Running on a Treadmill

#1
On weekdays i have college, and sometimes i get 2 or 3 hours off, so i usually go off and play cards and be social, however in my need to get fitter (play lots of rugby so in OK condition) i will probably start running on the treadmill in the gym. Now i know that running on the road is better but i think it will be easier to fit in when running on a treadmill, so my question is what level should i stick the incline on to simulate road running?
 
#2
1.5
 
#3
I trained for my Sgts course on a treadmill and I got very very fit using one. It's not for everyone but I found the ability to measure things exactly and build up in exact incremements worked for me.
 
#4
Small_Surfer said:
On weekdays i have college, and sometimes i get 2 or 3 hours off, so i usually go off and play cards and be social, however in my need to get fitter (play lots of rugby so in OK condition) i will probably start running on the treadmill in the gym. Now i know that running on the road is better but i think it will be easier to fit in when running on a treadmill, so my question is what level should i stick the incline on to simulate road running?
Depending what type of treadmill you have, try and avoid 'just running' on it. If they have incline or interval programs (the hill ones, or the speed ones), then try and do a session with them at least once per week. Just running, unless you're going balls out, will not improve your fitness at any great rate. Doing interval training will give you noticeable results in a relatively short period of time. And set it to between 1 and 1.5 incline.

Hope that helps.
Tango
 
#6
Small_Surfer said:
Cheers, i'll try the interval training, but when i run i do go balls out as otherwise i don't feel like i have worked hard enough.
Training in that zone constantly can have the opposite effect. As I'm sure you're aware, there are training zones, (see here), which define the type of training you are undergoing. Personally, and I'm sure a number of people will agree with me, you only want to be training in that zone (Anaerobic) very briefly, and in bursts, not continuously. An example of this would be a sprint session around a running track (200m flat-out, 2/400m recovery). Training in this zone could potentially damage your fitness, which is obviously not something you want.

Try maybe three CV sessions a week, one being an interval, one steady state, and a hill session. That way, you'll be targetting all areas of your cardiovascular fitness, not just blasting yourself into the ground.

Obviously, the above idea is just that, an idea, not a rock-solid training program, just something I've spouted on the spur of the moment. :)

Tango
 

Sarastro

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#7
The problem with treadmill running isn't fixed by adding an incline. Think of the motion your legs go through when running normally - heel / midfoot strikes ground, you roll through the middle to the ball of the foot, and push off the ball. This motion creates momentum which keeps you going forward.

Now think about it with a treadmill - the ground, instead of being a constant force which you push forwards from, is moving your foot backwards for you. You don't push off with the ball of the foot to create momentum, you simply lift the foot up and place it down again, where it is carried back again for you. Instead of creating momentum, you are essentially running on the spot. Army phys should have taught you that running on the spot is significantly easier than the real thing, and uses the legs differently. Adding an incline doesn't fix this problem, because all you are doing is raising your legs higher to hit the front spot on the treadmill - ie running on the spot with knees to waist; it's a bit harder, but still the same motion.

Treadmills are better than sitting on a couch, but if you want to get better at actual running, you actually need to run. Summer is coming up, if you have a gym in your college, why is running on a treadmill easier to fit in than just getting changed there and going for a run outside?
 
#8
Sarastro said:
The problem with treadmill running isn't fixed by adding an incline. Think of the motion your legs go through when running normally - heel / midfoot strikes ground, you roll through the middle to the ball of the foot, and push off the ball. This motion creates momentum which keeps you going forward.

Now think about it with a treadmill - the ground, instead of being a constant force which you push forwards from, is moving your foot backwards for you. You don't push off with the ball of the foot to create momentum, you simply lift the foot up and place it down again, where it is carried back again for you. Instead of creating momentum, you are essentially running on the spot. Army phys should have taught you that running on the spot is significantly easier than the real thing, and uses the legs differently. Adding an incline doesn't fix this problem, because all you are doing is raising your legs higher to hit the front spot on the treadmill - ie running on the spot with knees to waist; it's a bit harder, but still the same motion.

Treadmills are better than sitting on a couch, but if you want to get better at actual running, you actually need to run. Summer is coming up, if you have a gym in your college, why is running on a treadmill easier to fit in than just getting changed there and going for a run outside?
What a load of old balls. Started on the beers a little early today?
 

Sarastro

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#9
You must have been using the old static treadmills that don't have a moving tread then Ord?

But don't believe me:

http://www.posetech.com/training/archives/000165.html

From the point of view of mechanics there is no difference between belt moving under our feet and our body moving forward in over ground running provided the velocity is the same. Indeed we are operating here with the same speed and consequently with the same forces on the ground and the same muscular efforts.

