From Treadmill to the Road

in All Posts

My friend Cindi is training for her VERY first race – a half marathon!


She’s doing the same race that I’m doing in December (I’m doing the full distance), so we’re going to try to do some training runs together.


Cindi is currently running about 5.0 miles max, but on the treadmill.  Of course, treadmill running counts as running, but it is different than running outside with hills, wind, and sun. 


I actually trained for most of my first race – a 10K – on the treadmill.  A few weeks before the race, I realized that I should probably starting running OUTSIDE!  Whoops! :)  I read a great article on Runner’s World that suggested you slowly transition over the course of a few weeks, not all at once.  Your bones and joints have to get used used to the new terrain!


Cindi did great – we did 3.5 miles in 43 minutes.  Rock OUT!


Pre-run, I TRIED to get some work done, but I was rather unproductive today.  I need to be on the ball tomorrow!


Snacks included an orange:


And chips (totally mindless munching, which is fine with me every now and then!):


Dinner was really fun and featured one of my favorite HTP Swaps and Additions tips!  I made whole wheat enchiladas, but put it on top of a bed of lettuce.


In the enchilada:


  • Lightly pre-cooked tofu (I grilled it on the stovetop for a few minutes to get it started before I put the whole enchilada in the oven per this method)
  • Spinach
  • Steamed and chopped Brussel sprouts
  • A little brown rice
  • Corn and chile salsa (a pre-made kind from TJ’s)


For the Husband’s enchiladas, I took out the tofu and put in mashed sweet potato (guess he wasn’t in the mood for tofu!).


Topped everything with salsa



And green beans on the side:


Dessert was some Cadbury’s milk chocolate


Question #1:  I struggle to start large, intimidating work projects.  Does anyone else suffer from this problem?  How do you get over the hump and JUST DO IT?

Question #2:  Did you transition from the treadmill to the road?  Got any tips for Cindi?



  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 8, 2010, 9:22 pm

    When I have large projects I make a to-do list and break it down. Then I can attack small chunks of the project.

    Transitioning to the road from the treadmill is tough! I started by finding a relatively flat trail and running 5 minutes, walk 1 minutes, etc, until I built up some stamina. Then I looked for more hilly routes!

    • Anne @thefitbridesmaid September 8, 2010, 10:24 pm

      The “to-do list” is pretty much what I was going to say.

  • Katie September 8, 2010, 9:26 pm

    I trained for my first half-marathon primarily on the treadmill. I transitioned to road running when I got my Garmin because it helped me know my pace and run smarter.
    I am in Charlotte and training for my second half so if you guys ever need another running partner, let me know!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 8, 2010, 9:27 pm

    Sweet potatoes in enchiladas sound so good!
    People always say that running on the treadmill is easier but I find it opposite.

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat September 8, 2010, 9:29 pm

    Question #1: I struggle with big projects too! What has worked for me is setting a timer for 15-30 minutes and I commit to just working on that project for that amount of time. Even if it’s just brainstorming! Usually after the timer goes off, I’ve got a good idea of where the project is going and I have gotten something done on it.

    Question #2: I made the transition from treadmill to road when I started training for my first half-marathon. I just went out and ran! I didn’t care about my time or whether I needed to walk; I was just committed to covering the distance that my training plan called for. I’ve been road running ever since, and I now hate running on the treadmill!

  • Madeline @ greensandjeans September 8, 2010, 9:32 pm

    Because of the summer heat I have probably done a third of my mileage for my upcoming marathon on the treadmill (silly Arizona and your 115 degree weather!). I think having a good idea of your route ( or a garmin is really helpful), water that you are comfortable running with, and an iPod are essential! Transitioning with some trail running is a good idea too because the surface isn’t quite as hard as asphalt!

  • Gabriella Roselli September 8, 2010, 9:33 pm

    i made the transition to the road when i simply didn’t want to go to the gym solely to do cardio, its nice to know you can just put on sneakers and go for your run simply by stepping our your front door. it was REALLY hard for me at first, mainly because i wasn’t hydrating properly or pacing myself right. once i got my nike sensor i was able to make sure i wasn’t starting off too fast and burning out too quick and i always make sure to hydrate before and during my run. i never prevent myself from stopping for a quick walk if i need to. now i find treadmill running a little harder since i am not used to it anymore

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 8, 2010, 9:38 pm

    I train about half the time on the treadmill, just because it’s SO much easier on my knees, but it’s incredible how much terrain changes and the elements can slow you down!! I think the key is to do longer runs outside, and save the shorter runs for indoors. Long runs are the ones that matter most!!

