The sunshine and fresh are are calling your name, but maybe the treadmill is all your running shoes have ever known. Try these tips to help you successfully transition to the pavement: 

Prep work
It’s important to remember that running on a treadmill and running outdoors are very different. To help your body prepare for this change, start to add some challenges to your indoor runs for a couple weeks before heading outside. Try raising the incline of the treadmill platform to 1.5, and work in some interval training with sprints and elevation to help improve your strength and endurance, and your muscle’s ability to adapt to different running conditions.

Ease back into it
It’s important to let your body and joints acclimate to the impact of outdoor surfaces like concrete or packed earth. Instead of quitting the treadmill cold turkey, start to alternate between your indoor and outdoor runs and slowly work out the treadmill. Try adding one outdoor run the first week, two the second week and so on until all your runs are outdoors. This should help avoid any injuries or soreness.

Make some adjustments
You might be used to long distance runs on the treadmill, but it’s best to cut your usual indoor distance by about half for your first few outdoor runs. Your body will not be used to the impact or having to propel itself forward on the hard ground, which will require more of an effort from your muscles while they contract and stabilize. So while you aren’t running as far, you’ll be running harder. This will also affect the pace at which you run, since there will be a number of additional factors while running outdoors (traction, incline, weather conditions etc).

You’re used to having the treadmill keep your pace for you, so you may overestimate what pace you can keep and end up wearing yourself out much sooner than you planned. Ease up on your speed and let it build up over time.

Running outside in the warm weather will undoubtedly increase the amount you sweat, so drinking plenty of water is essential. Replenishing your electrolytes is equally as important, since you’ll be losing a lot of sodium as well. Once you’ve completed your run, ensure you get some protein into your system as well to help your muscles repair and prep for the next workout. Remember to stretch and keep up with your strength training, which is a great excuse to still get in the gym one to two times a week.