training for 10k on treadmill

Hi Everyone,

I have signed up to do a 10k run, and I'm going to have to train on a tredmill as I live city centre and with being female...the jeers etc are all a bit embarrasing when just trying to exercise!!!

 I was just wondering what level is a decent pace to go at. I currently run at level 12, for 3km.... Get bored and walk for about 1km- hlf of this maybe uphill(if Im feeling good) then i'll run another 2km and walk again until eventually i've done 10k even if its through running or walking! My aim is to run 10k without having to slow down to a walk......

is level 12 on the treadmill a realistic aim to do this at? any other tips and advice for general 10k very welcome!!!

Thank you!


  • Haven't a clue what level 12 on your treadmill is.

    Walk run training is fine to begin with, however it seems you're just walking out of boredom rather than need, therefore it is unlikely that you are gaining a great deal of benefit from running on the treadmill (in trying to improve performance).

    There will be people on here that will tell you that running on a treadmill is poor training for running a road race - the dynamics of running on a treadmill are very different to those of running on the road. There is far less impact as well. I would be scared to advise you to run a 10k without first having run on the road and having built up the milage slowly. That doesn't mean that it can't be done.

    Can you not find someone, or a group of people to run with? Do you really get that much abuse? Can you not just ignore it? I'm sure they'll be help with dealing with it here.

    You need to be running continually - build up to 10k continual running on the tread mill at a pace that you can manage that isn't to easy nor too hard - only you know what that is for yourself.

    Edit to say - does your treadmill have hrm - that might be the best way to assess your training. Again experts on hr training here as well.

  • why can't you drive out of the city centre to somewhere where you can run in peace?

    or find a quiet route?

    10k training solely on a treadmill is, frankly, a dreadful idea
  • Are there no parks? even running round a fairly small green space would be far less boring that the dreaded treadmill. We have one and I just use it for short runs if the weathers bad or speed work.

    About 30 minutes 40 at a real push is the most I can manage on one.

    As Biker Mouse says, we've no idea what level 12 means in terms of the speed you're doing.

    To be honest I bet you won't get anywhere near the hassle you think you will out on the city streets - what city is it, I'm sure someone will be able to tell you what it's like.


  • Hello Hannah,

    I did the majority of my first races on treadmill training alone - I'm the only one at the club who works in Kilometers - blame the treadmill for that!

    Can't comment on levels, but I know the Km/Hour my treadmill goes at

    I train at around 13km/hour increasing to 14km/hour with upto 17km/hour sprints

    Do you get bored, or in all honesty do you get out of breath? I can't understand getting 'bored'

    Doing a hill routine is good training, but try and build on the initial distance you can run without walking, if that is your aim, s0 run 3km, then next time run 3.5km... Gradually build the distance you can run.

    As previous posters have noted, experienced runners do not advocate treadmill only training, but..

    Great times have been run on treadmill training alone - I started out on the tread, I've done a Half Marathon on a treadmill before.. get out if you can, but if you can't, good luck - let us know how it's going.

  • What about finding a club with an active beginner's group? Plenty of clubs do them, so no fear of being left behind.
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    I was also going to suggest a club, you'd be with lots of people then and not on your own.
  • By joining a club and running with others your running will improve far quicker, to a greater degree and you'll have a blast at the same time!

    Or you could always move to the sticks!

     Aim to use the treadie in dire emergencies only (really shite weather/returning from injury etc).

  • I did quite a lot of training on the treadmill for a 10k, and it worked really well. I set the treadmill to manual and 'hill' setting and try to run 10k within the hour, varying the speed from 9.8 at the start to 10.4, but if you are aiming for a quicker time then 11 km/12km is pretty quick, you may get hot quickly in the gym, so don't feel bad for stopping for a will be well prepared when you get out of the road because you will improve your leg speed significantly (this is what I found anyway) Try and get out on the road though if you can, map a route out on and just challenge yourself...if you have a garmin helps you track your speed but this varies to what the treadmill says...the speed settings are completely different.

     Good luck with the race.