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Mountaintops September 8, 2010, 9:40 pm

    I totally procrastinate on huge work projects. First, I block off time on my calendar to work on it, but only like 27 minutes or something. Not overwhelming. And I set an alarm. Then I clear my desk. Then I just open the file and look at the stuff and start. Maybe re-familiarize myself with the information, or something. If it’s something I have to write, I’ll put the date, my opening sentence and then my closing. That way I just have to fill in the space between the 2 clauses, instead of having an open end.

    When all else fails, I outsource it!

    • Caitlin September 9, 2010, 10:48 am

      This is a good suggestion – putting it into my calendar.

  • KMattrn September 8, 2010, 9:41 pm

    I guess we all struggle with big projects. I wish I had earth shatteringly good advice to offer, but I don’t I usually just go with the old Nike: Just Do It. If it’s big, I pick a day on the calendar and set time aside. If not, I go with the idea that you can get a a lot done doing a little bit at a time.

    I’ve gotten tons of great advice from Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project.

    • Caitlin September 9, 2010, 10:49 am

      love this! thanks!

  • Krystina September 8, 2010, 9:41 pm

    I’m intrigued by the idea of brussel sprouts in enchiladas. It sounds like a combo that would be just weird enough to work.

  • eatmovelove September 8, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Is the project for your new book(s) or writing? I have no advice…I just sit there, panicked, like a lump on a log…not sure what to do…so I do nothing.

    LOL – DON’T DO THAT!!!


  • Wei-Wei September 8, 2010, 9:42 pm

    1) I just tell myself: What would it feel like to have a completely empty to-do list? It would feel pretty damn awesome. Then I can get off my ass and actually go out and have a life. (That’s what I tell myself, anyway… bordering on negative, but it works. Heh.)

    2) I just started running outside from the very beginning! Treadmill running seems so boring to me. There’s so much more to see outside!

  • Candice September 8, 2010, 9:49 pm

    I struggle so much with starting big projects! It’s crazy how once you finally start, it seems so much more doable. It’s just a matter of sitting down and forcing yourself to make just a little bit of progress.

    I try to only use the treadmill if the weather is really bad. I’ve been known to run on ice in order to avoid the treadmill though…probably not very smart.

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) September 8, 2010, 9:49 pm

    I get intimidated very easily by large projects. I’m still learning how to tackle these projects, but so far I’ve found that sitting down with a calendar and setting my final “due date,” and then all the milestones leading up to it, really helps. Then I break it down even further into daily to-do lists.

    I can’t run on treadmills. It’s supposed to be “easier” on joints (I think, I could be wrong) but I always end up in pain. And I trip over my shoes. And I go too fast or too slow. Give me the great outdoors over the blasted treadmill!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 8, 2010, 9:53 pm

    UGH, I am the worst at attacking big jobs. I have to actually set aside a date on my calendar and force myself to do it. Love the enchiladas! They look so good!

  • Joanna @ September 8, 2010, 9:54 pm

    My advice on transitioning from the treadmill to the outdoors :
    1. pace yourself (you might be used to the treadmill doing this for you)
    2. bring more fluids bc you might find you get thirstier
    3. don’t get discouraged! running outdoors is harder than on a treadmill for every runner.

  • christina cadden September 8, 2010, 9:56 pm

    Once I started running on the road I hated the treadmill.

  • Whitney September 8, 2010, 9:56 pm

    I say just get outside and do it…well when it cools down anyway! It will be different at first, but she’ll probably find that she likes it much better. I always tripped over myself and couldn’t keep a steady pace on the dreadmill. Plus, the scenery is much better!

