Couch to 5K
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Treadmill for starters??

I have just completed week 2, which I am pleased about because I never thought I'd be able to do it! But I've been doing it on the treadmill because I'm too embarrassed (due to being overweight) to go outdoors running in public. However my husband says running outdoors is much harder - so my plan is when I have done the 9 weeks on the treadmill, I intend to start running outdoors. So my question is, should I go back to week 5 or 6 or something when I start outdoors??

5 Replies

If you can manage an occasional run outdoors as you go through the program you will find the transition easier. You might also find (as I have) how nice it is to run outside. :) I originally planned to do c25k on my treadmill for the same reasons as you, but decided to venture outside so I could get used to it sooner. I quickly realised that I was making an effort to change my health for the better, and that isn't something to be embarrassed by - it's something to feel proud of. :) I've only had supportive smiles and comments from people I've encountered, and more than a few 'I wish I could do what you're doing' looks. ;)


Legion is right- it's nice to run outside and people are really supportive ( and often very envious of your courage and determination) Running on a treadmill is different from running outside, but not any easier. If you have a domestic treadmill, don't hold on to the handles as you run or that will affect your style and pace. When you run outside you might find it hard to judge your pace and be inclined to go faster as a result, so watch out for that. I run on a treadmill and use the park after rain when the going is soft because it's kinder on my joints (I'm 61 and don't want to put too much strain on knees and hips). I don't run on paved surfaces. It is possible to do the whole programme on a treadmill, and if that's what you decide, then you won't need to repeat any weeks when you transfer. You will be able to manage outdoor running too, even if you have to go more slowly than you like. Vey good luck and keep blogging :)


Well done on your progress so far. I did up to week 8 on a treadmill, partly so I could gauge and maintain the right pace, but mostly due to embarrassment having not run for 35 years and being very overweight too.

I went outdoors at week 8 run 2 but used the Garmin my sister lent me so I had a better idea of pace. I avoided busy places and went out very early in the mornings or late in the evenings (with my dog).

I would sau that running outdoors is harder in the sense that you have to think about weather conditions, judging pace, safety, hilly bits, finding appropriate routes etc, but I would not go back to running indoors (till it gets icy underfoot!) as I just love running out doors, enjoying the elements, I love the rain but not the heat, but am lucky to be able to run in nearby beautiful places such as woods and canal paths and the dog loves it too.

Keeping to the right steady pace is the main thing to remember whilst doing the programme,

Good luck.


I got up to week 7 before I was forced outside by the price of a single gym session when I went away for a week (£6.60 for a single session - horrifying when I pay £19.99 a month at my gym). So I ran outside 3 times that week. And it was good fun. I use Runkeeper on my phone to track my runs, and also use it to tell me how far/long I have been running for. You can also get it to tell you your speed/pace at regular intervals which might help you keep your pace.

I find that I run a bit faster outside, but I also find it easier in some ways, and harder in others. Watching out for uneven terrain, dog poo, traffic etc makes it both more challenging and more interesting. I find the time passes faster outside as there is more to look at and more to think about than on the treadmill. No one really cares what you're doing, I get smiles from other runners, nods from dogwalkers, and even if someone is thinking something you'd rather they didn't, you're hardly likely to see them again anyway.

I would say just head outside when you feel ready and see how it goes. Don't deliberately go back but don't worry too much if you can't do it because you've accidentally gone faster than you're used to.

Good luck


Pace is one thing to think about when running outside, but also I find it much more tiring on the legs, due to the constant shifts you make when running on ground that isn't perfectly flat.

I find treadmill running a lot easier and the only thing that stops me is running out of puff, when i'm outside it is sore legs that stops me first.


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