New Runner - Treadmill?

Hi all,

I was stupid enough to agree to run the Birmingham half marathon in October 2013 (it was an ego thing with the brother in law...) and now need to try to get into shape and start some training to be able to run for more than 30 seconds. I've tried jogging in the past, but never really got into it. I'm hoping this is because I was rubbish at it and I never gave it more than a week. I did find it a little dull though. I find that with most exercise that isn't a competitive sport unfortunately.

Anyway, got some tips from here about where to start and still have my old jogging shoes but not sure about where to run. Not many places round here that are lit up in the dark and the local streets are not ideal due to narrow pathways and I think too hilly for a beginner. I also feel a bit self conscious when other people see me walking more often than jogging and pretty red faced/near collapse to go with it.

So I was just wondering if a treadmill is vastly different? Could I still build up the stamina on a treadmill initially and venture into the dark, hilly roads when I can actually job for 10 minutes? I've heard people say a treadmill is completely different and 10 minutes on one of them is nothing on tarmac.

Fairly clueless really so any help appreciated



  • I think if your previous attempts were a little dull, there is not much in favour of the treadmill image

    Great to have a target, and hopefully your ego with your brother will give you the motivation.

    Who cares if someone sees you puffy, red faced and walking? If you don't know them why bother what they think. In any case, there are loads of new runners all the time, so what makes you think that at a different time in the day they weren't huffing and puffing jut like you. If you do know them, either they will be supportive, or if not then give yourself the satisfaction of showing them and proving them wrong come October.

    Can you run from work instead? Or drive/commute somewhere you can run on th way home? Do you know any runners that you could ask for possible good places to run? Presumably you can do at least one run a week in daylight where you can run somewhere good, so you only need sort two runs a week say, until lovely lighter days are with us.

    Treadmills have a place. Some people swear by them, but personally I would avoid and just get out there.
  • Some find them far easier than the road - some harder, others about the same.  I can run 13 km/h on the road for a few miles ok, but on a treadmill I'm down at 9-10 km/h for the same heart rate (give or take depends on treadmill).  So I now only use them with a HR monitor rather than worry about the speed.  My work colleage can run 12 km/hr on a treadmill comfortably but struggles at this pace outside.

    Don't be worried about what others think - I was like this early on and it held me back.  Now I'll happily wear lycra tights and luminous yellow top.  If someone is watching you they don't know if you are running for endurance or doing intervals and are walking deliberately - try not to worry about it.  You can always travel to somewhere better to run (do you drive?) or join a running club.

    Saying all that my treadmill is useful for those days I just can't be bothered to go out - keeps me ticking over, though I can't see me using it for the majority of any serious training (unless unsafe to run outside due to ice/snow/lightning etc.).

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If your race is on the road then the best place to train for it is on the road.
  • Def train on the roads. Just find a bit of residential estate and run / walk between alternate lamposts. Its actually better starting out this time of year as its so dark no one can see you red faced huffy and puffy! We've all been there....  Just start by running half the speed you feel you "should" be... go for time running at first, not pace. Alternativly go to the BBC website and use their couch to 5k plan, which is pretty good too. Def agree with deave about finding a running club.

    If you're motivated by competition can you beg/borrow/steal a garmin from someone? (a wrist watch - style GPS tracker) itll tell you you;re route, pace, hart rate (if you get on with the monitor) , calories burnt etc etc ... its great for competing against yourself, I find I do anyway.... (or is that just me?!) Now get off the forum and get on those mean streetsimage lol good luck! 

  • Alan, I only started 10 days ago and couldnt run for 1 mins before my shins cramped and I literally limped of home. It was pathetic and I felt really terrible about it. A week later and i completed the days 1-3 of week 1 of the C25k. Tonight is the start of week 2.

    With encouragement from people on here, as I had, and your friends, just prove everyone wrong and get out there and do it.

    Best advice I had was get some proper running shoes from the start.

  • Thanks for all the replies, I hadn't expected so much help!

    Running from work isn't really an option, the distance might be doable when I get a bit fitter but i'd struggle to get in the next day and would have to either jog in again or walk which would most likely make me late. I tend to work quite long hours at the moment as it is.

    I had a quick look at the Garmin watches, they seem very pricey. Are there any recommendations? I'd be willing to get one if/when I can get into running a bit more but would be reluctant to buy one now and then have it sat on a shelf.

    Not sure about my running shoes, I went on one of the gait machines at decathlon but they didn't fill me with confidence that they knew what they were doing with it. Only spent a few minutes on their machine and walked rather than ran... Still, will see how I get on.

    I'm planning to go for a run on Saturday when theres a bit of daylight so will see how unfit I am. I've also found a beginners running club that is on Monday nights at a nearby park so thought I'd head along to that as well and get a bit of local knowledge/advice.

    I'll let you know how I get on

    Thanks again


  • Hey Alan,

    Best of luck for the half-marathon training. I reckon you've made a great decision to start thinking about it early - you've got plenty of time to get training in.

    I did the BUPA Great Winter 5k last weekend - there were all shapes, sizes and speeds there.. Some were flying up the route, and others were walking the first 1k. I picked out a few guys and raced them, really enjoyed the race and pushed myself harder to catch these guys.

    If you feel like a bit of healthy competition would help you to enjoy training, why don't you book yourself in for some 5k, then 10k races for march/april to give you something smaller to look forward to and break up your overall training.

    Let us know how you get on.


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