Treadmills and Incline

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    Nov 03, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    I read online today that to simulate running on a flat surface outdoors, you have to set the incline of the treadmill to 1%. Is that true? Why don't people tell me these things?

    I've largely ignored the incline until today. I train in certain heart rate zones, and adjusting the incline is just another setting that I have to fiddle with. I added a little incline today just to increase the challenge, but it was harder to control my heart rate.
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    Nov 03, 2011 12:55 PM GMT
    I choose the "Random" setting on the treadmills so that it goes up and down on its own, simulating trail running through nature out in the forest.
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:37 PM GMT
    There has been lengthy discussion on this subject in a forum on the Runner's World website.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/training/training-essentials-workouts/1-incline-treadmill-myth

    Personally, I use the incline feature alternating between 2-10%. The practice has significantly improved my outdoor running times.
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    Nov 03, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    I run and I like to use the treadmill for diverse training. There is a class at Crunch in Los Angeles called tread and shred. I really enjoyed it a lot. On the days that I can't make it, I do my own tread and shred at the gym. It basically consists of running, walking, incline running, jogging back word on an incline, doing an incline side foot swept motion. It's a real great leg workout. I want my legs to look tight so it's a nice alternative to just doing a leg work out with weights and such.
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    Nov 03, 2011 3:59 PM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidI read online today that to simulate running on a flat surface outdoors, you have to set the incline of the treadmill to 1%. Is that true? Why don't people tell me these things?

    I've largely ignored the incline until today. I train in certain heart rate zones, and adjusting the incline is just another setting that I have to fiddle with. I added a little incline today just to increase the challenge, but it was harder to control my heart rate.


    This is very true. I like to do intervals. 1 minute at 2 incline, 1 minute at 5 or 6. 10 to 15 minutes of this will be a more effective workout than running casually at a 0 incline for an entire hour.

    I mentioned running on an incline in a previous post for someone suffering from shin splints, which it helps strengthen your legs and reduces them. Running on incline also greatly improves on core and form (picking up your feet).
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    Nov 04, 2011 5:14 AM GMT
    The Runner's World article was good. Thanks.

    My understanding before yesterday was that using the incline just developed different muscles than running flat. If my heart rate is the same, I should be expending the same amount of energy and burning the same amount of calories. I think that varying the incline throughout my run would be best, but like I said, it's pain to control my heart rate with that.
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    Nov 05, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    i usually decline.
    but if i'm inclined , i set it at 1% for the reason mentioned .
    i kinda hate doing intervals on a treadmill because it takes it so damn long to increase its speed , esp. if you try to do tabata style. By the time it reaches target it's time to recover, but by the time it slows donw to recover speed it's time to pump it up again... gets very complicated.
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    Nov 05, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    The only thing I will warn about is that incline running increases the stress on the achilles which means you need to dedicate to stretching. Achilles tears are more common than most guys think and sneaks up on a lot of guys. Pay attention to soreness around your ankles and calves, especially in the morning. I alternate running on 3.0-4.5 degree incline and then walking on 12.0-18.0 degree incline.
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    Nov 12, 2011 9:20 AM GMT
    Brownale saidThe only thing I will warn about is that incline running increases the stress on the achilles which means you need to dedicate to stretching. Achilles tears are more common than most guys think and sneaks up on a lot of guys. Pay attention to soreness around your ankles and calves, especially in the morning. I alternate running on 3.0-4.5 degree incline and then walking on 12.0-18.0 degree incline.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I do about 4 miles on a 15 percent incline. Now I understand the soreness. I do calf raises after that as I was told those are safe to do daily with abs. Then stretch the calves.

    Hope I'm not making things worse. Was not happy when my feet alignment made it painful to run (knees locked up.)

    Can't stop running...
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    Feb 19, 2012 8:20 PM GMT
    I was recently experimenting with running at different inclines at the gym with a FreeMotion incline treadmill that goes up to 30 deg. I long ago gave up serious running because of knee issues, and have substituted an elliptical trainer, a stationary bike, and a rowing machine. All are good, but I missed running.

    I read the admonition above about stress on the achilles so I will be careful. What I found is I can get my HR up at low speeds, inclines of 20-30 degrees, with little bother to my knees. I am so enthusiastic about it that I just bought a NordicTrack X9i incline treadmill that goes up to 40 deg. I had a commercial treadmill that only went up to 15 deg that I was not using much.

    Within a couple of months a new NordicTrack X11i will be out. I might upgrade, but don't think it would be necessary for home use, though the store manager said they might waive the 15% restocking fee, which would be an incentive.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Feb 19, 2012 8:26 PM GMT
    When ever I use those confounded machines, I have the settings at like 75% of max, I love the Ellipticals.. so easy on my knees!
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    Feb 19, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
    i usually run using the interval training setting, where it gradually increases the incline over a period of time. it's supposed to build calves...i'm yet to notice that lol
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    Feb 21, 2012 8:00 PM GMT
    Lost a lot of weight avoiding running given my bad back, opting to walk at a comfortably fast rate (for me, 2.8 - 3.2) at the highest inclines. Curious as to how many calories I was burning compared to runners sprinting at low inclines I was surprised to see I was burning as many if not more. Spared my back, knees and who knows what else. Figure I'm pretty cardiovascularly fit to boot since it takes a lot of sprinting to get my heart rate up and I can sprint non-stop for an hour swimming laps at any weight.
  • toybrian

    Posts: 395

    May 09, 2012 1:32 AM GMT
    Dude, I usually run in the incline at 5 for about 5 minutes to get use to uphills since some of my races are up a hill first and then flat. Then I put it back on 0 and run for 25 minutes at 7 to 8 speed. Feels good and tires me out when done and then take a 2 minutes break at 4 walking...good luck to you..