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I wanted to try C25K, but was thinking about doing it on my gym's treadmills, since I don't feel like running around my neighborhood (at least not until I'm better at it), and it's climate controlled inside.  I don't understand how the treadmill is supposed to work with all the switching back and forth from walking to running.  Do you just adjust the speed back and forth and be ready to run?  I worry that I'll fall flat on my face if I just try turning up the speed.  I also don't know what speed is a reasonable speed for trying to run.  I walk at 3-3.5 mph with a little incline.  This article (https://www.livestrong.com/article/508417-what-is-an-average-speed-for-running-on-a-treadmill-for-a-beginner/) says running starts at 4.5 mph, so should I just bump it up to 5 and try keeping up?

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The only treadmill running I've done is when trying on new running shoes, so I'm probably not the person to answer this, but...


I think first step would be to get comfortable on the treadmill and its controls before starting running on it or starting a couch to 5k programme. I think you need to get confident with what the various buttons and settings do, how to turn it on and off, to work out how not to fall over, that sort of thing. Perhaps don't go faster than some of the walking settings until you're comfortable and confident on it and then perhaps look at some of the easy running pace settings and find one that feels right.


As for speed, it's really hard to say - it depends on your natural gearing. I'm helping my running club with c25k at the moment, and we have people running at barely past walking pace, and people running much faster at what I'd regard as my 'easy' pace. People are built differently, and running more slowly than your comfortable slow pace can be difficult.


There's a temptation in c25k to want to run quickly, but obviously it's not about speed but running the distance at whatever pace suits. So I think I'd recommend starting slowly and keep the speed constant for all the running bits of that workout. If it feels too slow - unnaturally and inefficiently slow - then try turning it up a bit next time. You needn't turn it up just because you feel you can - one of the points of the programme is that each run should challenge you but not wipe you out utterly. 


I would recommend running outside rather than on the treadmill, but I quite understand the motivation to start in relative private, especially if the weather outside isn't ideal...


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 Level 4 Human Adventurer / Level 4 Scout, couch to 5k graduate, six time marathon finisher.



Current 5k Personal Best: 22:00 / 21:23 / 21:13 / 21:09 / 20:55 / 20:25 (4th July 17)

Current 5 mile PB: 36:41 35:27 34:52 (10th May 17)

Current 10k PB: 44:58 44:27 44:07 44:06 43:50 (29th June 17)

Current Half Marathon PB: 1:41:54 1:38:24 1:37:47 1:37:41 (14th June 15)

Current Marathon PB: 3:39:34 3:29:49 (10th April 16)


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I'm also not a fan of C25K on a treadmill. Personally, I find that I don't run at a steady pace, so I have to err on the side of caution with a treadmill. Also, depending on the specific app you are using, tracking distance traveled can be a bit of a challenge.


That being said, it's not that bad to transition on a treadmill. At least the ones I've used have a ramp up from your walking to running speed, so you'll find it's not a crazy change from the walking to running. I'd recommend starting at the 4.5 mph they recommend and see how you feel at the end of the workout. You can always adjust your speed on the fly, but I (again, this is totally personal preference) try to stay consistent. 

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Benefits of running on a treadmill:

  • crazy consistent pace
  • crazy accurate distance monitoring
  • probably air-conditioned (particularly relevant given the season

Drawbacks of running on a treadmill:

  • may make you want to commit suicide
  • guaranteed to make you a little crazy
  • gets you used to the idea of air conditioning on your runs

FWIW, there's no automatic cutoff -- "below x pace is walking, above y pace is running." Running starts when you can no longer keep up by walking, whatever pace that happens to be. That being said, a 3-4 mph walk and calling 4.5 mph and up a jog feels pretty right. The most common failure point for anybody starting out is trying to run FAST before they've even adjusted to running PERIOD. The pace you should be running at most of the time is a pace at which you can carry on a conversation.


I wouldn't worry about "being seen" around your neighborhood "before you get better." In the first place, the average person is only likely to think "oh hey a jogger" if they think anything at all (they won't). In fact, you're a lot more likely to inspire somebody else to get off their donk and get moving. Everybody has to start somewhere. (When you do take it outside, though, be a conscientious runner and don't be darting out into traffic or doing anything that would give some jerko a chance to run you off the road. 'Cuz they will. Watch your ass.)


