Transitioning to outdoor running: I completed c... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Transitioning to outdoor running


I completed c25k on a treadmill and it panics me a lot attempting outdoors but I really want to be able to do it to do park runs etc. I’ve only attempted one outdoor run and it didn’t go well so it’s put me off a bit.

14 Replies

It depends on what bothers you about running outside, but as for parkruns, there’s nothing to stop you just going along to watch and see how it works, you could walk it with the tailwalkers, that way you’d see the course, terrain, then maybe do a bit of running, intervals, like one of the earlier C25K weeks - you could use the podcast for something to concentrate on if you find it unnerving running in front of and around others.

Maybe walk some routes first to get to know what they’re like, don’t be too hard on yourself, running on mixed terrain is very different to a treadmill, and takes time to build confidence on it.

Hope you find a solution, running outside is a joy


clowth in reply to Madge50

Thank you! I think it’s the running in front of people and what I look like running and if I’m running fast enough etc that bothers me most. But I am determined to get out there so maybe I’ll try ease myself in with the park runs! Thank you x


Hi when I started running it was always on a treadmill. Never wanted to run outside. However - one day - decided I wanted to see more than just my garage wall so out I went. I won’t lie - it’s different running outside and takes a different muscle set as the ground isn’t predictable like a treadmill!!! I carried on and eventually sold the treadmill and never looked back :) I’m getting back into running after couple of years of being out of my trainers but running outdoors means you can see some amazing places and take in the fresh air :) good luck 😊

clowth in reply to Henry100

Wow that’s great to hear that you eventually ditched the treadmill too! I tried a while ago with my first outdoor one and I couldn’t manage as long at all, I think I had my pacing all wrong and went quicker than I manage on a treadmill. But that gives me hope thank you x


It may take a few runs until you get used to all the aspects of outdoor running that differ from the treadmill.......uneven surfaces, gradients and having to control your pace.

There is no substitute for just getting out there and doing it. Perhaps you have to lower your expectations for a few runs, but don't worry, the work you have done on the treadmill has built your fitness and stamina.

clowth in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you. I’ve been a bit rubbish at sticking to 3 runs a week since I graduated the c25k so I worry I haven’t got as much fitness on my side. But I’m wondering where to go back a few weeks on it and do it outside so it’s a gradual build up!

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to clowth

I wouldn't worry too much about that. Just tell yourself you are going for a very gentle jog to explore what you can manage. From there you can begin to build your duration.


I've just done a second transition run, I'm lucky in the fact that my wife is on week 4 of the program so I'm going out once a week with her as I have trouble pacing myself after running on the treadmill for so long.

As already mentioned, running outside uses extra muscles, mainly on the backs of the legs but also around the ankles, etc, due to uneven surfaces, etc.

Just take is slow and steady, don't try to run for as long as you normally would on a treadmill and constantly check your pace as you may find you are running too fast all the time.

clowth in reply to LeeU

Thank you that’s great advice. I was actually going to try going back to week 5 or something to try outside so I’m building it up outside. My first run I tried I think my pacing was all off and it was windy and rainy so such rubbish conditions for a first run. But I do want to enjoy outdoors with running too! I surprised myself even enjoying the treadmill


I was like you dreaded running outside but after a few try’s by myself I decided to use C25K from week 3 to build my confidence up. So far on W5 and it’s going much better than I expected. Make sure your route is flat and head out. I’m lucky I live in the country so could head out onto quiet roads for the first few runs. Just done my first one into the village this morning very quiet even at 8-30. As it was Sunday. Good luck.

clowth in reply to Scruff55

This is what I was thinking of doing going back in weeks to build up the confidence outside! I think this could be a good plan to give something to stick to. I think I worry who will see me and how fast I’m doing it etc. But I think in reality no one else is bothered are they! Thank you 😊

Scruff55Graduate in reply to clowth

Whenever anyone has seen me they have always reacted very positively. And if they are walking you are definitely going faster than them so they won’t be able to gauge how fast you are going. Go for it it really is a great app. Happy running 🏃‍♀️


Remember, everyone else is worrying about what everyone around them thinks of them too much to worry about you - unless it’s to be positive and offer encouragement or advice. We worry FAR TOO MUCH about what others think of us; head up, shoulders back and just go (but keep your eye on the terrain)!!


Please give it a go. This morning (on holiday) I ran around Holy Island. I cannot begin to communicate what a joyous, amazing experience it was. There is such a great world waiting for you. I understand that fear and a lack of confidence can really undermine your capacity, I hope that you will push on out there

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