Treadmill vs The Great Outdoors (and a hello) - Couch to 5K

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Treadmill vs The Great Outdoors (and a hello)


Just wanted to pop in and say hello; started C25K a couple of weeks ago as part of a plan to put myself back together after too many years of working long hours and help shift some of the (many) extra pounds that have piled on as a result.

Completed W1 and W2 runs 1 and 2 on the treadmill but decided to take the plunge a couple of days ago and do W2R3 in the local park. Ouch! What a difference - reading other posts I knew it would be harder (even with a 1% incline on the treadmill to prepare) but was not expecting that. I must however confess to a much greater sense of accomplishment completing the challenge outdoors plus some of that fresh air stuff everyone keeps on talking about as an added bonus. My original plan was to wait until W3 had been completed before venturing in to The Great Outdoors but really glad I done this sooner rather than later. One more outside W2 run before taking on W3 I think.

I am really impressed with this programme and the support and advice everyone has provided on this site has been fantastic; it is great to read all the success stories – well done everyone and top marks to the NHS!

9 Replies

Hello :)

I do both. I started out on the treadmill and then like you ventured outside at around week 4 and it was completely different. Having said that I enjoy both for different reasons, I do my intervals and the runs where I increase speed on the treadmill (because it's easier than looking at my watch all the time) and do my distance runs outside.

Good luck for the rest of the plan :)


Same for me HumptyD. Started inside on the treadmill for the first 5-6 weeks till my treadmill blew up and I either gave up or went outside! I'm still doing both depending on the weather.

Stick in!


I also started off on the treadmill, then started venturing outside. As the runs got longer, I found the treadmill more mentally challenging because it was so dull by comparison. Like Minuette, I've now started using the treadmill to run intervals with the hope of increasing my speed.


I have only done 1 run on the treadmill and found it harder, only because I was constantly watching the clock to see how much I had done. I do prefer to be oitside even of it is mor challenging with hills and headwinds! Definately feel a sense of achievement at the end of each run..


I have only run outside, I never really saw the point of running indoors. Besides I wasn't going to buy a good treadmill or pay a fortune in gym fees just to use one when there is a perfectly good world outside for free. I admit it helps that I live on the edge of nowhere with loads of good wide paths and cycle routes so have lots of choice.

I enjoy seeing the changes outside, I usually run down the aptly named Cherry Blossom Lane which has been beautiful, now some of the other trees and flowers are coming out, even a few bluebells. I see so much wildlife, including deer, and now want to know what the various birds are that I see.

Totally unexpectedly running outside has made me care and want to know more about the enviroment that I run in a way that driving through it every day never did. Maybe when its dark and cold I might run inside but at the moment its outdoors all the way even in the rain (try it, its an amazing feeling) and at -6 (not so great but a buzz when you get back in the warm).

Good luck and running wherever you choose.


I do most of my running outside, I just prefer it, It's more interesting and the fresh air and views make it all worthwhile :) I do the occasional run on the Treadmill but |I get so bored, I end up just counting down the seconds on the display panel!!! Anyway, whatever you decide, enjoy it and good luck :)


Hello and welcome, I only ventured out at week 8 (in minus temperatures but the plus side was that I hardly saw anyone else for several weeks!). I love it now. I am lucky I live near woods and canal paths, so its canal paths normally, or up the woods if I feel like even more of a challenge! I havent had many warm days since starting and am sort of dreading them (if they ever come!) especially the mozzies as I ingested/inspired about 10 the other evening when it was reasonably warm for once!

Just finished my first run outside on the couch to 5K plan. Having started off in the gym for the a few weeks, I thought week 1 run 1 would be so easy, I was wrong! Even my very fit 11 year old daughter was out of breath, I love both, but loving the ease of the outside, being able to run straight from the back door, costs nothing and only take 20 mins! Second run tomorrow( sorry ignoring their advice on every other day) it's bank holiday and have the day off, felt so great today, definitely glad I started this plan and full of enthusiasm. Can't wait to get fit and lose weight!!!!!!


I'm still using my treadmill (week 7 still after a week off doing other stuff) but I always put a towel over the clock. I can't bear to be able to see how much I still have to do! I just rely on Laura to surprise me. Will do my run in a minute when I've told myself again that I CAN DO IT!

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