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running on a treadmill

Hi all! This may be me being stupid, but how accurate are the speeds on a treadmill? The reason I ask is that I can normally run on the road at a steady 11/12 KMPH with no problems. Today I went on a treadmill as I am at sea on a ship for the next 5 weeks and was almost sprinting at 12 KMPH and my HR was far higher than normal. In fact to run at a comfortable pace which felt like I was road running I had to drop to 9 KMPH. Any got any thoughts??


  • Was there a large swell, as it could be you were running uphill
  • no excuses for your open water training then

    Sorry we're not much help are we
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Erm... is it set in miles per hour...?
  • I checked the units and it was definately KMPH and not MPH. As for open water swimming Im in the North sea so its a little chilly!
  • I'm not sure how accurate they actually are to be honest. In my case, i find the treadmill much harder than the road, but it's a mental thing. In theory running on a treadmill (or dreadmill as some people call them ) is meant to be easier, but not for me. Even when I cover the screen info up, i still find myself looking at a clock! When I run outside I am fine. Never checked my heart rate on a treadmill though so not sure about that.
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    Treadmills can be really badly calibrated. But, if it's a good treadmill it should be okay.

    I have a Polar RS800CX with the foot pod, so I can measure my speed on the treadmill pretty well.

    the Life Fitness Treadmills in my gym are all slightly different in their calibration but they are usually only out by less than 0.3 kph or less.

    I do however find tha my pulse is higher on the treadmill for a given speed, this is in contrast to what many people say.

    I can run a faster 10k outside, no doubt about it. Also, in training my slow 140bpm marathon traing pace is faster outside than on the treadmill.

    My explanation for that is two fold. I think that outside I have more to look at and I am more relaxed, meaning that I breath better and don't think too much about how my legs are tired. This drops my pulse as I am less anxious.
    Another point is that most treadmills have a very flexible panel beneath the belt which is used to absorb the force of your foot constantly hammering down on to it. The constant flexing of this panel under you as run is definitely absorbing quite a bit of energy - this can make a real difference.

    Hope that helps.
  • The raised hr on a treadmill could be down to the fact that they are indoors so you could be hotter and or more dehydrated. Both heat and dehydration will raise hr.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    If you can figure out the length of the belt, make a chalk mark or something on the belt & count how often it passes within a given period of time, distance travelled, work that to kph/mph...errr simple.
  • I have run on treadmills at sea alot. The speed of the run can depand on the postion of the treadmill if it's fwd to aft or port to stbd, Plus what is the ship doing if it's just cruising and also the sea state. there no way to be accurte if the ship is being thrown around just go by ur heart rate and how you feel you should be able to judge your speed !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Another thing to consider might be the incline - I've always been told to have it on a 1.0% incline to more accurately simulate running outside (anything less and you're more bouncing than running). Do you have it set higher?
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I always quote 2%..
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I heard is 3%! No wait thats a band! Or is it the treadmill angle. AHHHHHHHHHH head explosion.

    No I defo heard it was 3% to simulate running on the road. But hay whats in a dregree or 2 between forumites!
  • Thanks guys! I think I might just stick to running around the upper deck although its bloody cold as we are off the coast of Norway!!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Keeps you moving then..
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