Couch to 5K
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The treadmill question!

Since my last post, I am now proud to say that I have just ran my third Week 3 run. The thing is all of this week's runs have been on a treadmill in the gym so not sure what to do with regards to moving on to Week 4.


I have been pacing myself well

Taking extra care with posture and technique

Walking/running at different inclines

My weak knee has enjoyed the cushioned surface of the machine and nice temperature of the gym itself.

(possible) NAYS-

Is running in doors giving me a 'true' workout?

I may find it harder to run the same week outdoors

Will me weak knee be better or worse after my indoor runs?

As the whole running thing is still quite a fresh concept to me, i'll have to investigate further. I feel like I should try at least one Week 3 run outdoors before moving onto the next run, any thoughts on this?

6 Replies

I find the idea of running indoors on a treadmill completely offputting. Likewise I get the impression from those who do run on a treadmill that many abhor the idea of running outside.

It seems to me that both are a good workout and it depends on personal preference.

If you do want to move outside eventually though, it might be worth doing the occasional run in the open now, otherwise you may get too accustomed to indoors and thus find the transition difficult.

That's my take on it but reading your post again, you'd be better advised by someone who's done both.


Yes it is difficult to know what is best. I did all of W1 and W2 outdoors pretty much so this is my first week fully indoors.

Also I get what you mean about it being offputting because I don't find an indoor run as satisfying as an outdoor run. But on the flip side I shouldn't categorise an indoor run as less of a 'real' run.

What I should do is man-up to the rain haha!


Hi luthriel

I too run on a treadmill and think that it is easier flat than outside, but you can control things a lot better. If you set the incline appropriately and there is some debate about what the optimum angle is to mimick the road, then it is more or less the same I think. I use either 1.5 or 2.0 degrees and this seems reasonable.

I just completed week 6 r1 after the 20 minute run of 5r3 I was able to run at 10.0 km/hour for the first 5 minutes, 9.8 for the 8 minutes and then 9.6 (my normal speed) for the last 5 mins.

I love tech and for me this control is great. My natural tendancy is to go off way too fast and not last, so this speed control is great for me.

I am away on business this week, so will run my next outside. I have no fear of this, except slipping in the snow, but would prefer to have more control. I think the boredom of the treadmill makes it harder than outside and the cold, wet uneven surfaces make the outside more challenging than inside. In short for a newbie like me, I think they are equally difficult with their own challenges, but would prefer my sacred data!!


Hi, I want to add some info to my post. Today I ran the 6 r2 outside. I felt that I was running really slowly, but ran/walked a total of 4.9 km. I think this basically the same as what I ran on the treadmill.

I dodged mud, snow, cars, pot holes and large amounts of hourse manure. The temperate here is -0.5, so I was too cold when I started and too hot on the run, I had no light and forgot my GPS, so can't chart my speed.

Despite all of the above, I enjoyed the run, but my route is a loop, so I ended up doing 12 minutes more walking on top of the above 4.9 km.

Interesting my calorie burn on 6r1 was 557 and on 6r2 was 568 (this figure includes the extra 12 mins walking). Basically the same I think.

Conclusion - outside is less boring if there is something to look at, but if you are time limited and want more control over the run, then indoors has it for me.


I completed all my C25K running outside but bought a treadmill in November so I could continue to run throughout the Winter and because the evenings were getting dark (don't like the cold and won't run in the dark).

I prefer running outside and I personally find it easier, so I run outside whenever the weather permits, it's early enough in the day and family commitments permit. I have been doing a 10k training plan which has meant upping my mileage from about 9 miles per week to 18 miles and without the treadmill I would have struggled. I don't see it as being less of a workout just a bit different.


I am an outdoor runner but use the treadmill when we have snow/ice. I feel the workouts to be the same and you actually do have a consistent pace on the treadmill, which you may not have outdoors. From reading, treadmills are kinder on the joints and allow more cushioning. I also read that bone density will build quicker by running outdoors on pavement or other firm surfaces. Who knows? I say keep doing what your doing, mix some indoors with outdoors, find what works best for you and go for it!!! Gayle


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