Treadmill Training

Despite my reluctance to do training on a treadmill, lately I’ve been doing more of it. 1) Living just down the hall from a gym with really good treadmills makes it convenient to wander over and do a quick fast speed work, 2) It’s hot out, even early in the morning and I don’t feel like running in the heat, and 3) It’s easy to do a focused work out on a treadmill.

Because I’ve been doing quite a bit of speed work on the treadmill and later in the week going out and running, I’ve been able to do a number of observations comparing my treadmill running and outdoor running. I find that there’s about a 15 second differential between the two, meaning that I’m about 15 seconds slower in outdoor running compared to treadmill running. In other words, level of effort exerted at 7:00 pace on the treadmill translates to an effort level of 7:15 pace outdoors.

My own person observation very nicely converges with this treadmill pace conversion table I found on Hillrunner.com. I spent some time on the site and I find it very useful. There are all kinds of tools to help you with your running and training (articles, pace calculators, etc). Hillrunner’s race prediction calculator is a little faster than McMillan’s, but not by much. I have often heard recommendations to add 1-2% resistance on a treadmill to simulate better outdoor running conditions based upon empirical work by Jones & Doust (1996). Jim2 of Hillrunner wrote an interesting article discussing the 1% treadmill myth.

Another tool that I found interesting and useful for summer running is this temperature calculator from a different site. I’ve been playing around with it to see how much the calculator predicts that I’m affected by the heat. I haven’t done enough racing in the heat to do my compare my real performance with the predicted, but it does give me a better idea of exactly how much I should be affected.

On a personal note, I’m off to the airport in a few hours. Some months ago I received an opportunity to go to St. Petersburg, Russia for work, which I leaped to accept. I’m going on vacation to Iceland with my mother for a few days before I head to St. Petersburg. It’ll be an exciting adventure. The next time I blog, it’ll be from Reykjavik.

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