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

    Oh my gosh! YES, I get so overwhelmed by big projects that I’m often paralyzed and it takes me days to start!!! Then, I finally snap out of it, make a detailed, step-by-step to-do list to help me get started and I deal with the more manageable stuff before getting to the bigger picture stuff. This was a huge obstacle I had to overcome when writing my thesis and I found that constantly updating my detailed to-do list and outline helped keep me on track. GOOD LUCK!!!

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

    I transitioned from treadmill to road a couple years ago and notice a huge difference (read: improvement) in my running ability. However, I’m not so hardcore that I won’t use the treadmill on a rainy day.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

    Yes, sometimes I’m so intimidated I feel like: Ugh, where do I even begin? The best think I know to do is to make a detailed list of how I’m going to tackle the project.

  • Tina September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

    I get overwhelmed when thinking of a big overall project and it stresses me out. If I focus on what the one task i can do right now for it is it helps make it more manageable.

  • Kaitlyn (College Girl Runs) September 8, 2010, 10:00 pm

    I am a HUGE procrastinator, but when I have a big project, I try to break it up into little pieces and give myself little goals along the way. In college, I also took a motivational psych class for fun and one of the chapters was about getting over the hump to just do it! It talked about thinking positive and breaking it up into bite sized pieces. I have also realized that sometimes, the project seems big but when I actually start doing it, it isn’t that bad and I feel SOO much better!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite September 8, 2010, 10:02 pm

    I tend to do that too with large projects. I think its because I feel a bit intimidated by it and don’t want to fail. What works for me is to just dive right in.

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward September 8, 2010, 10:03 pm

    Q1 – I struggle with this, too. I usually try to break the task into smaller chunks and set a time limit for each chunk. If you finally buckle down for, say, 2 hours on one part of a project and complete it, you’ll feel like you are taking a step in the right direction.

    Q2 – I started running outside, not on the treadmill, so I haven’t done what Cindi is doing. I would think that taking it slow and increasing mileage slowly are key, and it doesn’t hurt to run with an experienced friend!

  • Ashlee September 8, 2010, 10:04 pm

    With big projects I sit down, turn the TV off and just start! Even if I do not get very far just starting the project feels like a weight off my shoulders.

    When I began running I tended to alternate from the treadmill to the road. I took over a year off recently due to pregnancy and giving birth to twins. Now I am training for a half as well and started on the treadmill but am trying to do my longer runs outside. The treadmill gets terribly boring!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now September 8, 2010, 10:04 pm

    I think you just have to make yourself stop relying on the treadmill and get outside. I know once I switched running on the treadmill just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I’ve heard a lot of runners say the same thing. Do it gradually and let your body adjust, but just do it!

  • Janene Giuseffi September 8, 2010, 10:06 pm

    RE: Question 1! I’m in my last quarter of grad school and am in the finishing stages of both a thesis and a master’s project – eek! Realizing that getting started is the hardest part is really important, because I know that once I get started, sometimes it’s hard to stop. Also, just setting beside a few minutes to making just a little progress helps IMMENSELY. Even if you just do 15 minutes, that’s 15 minutes, and often I find myself on a roll and before I know it, those few minutes turn into an hour! Good luck, chica! Keep up your hard work!


  • Janene Giuseffi September 8, 2010, 10:08 pm

    ps- i make and use checklists religiously… even if i complete something that’s NOT on the checklist, i add it just so that I can cross it off. It helps, really – I’m not just crazy! 🙂

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow September 8, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Todo lists are everything for me! As is an end of the road inspiration…I try to think about what the big project means, what it will bring, why I am focused on it…thoughts like that pump me up and get me over the hump.

    Then attacking just small pieces, rather than the project at large. It feels less overwhelming for sure!

  • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run September 8, 2010, 10:18 pm

    Last year when I first started running I did almost all of my runs on the treadmill. I did my first 5K in September and realized about 3 weeks before that I should probably run outside. I had always heard that running outside was so much more difficult because of the terrain, weather, etc. I was so pleasantly surprised that for me running outside was actually easier. I enjoyed the scenery and the feeling of actually going somewhere when I ran. Hopefully Cindi will have the same experience and rock out her Half!

  • Caitlin September 8, 2010, 10:19 pm

    Wow what an ambitious first race, that is awesome!

