I have been running on a treadmill regularly as part of my gym routine for the past two years. Over the last six months or so, I have been regularly doing 5 Km in 30 mins twice a week in addition to shorter 20 minute runs for a total of four to five days a week.

I want to start running marathons, and was wondering whether my regime would have me prepared for a 10 Km run as a first marathon.

The marathon I am talking about is taking place next week.

  • Apologies for using the wrong tags while talking about a quarter marathon. If someone with Create tags privilege can edit this answer and create the tag, that would be great.
    – ZeMoon
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 9:13
  • Although I can't say if you are prepared for a marathon, I'd like to point out that (most) treadmills have some kind of suspension, which makes running on them less straining for your joints. Maybe keep that in the back of your mind when running on the streets.
    – Suimon
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 11:05
  • Do you run on the treadmill flat or on an incline?
    – Dark Hippo
    Commented Nov 16, 2018 at 12:24
  • @Suimon Thanks! I will keep that in mind, and not over-exert myself. But do you think It would be very difficult given the above conditioning?
    – ZeMoon
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 6:08
  • @DarkHippo I have been running with some incline for the past few months. I read somewhere that it makes it similar to conditions on roads.
    – ZeMoon
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 6:09

2 Answers 2


I'm being a bit (very?) anal here, but it's a 10k not a marathon nor is it a quarter marathon.

In any case, a week is a very short time to get ready!

You need to start running outside on the real road or trails. This is because treadmills don't work on all the same muscles as the real road. The machine maintains in a way pushes you at all times so you can push off the belt and there is a "give" vs on the road where the ground does not "give" on every step. As well the machine maintains a constant mechanical pace vs road running where you need to mentally maintain it.

You may notice this the first time you run and feel gassed and a bit achy in certain parts of your legs. So, start off easy because you may not be able to hit the same pace as on the treadmill, at least initially.

Overdoing it so soon could make you hurt too much on the actual run day.

Another piece is the fact that you have never run a continuous 10k. This means pacing is going to be very different. You cannot run 10k at the same pace as a 5k as you will wear down very quickly. Example if you do 5k in 30 minutes, you won't likely do 10k in 1 hour. Pace yourself to take longer, perhaps 1:15 to 1:30. Further in as you go through the run you can mentally reevaluate your condition and adjust your speed. It's better in this reduced training time to save a little gas for later.

One more thing is psychology/discipline. These runs have a lot of people usually, so keeping your pace and focus is very important. Don't get psyched into trying to catch up to someone running faster than you as they could have a different game plan and conditioning. Plan and keep a straight course to minimize waste of energy trying to dodge people and any obstacles

  • Understood! I am not trying to beat any record here, but was wondering if going a 10K would be too out of my pace. I will definitely keep in mind not over exerting myself.
    – ZeMoon
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 6:42
  • Only way to get better and do better is to reach for more :) my progression over the decades was from 5 to 10 to half to full marathon. I suppose everybody has different training.
    – johnnychi
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 18:18

Depends on the training on the treadmill. Do you do intervalls? How do you feel after 30min? Is 5k your physical maximum? What is your FTP? Also depends on the course of the race. Is it flat? Best Option for a fist try would be something like a stadium racetrack due to the similarities with a treadmill run. Defenetly don´t go for a challenging course like cross country. You could risk injury due to uneven ground which you are not used to

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