Running on a Treadmill

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Small_Surfer, Apr 17, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  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. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. :)

  6. Sarastro

    Sarastro LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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?
  7. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    What a load of old balls. Started on the beers a little early today?
  8. Sarastro

    Sarastro LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

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

    But don't believe me:

  9. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    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.
  10. There is a biomechanical difference - all about "dwell time"; 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Sarastro

    Sarastro LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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.

  13. 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.
  14. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    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?