    Question 1: I pretty much hole up and just DO as much of it as possible. All at once. I am not of the “break up the project into smaller portions and tackle a portion a day” philosophy. It helps me to cut off from the internet and music (though I play episodes of “Friends” in the background just for the noise). This “just do it” strategy works really well for me, but is certainly not for everyone!

  • Courtney @ Bread & Bokeh September 8, 2010, 10:26 pm

    With the regards to large projects, I have three tips:

    1. Break it down to smaller steps and take breaks after each step is complete.
    2. Reward yourself for completing each small step
    3. You don’t have to start at the beginning – start in the middle if you are less overwhelmed by it.

    Hope that helps!!!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 8, 2010, 10:29 pm

    #1 I projects on like exercise. I tell myself “Okay, I will just do 10 minutes of it and then I can stop” and then before you know it, I’m in knees deep and getting it over.

    #2 I’m training for my first 5K (2 weeks away) and I am in a transition stage so these tips are great for me as well – thanks everyone! My only piece of advice is to enjoy your surroundings – you don’t get those inside 🙂

  • Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy September 8, 2010, 10:32 pm

    Plan, plan, plan! I sometimes ‘overplan’ by making several to-do lists and break those down into smaller lists, because it’s rewarding to literally cross something off the list, even if it’s just as small as ‘google how to start a blog’ or whatever. And give yourself realistic deadlines & goals too – no sense in overwhelming yourself with something that you just can’t get done.

    Someone once told me when you have a million things to do in a day, think ‘what is the ONE thing that if i did it today, i would feel like i had accomplished something? and do that one thing first, then get to other stuff if you feel like it.’ That strategy always works for me!

  • Michele September 8, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Question 1 – I really struggle with large, overwhelming projects. But have found if I break it down into smaller chunks and tackle the ones that are less overwhelming by the time those are done – I’m halfway there. All a mental management game. 😀

    You go girlies; way to train together, that’s got to help!!

  • 'laina September 8, 2010, 10:40 pm

    I really started struggling with just doing (college) homework a few terms ago, to the point where I would start, then stop, then start something else, then stop.. over and over and never get anything done. I finally went to my P-doc and found that I’m ADD (at 33!) and got on Ritalin. I now can finish what I start without the chaotic stress I went through before.

    You should Google sweet potato & black bean enchiladas- SO GOOD! And I prefer corn tortillas to flour.

  • Katherine @ Left Coast Contessa September 8, 2010, 10:46 pm

    break it into small steps and make a to do list!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 8, 2010, 10:47 pm

    I always get panicked when my final in architecture studio approaches. I do a panic dance, then sit down and break the project down into pieces. Doing a smaller part to the larger project is a lot less intimidating.

  • Mike September 8, 2010, 10:47 pm

    Cindi should start with flat routes and nothing much longer than she has done before. I would have her take a couple of easy runs just to get used to the road.

    I trained for my Ironman through the winter and did most of my miles on a treadmill and had no issues during the marathon. She will do great.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) September 8, 2010, 10:49 pm

    Oh gosh, I remember my transition to road running. I was SO nervous to start… The best advice i have is to just get out there and DO it. You may only be able to do a mile or two at first- I know I struggled to get used to it the first few runs. Didn’t take too long for me to absolutely adore it- it makes running even more fun and worthwhile in my opinion. Just start slow. 🙂

  • Jordan September 8, 2010, 10:51 pm

    Question #2: I trained for my first half-marathon primarily on a treadmill. I always ran on an incline of about 2 which I thought felt a little easier on my knees, and it is supposed to better simulate running outside. I didn’t have a hard time transitioning from treadmill to road, and I actually tend to run faster outside (for some reason, I had the impression that was abnormal). Once I got closer to the race, I always did at least one run a week outside (usually my long run). I don’t have a Garmin, so I really rely on the treadmill for speed workouts and pacing myself. Good luck!

  • Julia September 8, 2010, 10:53 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    When starting really large projects I usually think about them and the work they entail…procrastinate, and then get myself so flustered about the amt of work that i have to just get to it. I start by taking all the pressure off of myself by reminding myself that I can have many drafts and I just start moving on something. Having a boss/mentor/husband? to help keep me accountable is key. I generally report to them to prove how productive I am and then get some feedback! It’s hard to start but then you just keep moving forward, one step at a time.

