Treadmill Runner looking to hit the road

Hi All!

Thank you for reading my thread! - I am a new(ish) runner with an average level of fitness. In the gym I am running 10-12k three times a week in 60-72 minutes. I have always been a gym runner becuase I am easily embaressed running outside.

I really want to take my running to the streets (I have heard that this is a better way to train for events). I have a 10k road race coming up in around a months time and a half marathon in about 6 months. I would love to be able and confident outside for both of these.

Could anybody offer any insight into the differences between indoors and outside running? - is outside running more difficult?. If I am running 7.5 miles in 70 minutes would this translate to the same outdoors or would it be slower?

All tips and encouragement could be most welcome.





  • Tom- I was in the same boat as you about 3 years ago. The biggest difficulties are: judging pace outdoors- if you have a iphone, or other gps-type system, this is easier, otherwise, pick a route you know the length  of(measue it on map-my -run if unsure), then work out how long that would take at your current treadmill pace, and make sure you set off slower than that.

    To make your treadmill runs feel closer to the same effort - put 1 degree incline on the tready.

    This sounds silly, but thing like going round corners, steping over kerbs, avoiding bollards all take time and energy- well worth running outside to get used to this.

  • I find the big difference is the hills. With flat courses my times are roughly the same. Wind, rain, cars don't help, but you'll keep much cooler, can sprint finish and won't have the mindnumbing boredom.

  • Only ever run on a treadmill a few times and found it uninspiring so high five for sticking with it. Much better outdoors seeing the sights, smelling the smells, whole new dimensions for you to enjoy. Yesterday it was chucking it down with rain and I came back with a big grin on my face.

    No need to be embarrassed your pace is fine and if you are worried people are laughing at you at least you have got off your backside and are doing something, they are the ones who probably should be embarassed. Be proud - run with your head held high.

    Chances are all those people you think are looking at you barely actually register you, as they are usually lost in their own world. How much notice do you take of someone on a bike or a woman pushing a pram... a couple of seconds and then you have moved on to other things.

  • I'm comically slow and get a beetroot face so I try to run before 7am to avoid any looks or jeers! image  If I was as fast as you I would make a point of always being seen. image

    I agree with everything everyone else has said with regards to hills, pacing and obstacles.  It is so much more interesting though, especially when the weather is dry and chilly.

  • I've always preferred running outside to treadmills it's like half runner said its one big enjoyable experience compared to indoors- Boring sights, usually smells funny and less things to look at image

    Forget your indoor times as outside your probably quicker. I've found I run 10k indoors a lot slower than out, sometimes you'll have the wind behind and some in front and all other factors play a part.

    I would forget about what people are thinking as your probably enjoying something their not so don't let it get to you and when it rains its even more fun!! image
  • I'm about to head the other way for winter - not a morning person and really can't get motivated to head out unless the weather is decent. I've just bought a treadmill to be delivered next week to keep me ticking over as the days draw in.

    Only used them a couple of times before, and the biggest difference I noticed was the consistency of pace - on the road my pace changes constantly by 30/40 secs/mile up and down over little undulations,whereas on the treadmill you can't do this easily.
  • Having never used a treadmill much in my life I am doing a lot of training on them now. You can control the pace (and in my case the HR) much easier than outside and when recovering from injury it is easy to stop when you feel a slight twinge rather than having to run back 3 miles or so.

    Ruunning outside is much more enjoyable but treadmills do have their place.

    PS well done on doing 10-12K as that is quite impressive

  • One of the problems you can get on a tready is the lack of variation in foot strike causing niggles- I have experimented with small variations in incline/ speed to avoid monotony ( I once did a 20 miler on a tready- mind- blowing!- although I did get to watch a whole film whist doing so).

    Second vote here for trying runnig in what look like bad weather conditions- it's greart fun, if you feel warm and toasty in just running   kit, and everyone else looks like they are hating every minutes of being outside- it's the initial step of getting out the door that is the problem.

  • Yup, that initial step outside is the hard one. I took the plunge to buy one after getting stuck 3 miles from home 2 weeks ago during a taper run.. Fine weather when I set off, then cooled down a fair bit and then the heavens opened (torrentially) but the rain was so cold it hurt and I had to shelter under a tree, I was running covering my eyes as each rain drop was so painful and after a few minutes was shivering uncontrollably so decided to brave it and head home, hand over my eyes. Had I been miles and miles out I may have been in trouble... Damn that met office!

    Prior to that'd happily run in rain and or cold, but the combination really put me off.
  • Thank you to everybody that has replied - I really appreciate your input!

    I am going to brave it and head out onto the streets this weekend, maybe nice and early to evade too much in the way of human traffic!

    I have my first 10k road race on November 18th, so need to get some outside miles through my feet before that time (10k is simple for me in the gym at 10km/h and 2 degree incline)

  • Lets us know how you get on. Enjoy

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