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Couch to 5K
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Weights work for strength and treadmill musings

Monday I succumbed to the lure of the gym and did 5K on a treadmill. Very very boring, but warm and dry. Still no joy in speeding up my pace - I think I am stuck on 45 minutes for ever!!

There is a gym instructor who is usually there (she always comes and talks to me when I am concentrating on running grrrr) she said that I ought to drop my distance and work on developing more speed/technique because she reckoned that I started off well and lost my form as I got tired.

She also recommended I did some weight training to develop leg strength further and that having a muscular bottom was the key to a runner power!!!! Well.... on that basis I should be able to do a double marathon the size of my arse!!! (it has got bigger and sticky out-ier since I started running)

Is anyone here doing any weight training specifically to develop their running? or have any website recommendations?

As an aside - I find treadmill running really difficult. I think I enjoy the sense of 'journey' when I run, that I am going somewhere and back. Mentally I am much less robust at sticking to my running goal when in a gym scenario. And I still don't feel like a proper runner yet

10 Replies

No weight training for me so I can't help there, tho I do a back routine a couple of times a week and stretches every day.

I feel the same as you about running outside, but sometime I'm going to have to force myself into the gym to try out a treadmill. There's no way I'll be able to run outside 3 times a week all winter here unless we have a totally wimpish winter... but the forecast for next week is okay so I'll probably be able to put it off another week...

What settings (speed) do you put the treadmill at for 5K in 45 mins? Before I bashed my knee my best time was 5K in 36, atm I'm quite a bit slower and only doing 3K runs. Do you put the treadmill at an incline? I don't want to sound completely clueless when I do go to the gym :-)

And for heaven's sake, Gin, anyone who can run 5K is a runner!!?


Thank you for your kind words Mitts - I suppose so - it is all down to how I run now!

I had the treadmill set at 4mph and upped it when I felt brave!!! it gives an estimate of 15 mins per mile - so nearly 5 k in 45 at 4mph. I play around with the treadmill incline - mainly when I get bored!!! and then forget and wonder why my calves ache and reduce it again.

Just found a great website that has loads of info on running.


I am spending the afternoon working out a nice lower body strengthening programme to liven up gym sessions -and the website above also had an interesting Beginners Speed Program. So saving myself the cost of the above mentioned personal trainer and doing it myself!!!!

Still - Friday looks like it is going to be lovely and sunny, so I might go and do an outside run and save my new programme as a sweetener for when I have to go to the gym. I think I need to have variety and interest, and if I can work in some exercises that will improve my running then I might feel more motivated to go - I am paying for my blasted subscription so might as well use it!!!

Enjoy your lake run - do post a picture it must look lovely this time of year.


Thanks for the speeds/times.That's a good link - I read the page about treadmills, and I've saved the rest, it's the kind of place you could spend hours clicking through and there's a dog here wants its walk!

The music part looked interesting too, 100 good running songs, might get some more ideas there. I'm sure there are loads of great songs I've just forgotten about!

Bought a new camera last week so will work on the photo, haven't managed to get the chip thing organized yet, but someday... :-)


I was doing a bit of weight/resistance training before starting running. I'm not sure about the advice you were given about cutting down your distance - the usual advice I've seen is to do some interval training to work on your speed (have you tried the Speed podcast?). Hill training can also help with speed. I can't see any reason to reduce the duration of your longer runs though. Since starting to run, I do try and include some "core strength" exercises in my gym sessions - planks, dumbell squats etc are good and I also use the power plate for balancing and core strength exercises. Having had to miss several runs over a few weeks due to hip bursitis, I do these exercises in the hope of reducing the risk of future injuries as much as to try and improve speed ! Foam rollers are meant to be good for runners - I just started to use one and it's hard work but I can see how it will help with massaging and stretching the muscles and several of the exercises should also help improve core strength.

Treadmill is boring but less so if you use if for interval training such as the Speed and Stamina podcasts, and try and do your longer, steady runs outside (weather permitting!).


Hi Gin, the speed podcast is much shorter but would help with reducing your time for 5K needs to be worked at though it won't happen overnight. I mix up my running by doing 1 x speed, 1 x hill and 1 x longer run 5K+ over time its helped me to reduce my 5K time by 4 minutes down to 31:39 and I'm also able to run 10K now too. So I think mixing up your runs would perhaps help also wouldn't be quite so tedious when running on a treadmill perhaps to mix up your sessions. Good luck, hope this helps a bit.


Thanks for the advice everyone. I have used the speed podcast a couple of times - boy that was challenging!! And I think I need to get into a more structured approach to my running - post grad loss of direction I reckon!!

Still at least I am still out there doing it, much to the amazement of a few friends and family!!!


I do leg weights at the gym, I think one is called the abductor for the fronts of my thighs, also another machine for the backs and two others for inner and outer thighs. They are definitely getting some definition and feel stronger too!


excellent i will try those then - sounds like they could be painful!!!!


I find treadmill running really difficult too but hate rain so resort to the gym on rainy days.

Today I did a 30 min pyramid training session called pump it up from audifuel on the treadmill.It was really difficult and in hindsight I think I was silly choosing the 30 min session. It was my first try at this sort of running.I got up the pyramid ok but was struggling to recover in the given times on the way down,so kept pressing pause! The treadmill then turned off so I lost all my data grrr..I also resorted to walking the recoveries at 6.5km/hr on the way down.I ran all the intervals at 10km/hr.Next time I think I will try the 22 minute session but continue to run at my pace afterwards to reach the 5km.I did find the intervals better than running at a constant pace on the treadmill as you have something to focus on.

Like you I am really trying to reach that 5km in 30 mins didn't manage it today despite my 10km/hr bursts.It is so frustrating but I'll keep trying :)


wow - 10 km/hr - in my dreams!!!! maybe my legs are put on wrong or something?

I did exactly the same with the data on the treadmill - accidentally hit pause and couldn't work out how to de pause it, pushed a few random other buttons and wiped all my data and had to start from the top---- grr indeed. Oh actually the treadmill seems to be stuck in mph not kph so that makes my 5 mph maybe not quite so paltry!!

Note to all wet/cold weather refugee's -- make sure you know how the treadmill;


b) stops

c) pauses

d) starts from pause

e) change from mph to kph

Thanks for the audiofuel tip - I have used their Rollercoaster a few times which has been great.

Good luck with the 5K 30 min goal!!!!


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