While it doesn't matter for mechanics which of the interacting bodies is moving: the belt or the body, it is not so for biomechanics. It makes a big difference there. The major one lies in the fact that in treadmill running, unlike over ground running, our upper body is not moving forward, it's our feet that are moved backwards by the running belt.
http://www.runningplanet.com/training/treadmill-running-pros-cons.html
http://www.biomech.com/db_area/archives/2000/0006equipment.59-70.bio.html

http://www.runnersweb.com/running/r....com/running/news/rw_CTS_20031121_Watson.html

There are four main problems associated with treadmill running: biomechanical changes, inaccurate readings, heat, and boredom.

Treadmill running is great when you cannot run outdoors, but you should not use it as your sole venue for running as you may find the transition to road running somewhat uncomfortable. This occurs because of several biomechanical differences that occur when you run on a treadmill vs. the road:

1. When you run on the road, you must exert more energy in your running to overcome the braking forces than on a treadmill.
etc.
 
#10
Sarastro said:
You must have been using the old static treadmills that don't have a moving tread then Ord?

But don't believe me:

http://www.posetech.com/training/archives/000165.html

From the point of view of mechanics there is no difference between belt moving under our feet and our body moving forward in over ground running provided the velocity is the same. Indeed we are operating here with the same speed and consequently with the same forces on the ground and the same muscular efforts.

While it doesn't matter for mechanics which of the interacting bodies is moving: the belt or the body, it is not so for biomechanics. It makes a big difference there. The major one lies in the fact that in treadmill running, unlike over ground running, our upper body is not moving forward, it's our feet that are moved backwards by the running belt.
These so called studies are bullsh1t. I spent three months training using solely a treadmill and was the fittest I'd ever been so I know its all bollox.
 
#11
There is a biomechanical difference - all about "dwell time"; www.pponline.co.uk has a good article.

But of course playing rugby isn't (probably) going to be exactly like running on the road either - grass, muddy boots, upper body exhaustion, borderline concussion..........

I either speedmarch up the 15% slope; I'm not nearly as fit as I used to be so 7.5-8 kph has me up at 168-178 heartrate. That or set it at 15% and do a minute really slow (say 5 kph) and then a fastish effort (10-14 kph) for a minute, then back to the trudge for a minute. That is 'kin horrible - the recoveries are worse than the efforts.

Mind you, if my knees weren't shagged I'd run in the park. Just of down JJB to see if they are on the closing down sale yet; always on the lookout for trainers that save the knees.
 
#12
Incidentally, obviously running with kit in boots, especially cross country, makes you flat footed, so there is a major difference between running on the road and running with kit, maybe more of a difference than running on a treadmill and running with kit. The big problem with treadmills and other indoor kit is having the mental attitude to really bugger yourself. I cam off the indoor bike last Sunday and I haven't been right since. But I was out on the real bike for the first time yesterday and blatting alone pretty well. Some people have the mindset that copes with indoor training. I'm sure that explains a lot of the difference.
 

Sarastro

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#13
Ord_Sgt said:
These so called studies are bullsh1t. I spent three months training using solely a treadmill and was the fittest I'd ever been so I know its all bollox.
Fair enough, I'll take my own experience, that of pretty much everyone else I know, various experts & studies, and the laws of physics, over your experience thanks.

And if you have a look, I didn't say you can't get fit running on a treadmill - I said that it's not the best way to get good at running because the technique & muscle use is different - you can get fit doing plenty of things that won't make you good at running. Also, this is fairly useless unless you can demonstrate that you got more running fit on a treadmill than you would have done by doing it outside.

PS There are a lot of these articles (including the question in the pponline one that gobby mentioned) that get the 'elementary' laws of physics totally wrong. The relative velocity of the runner and the ground isn't the only issue - the issue is where the force is generated from. Running naturally, the force is generated by the runner's muscles pushing against the ground. Running on a treadmill, the belt engine is lending force to the runner by moving the belt, so he is generating less force than running naturally (and using the muscles differently).

That's a pretty simple equation that can be demonstrated by the fact that if you stand still on normal ground, neither you nor the ground will move. If you stand still on a working treadmill, you're going to be missing a few teeth. = the treadmill is creating momentum.
 
#14
gobbyidiot said:
Incidentally, obviously running with kit in boots, especially cross country, makes you flat footed, so there is a major difference between running on the road and running with kit, maybe more of a difference than running on a treadmill and running with kit. The big problem with treadmills and other indoor kit is having the mental attitude to really bugger yourself. I cam off the indoor bike last Sunday and I haven't been right since. But I was out on the real bike for the first time yesterday and blatting alone pretty well. Some people have the mindset that copes with indoor training. I'm sure that explains a lot of the difference.