    • Caitlin September 9, 2010, 10:54 am

      Yes. I think I need to create accountability for myself.

  • Cheryle September 8, 2010, 10:56 pm

    Once I went out on the road, I never looked back! I resort to treadmill running only on the rare hot day or rare very cold day. Many say the treadmill is easier but for me it’s the complete opposite. It doesn’t hurt that Portand, Oregon is a GREAT town for runners – lots of beautiful scenery, lots of other runners, and mild winters. Good luck to you Cindy!!! I am considering signing up for a half but my max run is also at 5 miles currently and I’m kind of chicken …

  • Jess @ NZ Girl Runs September 8, 2010, 10:56 pm

    I don’t know if this will help because to me a large project is a uni assignment! I break it down into smaller bit that aren’t as scary. If I have a 2000 word assignment I’ll break it into 3-5 mini assignments. Each has its own page on word and 1-2 sentences about what I’m going to do. This makes it much easier to start, and I’ll sit down and say that I’ll do part 1 today, part 2 tomorrow. Less daunting then having a whole assignment to look at!

  • Kacy September 8, 2010, 11:02 pm

    Yay for Cindi!

    I definitely put off big projects, but it feels so good once you start.

    I go back and forth between the treadmill and road sometimes, but I like to do most of it on the road for sure.

  • Cindi September 8, 2010, 11:07 pm

    OMG – I LOOOOOOOOVE you guys!!! Thank you so much for the tips!

  • Alyssa September 8, 2010, 11:16 pm

    For starting large projects, I find that I feel sssoooo much better when I start them. Planning/outlining how you are going to progress on the project definitely helps and makes the process seem less daunting and more organized. Setting time aside each day to work on the project also helps, plus making mini, realistic goals helps too 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Bee Goes Bananas September 8, 2010, 11:20 pm

    I try to switch up running on the treadmill and the road. That way I can avoid the transition. I enjoy running on the treadmill for one reason: weather control! But nothing beats running outside in the open air with all the lovely scenery.

  • ida September 8, 2010, 11:23 pm

    I actually think running on the road is easier b/c i can get into my natural stride with less effort. But running on the TM with an incline of 1% simulates the road, and she can play around with the grade to get in some hill work too.

  • Amber K September 8, 2010, 11:28 pm

    Breaking up larger projects into small mini-projects really helps me.

    Yes, I have lost over 90 pounds, but I didn’t look at the whole all at once. I celebrated each 10 pound loss (yay! I’m in the 230’s, yay! now the 220’s, and so on all the way down).

    And I love making to-do lists because I love the satisfaction of crossing things off. I always start a to-do list with something I have already done so I can cross it off immediately! 🙂

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous September 8, 2010, 11:29 pm

    Ohh that healthy enchilada looks so yummy! Re the work project…just jump into it! Remind yourself that it doesn’t need to be perfect at first, and that just get going with it is the most important thing. After you do that, you’ll feel motivated, and then you can go back and fill in the blanks. I know it’s hard getting started, but I always remind myself how good I will feel when I cross it off my list!

  • Leah September 8, 2010, 11:52 pm

    Question #1: Break the project into smaller chunks, get one done… Mini projects are easier to accomplish and not as daunting.

    Question #2: Don’t know about transitioning as I can’t run on a treadmill, but from what I’ve heard expect a slower pace the first few times out… especially if you live in a hilly area.

  • Tracey September 9, 2010, 12:25 am

    I transitioned from the treadmill to the road earlier this year. It was hard for me to be able to run an easy 3 miles on the treadmill and get exhausted running just 2 miles on the road. I had to convince myself not to give up and keep working towards the end goal which was my first 5K race.

    I also had to remember to listen to my body. Running on the pavement affected my body differently than the treadmill.

