C25K on a treadmill, anyone else using this method?

I found the C25K off the back of rejoining WeightWatchers to shift the Christmas spare tyre and as I have a gym membership I'm following the C25K program on the treadmill in the gym. See most of the rest of you brave souls are braving the great outdoors so I was wondering if anyone else is a wimp like me and running inside. I hope to be able to move outdoors in time but am trying to get to grips with actually running... Interested to know what people's thoughts are?


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22 Replies

  • I did week 1 to 7 on the treadmill in the gym before venturing out into the bitter February siberian winds last year, you are not alone!

    I do admire all who are risking life and imb going out such awful weather and icy conditions underfoot!

    But I know I wouldnt have started or kept going in these conditions!

    When I started I had no confidence in myself at all. I never ever thought this programme would actually suit me (aged 50, still very overweight despite having lost 3 stone, and not having run from choice for 35 years!).

    I used to go to the gym late in the evening when it was very quiet so there were very few witnesses! The treadmill gave me security (a woman running alone in the dark is not a good idea!), and more importantly helped me establish what my brisk walking and sustainable "light jog" paces were and stick to them and let me concentrate on my technique.

    I did start getting a bit bored with it so in week 8 started running outside. A different challenge completely. I have said all along that whereas I love running outdoors, even in cold and rain, I would revert to the gym if it got icy!

    I can't run at the moment due to a rib injury but can't wait to get back.

    You are doing what's right for you. Keep up the good work.

  • Thanks for the advice, I tend to be in the gym early to minimise witnesses to my attempts to run, think that eventually I'll brave the great outdoors but in the meantime I'll stick with the treadmill and see how I get on :-)

  • I am using a treadmill at home and have just completed week five. There seems to be mixed views about using a treadmill but at least the snow hasn't stopped training. I am a bit nervous about starting to run outside when the evenings get lighter

  • I did the first few weeks on the treadmill 'cos I wasn't confident enough to venture outside. The longer runs made me get bored with the treadmill and I'd get up early in the morning to run outside instead. Just do whatever works for you, it's all progress. :-)

  • I did all of c25k at the gym on the treadmill, apart from a week 3 run where life took over & I only had time to do it outside if I wanted to keep to my plan. I found running outside really hard, mainly because I ran too fast & run out of puff. after graduating & then doing b210k on the treadmill I ventured outside when my daughters did c25k & ran one run a week with them, until week 5 where we did all of the remaining runs outside. I now run outside & only use the treadmill occasionally for hill training sessions.

    if you are able to get outside for at least one run then I would recommend doing so, then once you complete the plan you will be able to choose whether to run indoors or outdoors & you wont feel frightened of going outside ~ it is really so much more interesting :)

    good luck with the rest of the plan. shelley x

  • Although I've not used a treadmill (because going into a gym is much more scary to me than running outside!), so I can't compare, I don't think anyone should worry too much about comparing the two. Even it one is a bit easier than the other - so what - the main point is to be active. I suspect that many people's treadmill running actually takes a lot more effort than my outdoor running, as I go so slowly, but it suits me, and I am definitely much fitter for it. Do whatever suits you to get fit! :)

  • Hi. In my experience, greenlegs is right - the treadmill is harder than outside. But most people think it's the other way round. I love running outside, but the wet, cold and dark have no appeal for me. So the mill is brill ... however, when the clocks go forward I'll be back on the streets. Hope that helps. At the end of the day, don't worry what others think and do what you think is right

  • Hi Beth5

    I have done all my running on the treadmill, that was until I hurt my knee and now I'm trying to keeping it going on the xtrainer. Just when I thought I would run today for the first time in weeks, when I walked into the door frame with the said bad knee ouch!! It looks like I won't be doing either today now:o(

    Good luck with your journey.

  • Thanks everyone for your answers! It's great to see so many graduates and more experienced runners sharing their tips and tricks! W2R2 tomorrow back to the treadmill maybe when I feel like a runner I'll venture into the big wide world

  • I'm using a treadmill at the moment but plan to try outside when the weather gets a bit warmer, it does get boring plodding along in the garage staring at the paint tins!

  • Maybe an ipad or something with nice country lane scenes would help?!

  • Good idea, Greenlegs! Is there such an app?!!!

  • No idea - I don't have an ipad! We should ask Laura to do a c25k treadmill app with views! Or you could set up google earth, and programme in a country lane route for it to follow - or maybe google streetmap. I think I should get commission for all these ideas - first it's buffs, and now techy stuff! :D

  • What you need is iFit - it's brilliant, although I couldn't afford the £1600 for the full kit ... You mark up a route on Google Maps then the treadmill reproduces the inclines on the 'mill to match the route. And if you have a screen on your 'mill, you can see the route via streetview - the views refresh as you run. I think you can get treadmills without the computing power but with a coonection for a laptop, giving the same effect. I guess if you were keen, you could put a big TV screen on the wall in front of your treadmill, plug your laptop video into the TV and get an "immersive" experience of running the route. Now that would be cool!

  • Goodness - it exists! Amazing that it even changes the incline :o Bit pricey though!

  • I vary my runs between outdoor and at the gym. I find the treadmill slightly easier but prefer running outside because I find it so boring in the gym. Having the timer in front of me means I just focus on how long I have left, whereas outside I lose track of time and don't worry about that.

    What speed do you use on the treadmill? I use 7km/hr for walking and 9 or 10 for running but find it difficult to judge how comparable that is to my speed when I'm running outdoors.

  • Forgot to say - the only reason why I run at the gym is for when it's too cold (like last week with the snow) and because I don't like running in the dark. The gym is open 24 hours and when I'm busy I only have time to exercise in the evening/night (was in the gym from 10pm-11pm tonight) so the gym is great then.

  • Hi Katie_a,

    Thanks for the answer, I'm the opposite, I have to cram my sessions in during the morning before work. Speedwise, I'm considerably slower than you walking at 5.5kph and running at 7.0kph, managed to go faster during W1 - running at up to 8kph, but don't have the stamina to maintain the faster pace over the longer run. Maybe the lack of distraction is part of that though? Beth5

  • Yeah, I definitely find time goes faster when I'm running outside and have different things to look at - at the gym all I can see is my own sweaty face in the mirror in front of me! I suspect I go a bit faster on the treadmill than I do outside because I find it easier.

  • I ran outside for the first 6 or 7 weeks of the plan. They had a deal on at my local gym and as the evenings were drawing in, it seemed sensible to start running in the gym. I find running in a treadmill is easier but not half as enjoyable as running a route outside. You have an aim of where you want to get to outside and this for me was half of the fun. I used to have to plan my routes in my head and if I ran them too quickly or slowly I'd have to think on my feet and adjust accordingly. I also live in the new forest so the scenery is lovely.

    Saying that, the treadmill has become a bit of a safety blanket to me. I don't have to worry about the cold or not having water with me. I can be warm and safe in the gym with my water bottle at hand. Also it's nice to see your statistics laid out in front of you so that you can gauge how far you have come. Furthermore, there are no hills and however much I wish it was, the earth is not flat :(.

    There are pros and cons to both. So I think a mixture is probably best :)

    Good luck :)


  • Thanks LazyMoo, think I'll have to review the locations when I get to the longer runs, also know that for at least 1 day of the program I will be away in Wales so will have to plan ahead when I know which week I will be on... Beth5

  • Thanks LazyMoo, think I'll have to review the locations when I get to the longer runs, also know that for at least 1 day of the program I will be away in Wales so will have to plan ahead when I know which week I will be on... Beth5

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