But that's just my exceptionally biased take. Runners don't call treadmills "dreadmills" for nothing.

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I figured out how to attach the clip to the kill switch, so now I'm not so worried about being so uncoordinated that I fall off.  I'm still just walking on the treadmill for now.  I might try a little running on it sometime soon though.  Thanks for all the advice.  I could consider going a little past the gym to the park and do a run there too.  I think they have a track. 


I'm so totally not a runner, but everyone has to start somewhere.  When I tried C25K last time, I made it to about day three before I told my wife that "I'm just not a runner" and that she could just throw away my gym clothes.  And I was doing a modified C25K where I started off with half as many running sessions, since that kept me winded enough.  Lol.  Haven't given up on the idea that I may become a runner yet though.  I'm kinda hoping with the treadmill that it will keep me better at pacing myself to just do the 4.5 mph jog, because I think I get carried away when I don't have something else keeping the speed in check, and that's part of why it's so hard on me.  That and I've never been a runner, so it's just going to be hard to start with.  But I think when I tried before I was making it too hard on myself by being over enthusiastic when the thing said run.


I'll probably end up running around my neighborhood ultimately.  It's a private neighborhood without much through traffic.  It just has a lot of walkers, and some of them try to talk to you when you're walking.  They don't seem to take earbuds in being a hint that you're not really accessible for conversation, or else they didn't notice the earbuds last time I tried doing anything.  And also I pant like a maniac now when I try running, so feel kinda self-conscious with the walkers seeing me, even though I doubt they're too judgey.  But I could just go to the park if I want to change my surroundings, and the treadmill proves too boring.  As mentioned though, I think I like the treadmill idea until I get used to what a gentle running pace is supposed to be.

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Level 10 Vegetarian Vampire Warrior

STR: 16 DEX: 7 STA: 6 WIS: 46 CON: 27 CHA: 17

Intro | Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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Absolutely start off with just walking to get your body used to it. You don't need to rush into a full blown training program. I've got asthma so running outside is very difficult for me, so I use a treadmill. I find that if I start around 2mph I give myself a chance to warm up and, when that pace feels plodding, I up it to 2.5 Eventually I get it up to 3mp and can maintain that. It's not at an ideal target, but it's better than where I started, and way better than nothing at all.


I've had some success using Zombies Eun 5k (althought I keep starting and not finishing. grr). In that, you periodically have to run from zombies. In those instances I'll raise the speed on the treadmill to around 4 or so. Whatever feels like I'm pushing myself without being so out of breath that I can't continue.


Right now I can really only jog, not run. But again that's way better than when I used to get tired from just walking. I've improved my form and posture, and have actually done a couple of 5ks in the past. That's something I never in a million years would have thought possible.


So TL;DR, don't stress about hitting target speeds and go with what works for you and your body. Once you're used to the treadmill you can adjust the speed up and down however much you want, even mid run.

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First thing I'll say is, don't run, do a slow jog. This is important mentally because it transitions you from a walk to almost a run. Take it nice and slow at the start. If you think you can go slower, you should go slower. Once you complete the program, you'll feel more comfortable increasing the speed.


As for the treadmill thing, if that's what is going to get you started running, then do it. I myself first did C25k on a treadmill. For the first few weeks, I alternated treadmill running with running outside. I found myself a little soccer oval that was always empty, so I ran there quite a few times. Eventually I found running outside to be way more fun than a treadmill so I stopped treadmill running entirely. 


The important thing is to just start. Do that first run, then work everything else from there.

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I probably have a bit before I actually build up to the C25K program.  My resting heart rate is 95, and I can get to a 140 cardio zone and build up quite a sweat from just a 3.2 mph walk. I guess I’ll wait until walking gets a bit easier before I try interspersing jogs. Thanks for all the helpful advice!

Level 10 Vegetarian Vampire Warrior

STR: 16 DEX: 7 STA: 6 WIS: 46 CON: 27 CHA: 17

Intro | Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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