  • Susan @ Journey for Health September 9, 2010, 12:35 am

    As far as large work projects go, I’ve never done a really huge one, like say, a dissertation. But for the large papers I’ve had to write as an English major in undergrad, I would always put things off to the last minute, and that’d get my butt in gear. I realized very recently that I might thrive/feed on the pressure of a looming deadline. So, I really need to work on that. But, I’ve found that just sitting down and getting started (as opposed to doing other fun things like watch the TV shows I’m addicted to, or read the blogs and magazines I want to read) is always the hardest part…

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 9, 2010, 12:43 am

    Can I just say – I LOVE cadbury choc 🙂

  • Marlene September 9, 2010, 1:04 am

    I actually LOVE running on the treadmill – it’s easy on the knees, you can do it no matter what the weather, it teaches you what pacing feels like, it’s good for speedwork, and it’s a total confidence boost after running outdoors.

    Whenever I run on a treadmill, I increase the incline to at least 1.5, which I think does a good job of replicating wind resistance. If Cindi doesn’t want to run outside just yet, she can start by upping the incline on the treadmill, and then she’ll feel like she’s flying when she runs on a flat outdoor surface!

  • Sarah for Real September 9, 2010, 1:11 am

    Ok Caitlin, you are a voodoo master or something. Earlier it was the knee sleeves thing, now it’s my treadmill question. Craaaaazy….

    I’ve read the comments and apparently I’m just a big weirdo. I am transitioning TO the treadmill as the weather gets crappy here and I don’t find it boring at all! It’s been easier on my knees and my gym has individual TVs that keep me occupied. Hahaha, after reading the comments I think I’ll have to add one or two road runs in the next two weeks before my first 5k!

  • Jolene ( September 9, 2010, 1:23 am

    I always struggle to start BIG projects. I tend to procrastinate. I usually just have to designate a day to start, and MAKE myself do it, no matter what. Once I start something, I always finish it.

  • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 9, 2010, 1:35 am

    Mmmm… that enchillada looks muy delicioso!

    I’m the queen of procrastination, but my husband and I have actually been working on finding ways to not only get motivated, but to do (work) efficiently. We’re really into self-improvement/organizational improvements. 🙂


  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 9, 2010, 2:36 am

    I would like to say that I have an answer for the big projects question, but sadly, I’ve always been a procrastinator. I pretty much put things off until I can’t put it off anymore (for instance, when I was in college, I waited to start a paper until 8 hours before it was due…almost every time…) and then I sit down and just do it.

    Why I can’t do the same thing a month before something is due, I have no idea.

    As for the running, I’m really, really new to running. I started out on the treadmill, but eventually decided outside would be better and I just went outside and went to it! My method so far has just been to take a comfortable pace and walk if I need to. I could probably use some advice on how to kick it up a notch myself…

  • Neen@Broad Bean to Runner Bean September 9, 2010, 2:50 am

    those enchi’s look lovely!!

  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 9, 2010, 3:09 am

    I started on the road then did a bit on the treadmill at uni – I actually found it much harder on it, so I don’t really think I have any advice!!

  • Miz September 9, 2010, 6:25 am

    I do waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much treadmill but my cardio time is 4a.
    Ill take those tips as well 🙂

  • Lauren September 9, 2010, 6:54 am

    I have to do so much transitioning from treadmill to road because of the weather here. My biggest piece of advice is to start slow. If your maxing at 5 miles inside, don’t attempt to do the same distance outside at first. Maybe 2-3 miles and gradually increase. Your body needs time to adjust to the different environment.

  • Stacey@ September 9, 2010, 7:12 am

    I only run outside because I feel it’s a better workout and you don’t have to transition your body.

  • Stacey September 9, 2010, 7:24 am

    I hate running on the dreadmill. When I first started running that was the only way I would run, but after running outside for the first time, I was hooked! And as for the big projects, I know how you feel! My internship is stacking up with projects for me to complete. I would just take it piece by piece to begin with, try not to think of how huge the project is! 😀

  • Tanya Kummerow September 9, 2010, 7:44 am

    I just read this tip in a magazine. For large projects you don’t want to tackle…set a kitchen timer for 10 or 15 minutes and tell yourself for that amount of time you are going to tackle it. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. After that initial time, you may be in a groove and decide to just keep going with it. Or you may decide that was enough and now that you have started, it will be easier to come back to it. Either way, you will have begun and that’s half the battle. And you are only committing to 10 or 15 minutes to start so it makes it easier. Good luck!

