How to calculate treadmill conversion to simulate outdoor running
How to Calculate Treadmill Conversion to Simulate Outdoor Running
Treadmill conversion is still a contentious issue with hard core runners. Most feel that
using a treadmill for their fitness training with or without incline can not simulate the
effort and results of a good run outdoors. Having said that, it's not always possible to get
out and run anytime you want.
Many issues can arise that would make a treadmill a better fit for that moment in time.
Weather for one is at the top of the list when it comes to canceling your run, but there is
also personal commitments, family, work, time and so on. When these issues occur, it's
up to each individual whether it's better to get on a treadmill or not run at all. My
preference of course is getting on the treadmill and getting in some cardio or to help you
with your weight loss.
Treadmill conversion is basically a setting of your treadmill incline to potentially match
the resistance and effort of running outdoors. Now the argument that most runners give to
explain why using treadmill conversion doesn't measure up to outdoor running, is that
you can't simulate the environment, like wind resistance, hills, uneven ground or even the
hardness of the ground. It also seems that your running speed on a treadmill with no
incline or 0% incline is actually slower than running on a flat road or track surface since
most treadmills have a impact cushioning track that absorbs your impact but seems to
slow you down.
For many, it even seems to be a little harder and take longer to run on a treadmill with 0%
incline than it is to run for the same amount of time outside. This is most probably a
mental adjustment runners have to make, because when running outdoors you can take in
the scenery and keep your mind off your time but when you're treadmill training. In most
cases, you are most likely just staring at the time on the machine making it seem longer.
My personal opinion is that, the effort of running on a treadmill at 0% incline is less than
that of running on a level road at the same pace because of lack of wind resistance while
running on a treadmill.
An excellent chart that you can use to get the approximate equivalent effort between
running on a treadmill at different paces and inclines and running outdoors on a level
surface can be found at:
This site helps your treadmill conversion for, treadmill MPH setting, pace per mile and
equivalent paces by incline.
Finding the exact conversion is quite difficult due to the differences in fitness training
treadmills and in how each of our bodies reacts to the different running scenarios. If
you're looking for the quick, uncomplicated answer to treadmill conversion and take the
averages of both above and the average of what the professionals are saying, it breaks
down to about 3% incline is the equivalent to an outside run on a flat surface. It might not
be perfect but it's a foundation for the majority of runners out there.
Treadmill training might not exactly simulate running outdoors, but it certainly gives you
a great workout and can be much more convenient for most. But if you really want to get
as close to an outdoor run as possible, look into your treadmill conversion to help you
simulate your effort, it does work pretty well in a pinch.
Find out how to calculate treadmill conversion and how it can help you enjoy your
treadmill workout even more and give you the complete benefit of running outside.
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