Any tips for running outside?: I have got up to... - Couch to 5K

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Any tips for running outside?


I have got up to w7r2 on my treadmill indoors. I quite like the discipline of the treadmill as it keeps you at a consistent speed (even if it is not a very fast one) and if you give up you have to make a conscious decision to turn it down to walking speed (which though sorely tempted at times I have managed to avoid except on one occasion - first attempt at w6r3). I am worried that without the discipline I will just slow down or give up, but it is getting boring doing the longer runs on the treadmill. Any suggestions?

10 Replies

Go out there in the fresh air and enjoy, plan your route beforehand, and don't be surprised if you don't run as fast as you normally do

It's the best thing you can do. Take your time, relax, enjoy the elements. Don't be afraid to walk for a bit. Burstcouch is spot on, plan your route first and when you get back in give yourself a big pat on the back.


Get out there and explore, I'm sure you'll love it and he scenery will be a distraction :-)


Your right to try going outside now before you get too used to the treadmill. I never used a treadmill and had no problems with outside. I do however have problems using a treadmill, I find them boring, hard work and very tedious but in icy pavements a necessary evil.

So how to run outside, plan your route, hopefully you live in an area thats not too hilly, then open the door and get out there and enjoy. Be sure to keep yourself safe by wearing bright colours, a jacket with reflective strips is good too. Try to make sure you have pavements to run on and not roads, I think you'll find its so much easier once you get used to the different terrain and weather conditions.

Good luck.


I ventured outside at around week 7 - I found it harder work, there's more to think about and even little things like kerbs make you work that little bit harder. It's so much more interesting and involving though. I tend to use the treadmill for interval training now as it is easy too monitor progress.


I did all of c25k on the treadmill apart from a week 3 run which I absolutely hated outside. my girls did c25k shortly afterwards & we did 1 run a week outside together.

my advice would be to take it slow & steady. it is very easy to start off too fast & run out of puff which is a great confidence buster :( also as the cold air can be a bit refreshing when you first start running outside it may be nice to have a bottle of room temperature water with you, just in case your throat feels a bit sore. & layer up so that you can remove items of clothing. this time of year you wont need much once you get running :)

good luck.


> I am worried that without the discipline I will just slow down or give up

Give yourself mini-goals when you feel like slowing down to a walk, eg aim to keep running till the next lamp-post, tree, garden gate, etc. Then when you reach it, repeat! I do this all the time when I'm pushing myself on fast runs.


Some great advice already. One other tip about what to wear - I read somewhere that you should dress as though it's 10 degrees (C) warmer outside than it actually is. You might be slightly chilly at the start of your walk (a good incentive to keep it brisk!), but by the time you've run a minute or two, you won't be cold!


I find the varying terrain outside makes it more interesting. I'd far rather run uphill through the woods where you can only see a little way ahead than do the same route on the nearby road which is a long slog which seems to go on forever.

So have a think about places near you away from houses and roads but pleasant and safe like a local park, school playing field, canal side. On holiday in a strange town I ran round a hospital grounds once. Having a destination helps and if you can pick a target point for your 'finish line' that can be an incentive on the return.

If your local streets are quiet you may find running on the road easier than the pavement. Certainly round our way there are so many side slopes and repairs on the pavement that it is hard on the ankles.

Running outside in all weathers brings a strange new pleasure as many of the entries on this site show.


I don't think you will find its a problem once you get out there. It is harder but much more rewarding. You discover so much more about your surrounding and I have found that I love running in the rain. Go for it and have fun

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