  • Jillian@ ReshapeYourLife September 9, 2010, 8:22 am

    I am the world’s worst procrastinator… even when I don’t need to be, like returning phone calls! It’s a bad habit that I’m trying to work out. (I blame it on anxiety)

    The only way I can get myself to do something is to lock myself in a room and just do it. Once I start I realize it’s not bad and I don’t know what took me so long.

  • Jen September 9, 2010, 8:22 am

    When I have a large work project, I like to make a list of the tasks that I need to do to complete it. I tackle the priorities first. Usually seeing it on paper makes it feel less intimidating.

  • nicole September 9, 2010, 8:27 am

    I get really intimidated by large projects! It’s more of an overwhelming ffeling than anything else. So I tackle it in pieces…start by one “chapter” at a time, or one subject at a time or something like that. Breaking it down makes it seem much more attainable (hmmm sounds like something I’ve heard you say before!! 😉
    And the dreadmill–I do half and half on the treadmill since I’ve had to change my workout schedule to lunchtime. It’s way too hot to run outside during lunch so I do three shorter sprint/interval type workouts inside. I also include a hill workout on the treadmill too. Then, I do one long run outside on the weekend. I’ve never really had an issue with it.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 9, 2010, 8:27 am

    I occasionally run outside, but I much prefer the treadmill! It’s so much easier and I can go for a lot longer compared to running on the road. I’d really like to make the transition though so that I can feel comfortable signing up for a race!

  • sarah September 9, 2010, 8:58 am

    I work from home as well and just this morning I told myself I only needed to work for a half hour. Well once I started going I got on a roll and continued working past that to just finish what I was doing. I often think that the anticipation is worse that just doing it.

    • Caitlin September 9, 2010, 10:55 am

      I so agree.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers September 9, 2010, 9:03 am

    I did most of the training for my half in March on the treadmill to save my joints- it helps to put the incline to at least 1% to compensate for wind resistance. Plus, take advantage of the controlled environment- try some sprints- push yourself! 🙂

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up September 9, 2010, 9:14 am

    As someone who has had to constantly switch from running on the treadmill to the road because of my hectic schedule, the best advice I have is to just take it slow and realize that you’re not going to get your distance back overnight. After coming back to the road after an extended time on the treadmill, for the first week I’ll just test it out and try to run a few shorter distances to get my legs back under me. 🙂

    And are those Food That Should Taste Good chocolate tortilla chips?! Those are my fav!

  • Therese September 9, 2010, 9:19 am

    I really hate treadmills! I use them as rarely as possible! Give me fresh air any day!

    When it comes to starting an intimidating project I always sit down and immediately break it down into smaller pieces and then give these smaller pieces a deadline. After that I just focus on each piece at a time and before I know it the project is done and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! Good luck!

  • Heather @ The Single Dish September 9, 2010, 9:22 am

    I run on both the treadmill and roads. I find doing my shorter runs outside is an easy way to transition. Also, do some short races outside on the roads, great race practice and the race keeps you motivated.

  • Hannah September 9, 2010, 9:23 am

    I TOTALLY struggle with large projects! I am the worst procrastinator and I’m not very good with breaking the project up and working on it bit by bit. I feel like I create a more cohesive project when I can sit down and do it all at once. Knowing this, I try to list out all of the small tasks I have to get done and schedule those into my calendar so I can make sure I have a large block of time to work on the large project.

    I just started the Couch to 5k program and have so far only run on the treadmill. Because I do eventually want to run in a race, I’ve been thinking about running a little bit outside as well as running on the treadmill as I work on building up my endurance.

  • Andrea September 9, 2010, 9:29 am

    first of all I love your blog! Secondly, I forgot which marathon you are training for. I need a late fall race to look forward to and was wondering which marathon you are running.

    • Caitlin September 9, 2010, 10:56 am

      I’m going to do the Thunder Road Marathon on Dec 11 but I might also do the Phoenix Marathon in January (shhhh!)

