Last month, I went for a run outside for the first time in a really long time! (Thank you, Mother Nature for giving us random hot days in March!) As great as it was, it was a huge wake-up call. I was harshly reminded why I monumentaly prefer running outside vs. running on a treadmill. The treadmill baby’d be and cuddled me throughout my runs while the pavement showed me tough love and made me cry a little. And I’m the type of girl who bathes in tough love!

(This is not a post on comparing the two; there are PLENTY of better-informed sources out there for you to check out if you are interested – like this one from Live Strong.) In this post, I’ll share a few of my tips on how to transition from the treadmill to the pavement!

Before we begin, can we acknowledge my wicked photoshop skills below? Beastmode right here.


If you’ve just started running recently and live in Canada (like me), you’ve probably been running on the treadmill for most of the time this year. I’ve put together some tips to help you transition from the treadmill to the pavement this spring! If you’d like tips on how to start running in general, please see my 5 Running Tips for Beginners (extremely useful tips in there, I promise).

  1. HYDRATE – I cannot stress this enough! Hydrate throughout the day so your body is ready for your run! And when it’s really hot out, I like to drink a cup of icewater just before I head out.
  2. Be gear-ready: Sunscreen on your face (this is very important, ladies and gents!), water bottle or a hydration belt if you’re going for a long run, sunglasses, proper attire (mind the tan lines!) & of course, your house key. Do I need to tell you to make sure you have proper running shoes with sufficient support? Because you will definitely need that :)
  3. Plan your route – There’s so many apps out there so help you with this! But I like to use just good ol’ Google Maps so measure out my distance. A few things to keep in mind: safety issues, construction,and time of day.
  4. Mind your posture – When we get tired, we slouch. DO NOT SLOUCH! Be mindful of your posture and keep your back straight while you run. Slouching puts the pressure on your neck, shoulder and lower back and may cause you some pain.
  5. Stretch – After your cool-down period, find a nice spot to stretch. Your muscles will be quite tight right after your run so make sure to stretch them out. I love stretching after a tough run! It helps with flexibility and it may or may not help with soreness (so many contradictory studies on this!).

FYI Original photo is from Nike and my wicked photoshop skills are to thank for the addition of my beastmode face. ;)

Have any treadmill-to-pavement tips to add? Did you find this post helpful? Should I do more running posts? Yes/No? Please comment below! (Ooop, I rhyme!)

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  • Thoughts on shoes? Any brand preference?

    • I am partial to Nike (because I use the Nike+ app). Mine are the Lunarlites. But I’ve heard great things about Asics and New Balance. Since it’s different for everyone, I recommend you go into the Running Room because they can help you find the right fit for your feet.  I think Chris (@Canadian88:twitter ) did a post on his experience there and even though he ended up buying his shoes elsewhere, he got a better idea on what works better for his body. Hope that helps!

      • I bought a pair of Saucony and Under Armour Running Shoes after my cross trainers were blistering me up. I’ll likely give Nike a look when I buy a new pair in the summer.

  • I just read this post…great tips! One of my goals this year is to run a race. Thanks Maria!! :)