Couch to 5K
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Starting Again From Scratch

I started the C25K last year and got as far as W7R1, I started running outside then went to the Treadmill then back outside again which I then found really hard and it was a struggle to finish the runs as it was far more exhausting than the Treadmill, anyway for some reason I stopped doing it in June last year. I want to get back to it again but am unsure of how to start it again...should I go back on the Treadmill and stay on that, or start outside and then stay outside, or start on the Treadmill again then progress to outside...I just feel that if outside is harder to do then it's doing me more good because I have to work harder and dig deeper to find the strength and willpower to finish the run, has anybody else had the same issues as me with going from inside to outside


4 Replies

I completed c25k last September then, for various reasons, more or less stopped running. I did a mix of treadmill and outdoor running, and I found outdoors tougher too (the ground is always undulating rather than a constant incline, making you work that bit harder outside). At first I preferred the treadmill (less scary than being seen!) but as the runs got longer I found the treadmill got boring, plus I had learned to love outdoor running.

I'm about to get started again (no idea where I'll pick it up yet) and will probably do a fair bit of my running on the treadmill to start with. This is down to both the weather (I don't wish to fall on slippy ground) and the fact that the treadmill does offer that constant incline and so I can get a feel of how I'm doing (I find it's easier to track your progress on the treadmill). However, I do want to run outside too, and plan to run outdoors a lot more when the weather/daylight hours improve.

The choice is really up to you. If you want to run outdoors eventually then it's probably a good idea to mix in some outdoor runs, in my opinion. Just accept that outdoor runs are probably going to be a bit tougher than the same run done on the treadmill at a constant pace/incline you can control, and that both types of running are building your stamina and running muscles. I look forward to seeing how you get on. Best of luck. :)


Thanks for your reply, I think you are probably right that it is best to do a mixture of the two, I will probably do the first couple of weeks on the Treadmill then do a couple of weeks outside, and so forth until I get back into the swing of it then maybe I can build up to doing more outside, but I agree that running on the Treadmill can be boring and there is nothing better than bieng outside on a warm sunny day with the birds singing and the sun shinning. Let me know how you get on when you start up again it will be nice to share experiences and help each other along.


I started C25K last summer, got to about W3, then stumbled on a pothole, and really hurt my knee.....I had problems with it for ages, so bang went my running. It was really dissapointing, and so now 6 months later I have invested in a "not too expensive" treadmill, and have now got past where I stopped last year, and am feeling good about it. Yes it is easier/safer/drier/warmer...and much less visable, which is something else I worry about !! But I just think at least Im doing something, coz I know I wouldnt get out there in this weather, I would just keep putting it off. So although I feel a bit of a wimp, at least I havnt done my knee in again, and Im hoping that when the weather perks up I can give the great outdoors another try. So just go for it on whatever you fancy, and good luck X


Hi Francesca! Good for you for getting back. I would suggest doing as much of the programme outside as you can then you are getting all the other health benefits associated with being outdoors. If the weather is really bad then you could use the treadmill but set it on a slight incline so that you are working just as hard. If you are finding a particular run difficult then repeat that run until you feel you've nailed it. I often take two days rest between runs which keeps me from injury and also keeps my motivation up. Hope this makes sense - you sound so determined that I'm sure you're going to get through it! :)


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