  • Lindsay September 9, 2010, 9:36 am

    I’m not sure what kind of large project you are working on, but if it’s writing related, I have a trick from my high school/college years that I still use today for work reports, presentations, and proposals. I open up a Word doc, write my name in the upper right hand corner (told you this was from my school days!), create a document title name, and save it. Then I minimize it to my toolbar, and that’s that. Every time I use my computer, I see it at the bottom of the screen, all “started” and ready to go. That’s usually enough to get ideas rolling and my fingers typing. Don’t ask me why, but it somehow works!

  • Michelle September 9, 2010, 9:39 am

    I am awful about starting large projects! Usually I try to think of a way that what I’m going to do is going to help people, and that gets me moving. Otherwise, my motivation comes and goes in waves, and when I’m in an upswing, I just start as much stuff as possible!

  • Kristy September 9, 2010, 10:01 am

    I have only ran one 5k and just started training for my first 1/2 marathon. I thought maybe I should have more races under my belt before a 1/2 but shes doing it as her FIRST! Thats awesome inspiration 🙂

  • Michal September 9, 2010, 10:06 am

    I make a list and focus on getting the first few items checked off – then I step back and refocus on the overall picture. By that point the work is usually flowing and it’s too late to back out 😀
    As for treadmill – I had an accident with one when I was a kid and can’t run on them!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale September 9, 2010, 10:07 am

    My best tip for starting a big project is to outline it! I love outlines. For one, it’s usually pretty easy to do and a good “small win” towards getting started. Second, it clearly identifies where you need to start, which is sometimes the biggest hurdle. Writing it all down makes it seem more manamgeable, and helps me feel accomplished.

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! September 9, 2010, 11:16 am

    1) Tell me about it, I have a BIG (the biggest of the year) due next Friday, I have started but still have about 90% of the work to do…… best way is to get all the little things I need to get done as well 1st so I can focus “solely” on the big project after that and not be distracted (too much)!

    2) I first started running outside when I was 13, but then as the years went out I was mainly just a “treadmil” runner, esp in Florida as it was just SO HOT outside. But the past year I have slowly but surely become mainly an outside runner and love it, and cause of it my race runs have been much better and when I do return to the treadmil I am actually faster on it too.

  • Sami September 9, 2010, 11:52 am

    great trade up! that looks like a wonderful meal…i think the hubs was onto something with sweet potato as filling! MMM!

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) September 9, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Salsa is the one ingredient I always have on hand and always forget to use! Doh! Also, good luck to your friend with her transition to the outdoors. I have run half marathons before, but I don’t think I could even run 5 miles on a treadmill. To each her own!

  • Lisa September 9, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Switching from the treadmill to the road was a huge difference! My running ability greatly improved once I ran on the road.

  • Dee September 9, 2010, 2:38 pm

    A study buddy of mine and me face this problem constantly, but we find one simple thing really works: making a plan.

    The first part you already know: You figure out when you want to be done with one specific project, what all the component tasks are, and assign a time for each component.

    The “hump” trick is in the act of doing the plan, putting it on paper. This stage helps “grease” your work wheels. Do the plan on one day, and then force yourself to rest until the next day, even if you get excited to dig in. Then, tackle your first component the next day, and once you’re in, you’ll find momentum accelerating until you reach your scheduled end-point.

  • Cati @ crave and create September 9, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Question #1: ME TOO!!!!! I’ve found that it helps me to break things down into steps, and then even smaller steps. I write everything down so I can cross things off as I go – major motivation for me. 🙂 Most of the time, doing this actually makes the task seem less overwhelming.

    I have also found that I get caught up worrying about all of the possible things that could go wrong, or trying to have a fully conceived idea and a foolproof plan before I actually get started. When I catch myself doing this, I try to engage in some cognitive reframing – challenging my worries and reassuring myself that it’s OK for the plan to change, or that I’ll be able to cope with stumbling blocks if/when they arise. Learning how to do this has taken me A LOT of time and practice – and I still struggle with it sometimes.

    Sometimes, though, I just get so stressed out from *thinking* about getting started that I just DO IT – taking any action, no matter what it is, always feels like such a relief at that point! I guess that’s my own “hump” to work through! 🙂

  • richa January 21, 2014, 7:37 am

    Road running is the best choice where we can get natural healthy fitness

Healthy Tipping Point