  • Hi Hannah
    I have to agree that it's a million times better, more fun and interesting to run outside! I have done a bit of treadmill this winter for the first time as I'm in training for a half marathon and didn't want to go out in the ice. It's better than doing nothing but agree that it's boring and nothing like the experience of being outside, free, in the elements etc.. I did a week or 2 on the treadmill last month when it was really icy and when I got back on the road after having that break, I found it hard going, even though I was only doing 4-5 miles, which I usually find very straightforward. 5 miles on the treadmill is nothing like 5 miles on the road / off the road.

    I too live in the city- in London. As a young-ish female, yes I get heckled a bit, and it bothered me to start off with, but I really honestly don't notice it any more. It is worse in the summer and then it's really from the white van man type who would heckle you regardless of what you were doing. No one else is interested, you are completely invisible to most people. When I'm road running I always run with music anyway, so the iPod more or less drowns out any heckles. As another poster said, the alternative is a local park and many on here will tell you that this is superior to the road. They'd be right! Most cities have great green spaces- I run on the road down to the canal which takes me east away from Hackney and it's beautiful and peaceful.

    I think the thought of biting the bullet and going outside to run is nerve- wracking- I remember thinking everyone would be looking at me huffing and puffing when i first started running a couple of years ago. Honestly, 95% of people aren't at all interested, I promise you.
    Good luck, let us know how you're getting on with training.
  • Hi! I'm training for two 10ks this year and will be doing most of my training in the gym due to work commitments etc.  Am hoping to do outdoor training with a friend when we co-ordinate our schedules.

     I don't see anything wrong with training on the treadmill if that is what makes you comfortable, try and get outside now and again though, will help you learn how to pace yourself on race day.

    Enjoy and good luck!

  • That makes no sense at all, going to the gym is harder to arrange around work than just going out your front/back door and running. Or is the gym right next door to where you live or work? Even so, it's still easier to step out side and run, you can do it any time day or night at a moments notice, and it doesn't matter if your clothes stink from the last four runs you did in them.
  • Treadmill training is totally different compared to running outside, I know for a fact that I can run further using treadmills, in fact the last time I ran on a treadmill i managed to run 11k, which I cannot do running outside.

     However, I always look at doing what you enjoy, if you like running outside, run outside, if you prefer running on a treadmill, use a treadmill!

  • ?????

    Just run outside. I think reality is vastly different from your perception of it. Get over what ever your ludicrous perceptions are.

    Plus treadmills are crap compared to real running... i.e. outside as nature intended. Should only be used as a last resort.

  • I agree with what everyone says but at the end of the day do whats best for you. I love my treadmill and there are ways to make it less boring. I usually watch a film on my portable dvd player so there's something to look at. Before I know it I've watched a whole film without even thinking about the mileage. Don't watch really jumpy films though or you could shoot off the back like I almost did!
  • What mileage? The belt does the work spinning under you.

    I'd back a 60 minute 10km road runner in a race over a 60 minute 10km treadmill runner any day of the week.
  • I agree your probably right. Obviously I always put the incline up to make it harder. I have run the best part of 20 years on a treadmill and would love to do a race or even run outside but I suffer with rheumatoid arthritus so am too scared in case I bugger up my joints. Would like to know though if there are any other RA sufferrers who run outside. Please someone give me hope.
  • Find a nice trail, or just run on the grass if say the path in the park is tarmac. This is even easier on the joints than a traedmill which gives you reverb.
  • I think I'll give it a go. Got to try it sometime. Thanks for your advice, will let you know if I can still walk!
  • I know this is an old thread ... but must respond to stuff like "What mileage? The belt does the work spinning under you."  I say ... What?????

    I prefer the treadmill for real issues like athsma caused by pollution e.g. exhaust, dust, pollen and also ... because as an unstable surface the body tends to use it more flat footed (good for my weak injury prone left ankle).  And why should running be about having to pay attention to their environment all the time?  Oh yeah - actually - nearly everybody I see crossing the road - pedestrian/running whatever don't actually look.  I guess really they don't. Pay attention to their environment.  I find it difficult not to do that.  Survival instinct I guess.

    And how can people get bored????  Have they no thoughts?  No brain?  They need constant external stimulus or their brain freezes up?  Are they all ADHD?