Yeah, i used to run cross country, fells and other stuff and ended up with knackered knees and my flatter feet, that's two of the differences running on a treadmill, the impact is reduced so it is a good way of working out without the injuries happening, some folk are made for road running, others aren't. Personally i preferred outdoors, when running cross country your mind is occupied with the terrain, obstacles, etc instead of focusing on a wall, this removes a bit of the repetition and clock watching.

There are many good machines for getting you fitter though, eliptical cross trainers are very good and give a great mixture of workouts, rowing machines again are great but very boring, i guess you just have to find the best one for you, and a good iPod with your favourite albums.
 
#15
Sarastro, running at 3mph will not get you as fit as running at 6mph either, but thats not the question is it. The guy asked if he ran on a treadmill that he's got available will he get fit, the answer is yes. Not sure why all the extra guff about the laws of physics helps him with an answer, but I'm guessing you must have been a gym queen or something?
 
#16
Sarastro said:
Ord_Sgt said:
That's a pretty simple equation that can be demonstrated by the fact that if you stand still on normal ground, neither you nor the ground will move. If you stand still on a working treadmill, you're going to be missing a few teeth. = the treadmill is creating momentum.
I basically said this to a PHD engineer - "The belt is getting pulled from under you etc" - and he said no, you still have to apply a relative acceleration to keep your centre of mass in the middle of the machine.

I didn't fully understand; people start talking about "turning moments" and the like and I'm lost, but he seemed convinced there wasn't an issue.
 

Sarastro

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#17
Argee2007 said:
Yeah, i used to run cross country, fells and other stuff and ended up with knackered knees and my flatter feet, that's two of the differences running on a treadmill, the impact is reduced so it is a good way of working out without the injuries happening, some folk are made for road running, others aren't.
That's fair enough, same reason I avoid running on concrete whenever possible - but at the same time, tend to assume that people here are training for military phys, which involves running carrying heavy things whether you like it or not. Going straight into that if you've only ever swum or run on treadmills is as likely to get you injured as running every other day on pavements carrying 20kg.

There's a balance you need to strike to get your muscles used to those stresses without fcuking yourself up too early. Treadmills don't work either the muscles used to create force (even more important when carrying weight) or those used to stabilise the body on uneven ground (important for section attacks on fcuking Yorkshire/Brecon marshgrass) as well as natural running, so they might come out a bit underdeveloped.
 

Sarastro

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#18
gobbyidiot said:
I basically said this to a PHD engineer - "The belt is getting pulled from under you etc" - and he said no, you still have to apply a relative acceleration to keep your centre of mass in the middle of the machine.

I didn't fully understand; people start talking about "turning moments" and the like and I'm lost, but he seemed convinced there wasn't an issue.
Been way too long since I did this stuff, but the question is where force is being generated re: affecting the runner. Taking the rotation of the earth as constant for both, in natural running, you have 1. runner exerting vertical force down against ground which is providing 2. a constant static vertical force upwards; on the treadmill, those two constant forces are still present, but there is 3. an additional horizontal force created by the moving tread. Though the difference this makes to overall momentum may be no different considering relative velocities in either situation, the difference it makes to the force generated by the runner's muscles is considerable, because they can absorb the extra horizontal force generated by the treadmill instead of having to create that force themselves. It's really a question of energy / force transfer, not momentum.

Hope that made some sense. I'm not 100% sure, but I think the only way to get the treadmill having the same biomechanical effect would be to have it accelerating at a constant rate with the runner.

Not sure why all the extra guff about the laws of physics helps him with an answer, but I'm guessing you must have been a gym queen or something?
Must be a gym queen for advising the bloke to train outside & off the machines? Classic.

Anyway, you've given him your answer, I've given him mine, may the best man win tea'n'cakes etc because I don't much feel like arguing with you.
 
#19
Im only running on the treadmill because its easier to do in the middle of college, when im at home i run on the road, which are pretty much all hills around here. I was just asking, seems like i've triggered WW3.
 
#20
Well, from a point of view of the PT School, running on a treadmill is significantly different to running on the road.
How do I know? I asked the same question on my PTI course. Which is why when you run the Conconi test (google it) on a treadmill, you set to 1 incline.
For a start, you are (very slightly) using your stabiliser muscles to offset the bumps/potholes etc in the terrain you are running on outside, your foot falls differently, which then has a knock-on effect on the rest of your gait.

Whilst you may have been fitter than you had ever been training on a treadmill, this does not mean that a treadmill is better or even equal training. You DO get a level of fitness from a treadmill, but for true running fitness, you need to get out and hit the paths/roads/etc. Running on a constantly flat and level surface does not accurately reflect normal running conditions.
 

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