go slower than you expect. Listening to music helps, and you'll find most people you pass give you a friendly hello, rather than being mean!

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