    Running is fun.  I've injured my ankle a lot this year - else I'd still be running 7.3km to work, and then back, with my heavy rucksack, in all weathers, instead of cycling - despite the several-week chest infection I got in the extended cold-snap requiring anti-biotics.  I used to run about the same distance to secondary school and back as a kid (refusing lifts etc. from parents) - and then to part-time work and back while at colleage. Etc. But I see no shame in treadmill running.  And I find ... that I improve my pace on the treadmill.  Not outside.  Outside is constant vigilence, caution, apprehension ... being onguard and holding back (except on track or during race conditions).  I found in 2008 that I ran faster on the road during the Great Manchester Run than I did on the treadmill at the time.  I overheat on the treadmill.

    This year I didn't run faster in the 10km run as I was stuck behind too many people and hadn't guaged my improvement properly. I was overtaking lots of people for the whole route, being slowed down.  This week my PB was 38.21 for 10km on the treadmill ... I'm 172cm and about 170 pounds (visibly fat around the middle and arse - at least 15-pounds or so overweight and more above guant running optimum) ... and I'm 40 years old in a few weeks.  I'm getting faster as I started at about 225 pounds again (weight goes up with stress/depression) in late Nov 2012 and am still slowly losing weight and getting fitter.  I'm doing that ... on the treadmill.  In fact ... I'm hoping to work down to at least 35 mins, and hopefully as near as I can get to 30 or beyond by May next year - 2014.

    And I know ... if I can do it on the treadmill to the point where I max out (keeping short of overheating) ... then I can do it faster on the road.  The treadmill is my friend!

    Maybe when I see someone running upstairs I can say to them ... what mileage?  The steps are going down!!!  Or when someone is swimming against a tide I can say to them ... what mileage?  The water's doing all the work for you!  Or if someone is running around the planet against the direction of spin I could say ... what mileage?  You haven't gone anywhere ... in fact you've gone backwards!!!  I'm sure they'll be impressed with my dismissal of their accomplishment! Lol!!!

  • .......  and breath.image


    agree that there is a lot of nonsense spoken about treadmills (it is as if basic physics don't apply). Can't quite match my road pace to treadmill pace over 10k, but then a fairer comparison would be treadmill v track. 

    As for boredom, I'll admit the 2hr 53 last week was a long time to be with my own thoughts. Physically that was easier on the legs over marathon distance compared to road miles - recovery was far quicker

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I use the treadmill, it has a place in my training mixed with track and rd.

    David- Your posting good times, though your expectations for what you can achieve by May 2014 are extremely optimistic. There is a world of difference between dropping a few minutes to 38 than there is dropping a few minutes from 38 to 35. Sub 35 min would have you in the top 100 this year for a v40 10k runner.

    Oh and if anyone from 2 years ago is still about, the level on a treadmill is kmh! If you are on level 12 you are running at 12kmh so 50 min 10k.

  • Im a fairly new 'runner' and not afraid to say a 10k treadmill user. 3 months ago I couldn't even run 500m so im pretty dam proud of my treadmill running. Ive yet to road run properly as Ive yet to grasp the confidence to do this even though the gym overlooks a beautiful grassy park ! Saying the belt does the work for you makes me slightly irate as Ive worked very hard over the last 3 months to get where I am today and im sure many others have also. I will progress to outdoors for training as its a 10k race for me in May but for now im happy with the treddie in the gym .

  • Level 12 on the treadmill is probably 12km per hour, someone has probably said this by now but I didn't read all the posts so not sure! Anyway when I run on treadmill I usually vary from 11.5-13.5 km per hour, I would recommend training outside but if your not going to then I would definitely put the treadmill on a 1-2% incline, if you can only do 3km on level 12 then maybe aim for a very slow jog for the 4th km, say level 7-8? Build up distance by running for longer and a slow pace.

    I used to do a lot of running on the treadmill, havent done a 10k on one, usually 5ks but have managed an 8 before. I run outside now and only use treadmill when the weather is bad, I think it's great for training and it helped me with pacing a lot, I no much prefer outdoor running, I think the time passes quicker and it's more enjoyable, anyway it's personal preference and I'm sure you'll achieve your goal! Good luck image 

  • She probably found out geordiegirl2, the thread is nearly 3 years old!

  • Oh sorry, hadn't realised...

  • image  And we never found out what level 12 was too image

  • Haha, I wonder if they ever ran the 10k, or if they walked ... 

  • I'm going for my level 12 treadmill exam tomorrow. Do wish me luckimage

  • Good luck AR, remember where the on-off button is image

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