Transition from treadmill to track - tragic :-( - Couch to 5K

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Transition from treadmill to track - tragic :-(


well today, having read some blogs on here, found the motivation to get out for w6r2. So far all of my runs have been on the treadmill. Have done a couple of parkruns in between - so I know there is a difference but today was awful. Could not do more than 5 mins in one go. Bitterly disappointed - feels like I have cheated myself a bit by using the treadmill and wonder if I should start again outdoors? Planning on a parkrun this sat so may retry w6r2? Sigh :-(

10 Replies

Maybe it was just a blip, we all have a bad run sometimes. Don't worry if you are achieving on the treadmill that's great.

It's just so much more difficult to pace yourself and you may have started off too quickly and therefore fizzled out. How do you get on with the parkruns?

Don't be sad~ Keep trying~ I think it will be worth it :)


I also run on a treadmill but intend to finish rthe prpgramme on the treadmill then slowly learn to run outside maybe not worrying too much on time but still keep the 30 minutes going on the treadmill.


I can totally sympathise, I tried a run outside and it was a disaster. I've gone back to the treadmill and finished the programme, but I was finding running for 30 mins staring at a wall a bit tedious (have to run indoors as little boy in bed). I've made a conscious decision to try interval training at least twice a week and do one or two 30mins runs also…but running is a personal journey. I realised I don't just have to run/jog, I can do intervals if that is what I want at the moment. I'm in it for the long run (pardon the pun) after all.


Your title says transition from treadmill to track, was it a running track you were on and doing laps? If so I think that would be hard mentally as there is no variation. If you have already done 2 Parkruns why not go and do that same route that you have run before, it will be familar and you know you can do it so that in itself is a bonus. Don't lose heart because you didn't finish one run, I'm sure there are loads who have found the same. I know how hard I struggled one day when I tried to run in the evening instead of my usual early morning, it was so very hard, I was almost in tears. So put it behind you and look forward to your successful next outing. :)

Awww thanks guys. All of your comments ring true and make sense. Having a rubbish day anyway - so suppose the fact that I went at all is good? Parkruns are ok - average about 38 mins. And I do know the route - maybe it's having other people running the same race at the same time. When I said track just meant out doors really and the path was pretty up and down!! I quite enjoy the treadmill and decided to do it there so would go rain or shine no excuses - so will finish the plan there and keep doing some parkruns - then maybe try it again outdoors. Sorry for my rant and thanks for the Encouragment - really appreciated.


I used to run on trademill at a speed of 10Km/h but it is easy when it is the machine that make you moving. it is hard on parks and even harder on the road. surfaces are different. Back at home, in Italy I used to run on the forest path and when I moved to Dubai, with the heat and different road surfaces I had to started all over from the beginning ! It was so disappointing !

Do not worry ! You will succeed and then you can run over any surface.


I find that all I need to do if I run outside is to slow down a little - I'm 90% certain that most of this treadmill/road thing is mental and not physical. When I started out the first time (a couple of years back) I started on the treadmill - kids in bed, social services moan if you leave them ;-) ) and after a few weeks a friend of mine told me how brilliant it was running outside and how it felt so much better. I tried it and loved it - it felt easier, not harder. I loved the scenery, the air etc and although it felt a bit slower it was no 'harder'. I hadn't heard the whole treadmill vs road debate at that point. This time I had and the thought of going outside terrified me - I did in the end and it was hard, then I remembered last year, gave myself a slapping, and haven't looked back. Running is 70% mental, 30% physical, I'm sure of it now

Firstly, how exactly have you cheated yourself by running on the treadmill - did your legs not go significantly faster for increasing lengths of time? Well that's running :-) The fact that the treadmill bed moves towards you aids oh so slightly, but not enough to make a huge difference. The road has cambers, slopes, dips, but it also has fresh air blowing at you cooling your down, something to concentrate on, and the ability to alter your pace slightly as and when you need to - the treadmill doesn't do that - it has to be a conscious action to press the button. If you can run on the treadmill you can run on the road, just slow the pace a little and make sure that you do pace.

A bad run is just that, if you'd had it on the treadmill you wouldn't have been questioning yourself. You'll be fine :-)


I've had a few really bad treadmills runs, post graduation. On Monday I did sixteen minutes, got fed up and got off completely! Now that's a bad run! I'm using lolo app, now which is more interval based and is keeping me motivated. I'm finding that a massive help. Whichever way you choose to move is so personal to you, find your own way and the rest will fall into place.

Once again thanks for the words of encouragement and all of the helpful advice and insight. I am pleased to report that I got back on the treadmill today and did w6r3 - a whole 25 mins!! Had to slow down the pace a little & I have sore knees but I did it!! Thanks so much. This plan is great as is this forum!! :-)

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