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Can I Do A Couch To 5K On A Treadmill? Here’s Our Guide

The Couch to 5K running plan is an exercise routine that can help you be able to run a 5K race in nine weeks. The first week is reserved for walking. By week two, you’re running for a minute, and then walking for a minute for a total of twenty minutes. By week three, you’re running for two minutes, then walking for one minute. Each week you increase your running time by thirty seconds, giving you time to catch your breath and slow down if you need to. By week six you can run for thirty minutes, and by week nine you’re ready to tackle a 5K race.

The idea of running a 5K may seem simple, but you may need to adopt a different training strategy than you used in the past. If you’ve never run more than a few times in your life, it may be hard to make it through the first few weeks of running.

To get started, you need to start slow and gradually build up your endurance. For example, here are some tips for running a 5K without killing yourself.

Couch To 5K On A Treadmill

A common question for those who have started down the road of running is can I do it on a treadmill? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, with a caveat. Treadmills are a great way to get in a good run, and they are especially great for those who live in colder climates where you can’t run outside year-round.

Running is a great form of exercise and can be the key to reaching your desired weight. If you’re ready to take your running to the next level, check out the Couch to 5K program, which will get you running three miles in just nine weeks.

This program starts with running for just one minute, two times a week, and slowly builds your distance until you’re able to run for 30 minutes nonstop. While running on a treadmill may not seem as “real” as running outdoors, it’s much safer–you don’t have to worry about cars, other people, dogs, or potholes. The best part? You can run on a treadmill in your own home!

Week One of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

As with any running program, it’s best to start your Couch to 5K training schedule slowly. Week One starts you off with three short runs and one longer run, lasting between 20 and 30 minutes altogether. The first run of Week One will take place entirely indoors on the treadmill, which is a great place to start if you’ve never run before. 

Week Two of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

It’s time to hit the ground running on a new week of The Couch to 5K Treadmill Plan. Week 2 is all about building on what you learned in Week 1 – so don’t worry if you struggled to finish the mini-workouts last week. This week, they’re more challenging, so while the walk intervals are shorter, you’ll be running for longer periods of time. Each day, you’ll start by walking for 5-10 minutes to warm up. Then, you’ll alternate running and walking, depending on the day’s running intervals. During the running periods, the speed will increase each time you run, from a slow jog to a full run

Week Three of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

Ready to start running? This week’s plan builds on the previous ones and introduces interval training to your running program. Intervals are short bursts of high-intensity running alternated with short recovery periods. Intervals are a great way to increase your stamina and speed as well as to prevent burnout. This week, you will begin with a warm-up, then alternate between running and walking for 50 to 60 seconds. You will repeat this pattern for 20 minutes to complete a “workout”. The first workout will be very challenging but as you progress, the interval periods will get longer and the recovery periods shorter.

Week Four of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

Week four of the C25K plan (C25K stands for Couch to 5K ) is the end of the beginning, and many people are starting to feel more confident about getting out there and running every day. If you’re struggling, don’t worry. Some people find week four a big challenge, but others run straight through. If you’re having trouble, you could slow down and try to run for longer before you walk or stop. You could also try running for 5 minutes and walking for five minutes. By the end of week four, you should be able to run for 30 minutes straight.

Week Five of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

Week five of the C25K (Couch to 5K) plan involves running for 30 minutes non-stop, which, for many people, is the most difficult part of the entire program. Fortunately, the C25K program is designed to get you to this point gradually, starting with three minutes of running at a time, then adding on an additional minute every time you run for the next three weeks.

Week Six of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

If you have been sticking to the plan all week, you should be starting to feel comfortable with running for 20 minutes straight. The time will be going very quickly, and you might even find yourself looking forward to hitting that “Stop” button at the end. You might even be able to run for 30 minutes straight now, though if your body feels like it, it is OK to run for fewer minutes. 

Week Seven of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

This week we will get back to running intervals on the treadmill. This means we will be alternating walking with running intervals, with this week being four minutes of walking and one minute of running. Try to mix up the walking and running intervals so that you start off running and finish off walking. If you have time and energy left over at the end of your workout, go for a short run!

Week Eight of The Couch TO 5K Treadmill Plan

This is the final week of 8 of the couch to 5K plan. If you have been following the plan and running 3 times a week, you are well on your way to being able to run a 5K (3.1 miles). If you have been following the plan and only running once a week, you should be able to run a 5K by the end of the month, and if you have been following the plan and not running at all then you should be able to run a 5K in about two months. It’s not hard, it just takes some time and effort.

Last Words

The couch to 5k plan is designed to help you prepare to run a 5k race. It is a great program for beginners, but you do have to be disciplined and dedicated to making it work. 

You have to make sure you’re doing the plan on a treadmill that is at the right speed. Many new runners make the mistake of running on a treadmill that’s either too fast or too slow, which can be dangerous since it’s hard to correct your speed when you’re on the treadmill.


Randy Lucas

Randy here - Fitness enthusiast and avid runner - besides running I also love playing with my two German Shepherds Peter and Bruce - oh and I love cooking. I am the Webmaster over at where I ramble about all things fitness in an effort to make the world a healthier place.