Treadmill running

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  rather-b-running 14 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #1282

    I recently started a walk/run program for my sister who use to run, but hasn’t in several years. Anyway, she was using my treadmill yesterday and I watched as she “ran” at 3.4 mph. I told her she could walk that speed and to speed it up to at least 4.7. She said no way, that was too fast.

    I know she is faster than 3.4 outside, because for the past week, she & I have done the walk-3-minutes, run-2-minutes for 40 minutes. My slow, long-run pace is about 5.2-5.5 mph (slow, yes, but NOT 3.4!!) So, all that to say that I am well aware of my pace when I am running, and she claims she KNOWS she wasn’t going anywhere near 4.7-5.0 when we ran outside.

    What gives? I know the feel of a treadmill is different that the road, but not THAT much. Was she just being whimpy or what? I’ve been accused of being a “slave-driver” when it comes to getting people motivated to exercise, and I don’t want to push her to the point of her quitting. But 3.4?????

  • #13735


    Are you sure the treadmill is properly calibrated? Some treadmills are notorious for being quite a bit off. Maybe she is running quite a bit faster than the display says.

    Bottom line, though, she’s doing this for fitness, right? Let her go at the pace she’s comfortable with. Better to have her going at 3.4 mph than getting frustrated and not going at all. Once she catches the racing bug, then you can discuss paces with her.

  • #13736


    In secret, make a mark on the belt. Set it to a really slow speed and measure the length of the belt for one revolution.

    Then stop the t-mill, line up the mark with something and run it for X amount of revolutions until it gets to an exact distance such as .5 of a mile. Count the revolutions.

    Does the belt length equal the distance that it reads?

  • #13737

    Well, I believe it is accurate, because when I set it at 5.0 for my easy run, I finish a mile in exactly 12 minutes.

  • #13738


    Are you sure you finished a mile or does it tell you that you finished a mile? If its pace is off, its distance is also going to be off. I guess the question is, when you run on it, does the pace it claims you are running feel like roughly the same pace as when you run outdoors?

  • #13739


    another aspect of treadmills is practice… when people first start running on them it FEELS different from the real world… there is a bit of fear involved… I’ve tried to get my kids to try running on my ‘mill… the older one (16) ran like an elephant. NOT in his usual out-door style at all… the younger one(11) ran with little mousie strides, again NOT his usual out door style… the older one said he felt he was going to fall off the side and the younger one felt he was going to fall off the back…

    once last winter (icy day) I did my lunch time run inside and the fuse blew because all the machines were in use at the same time (they have since added two more breakers)… we all hit the front of our machines and when the power was restored those who continued ran very tentative steps…

    but as was stated.. this is for fitness… and if you start slow you will be able to see more improvement and for someone coming back it is very heartening…I know I’ll never be as fast as most people so I have to be happy with whatever improvement I can garner…


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