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TOPIC: Treadmill Incline

 
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April 17, 2012 5:09 AM
Hello All!

I have read over a few places that states that I should have the treadmill at around a 1.5 incline to simulate outdoor running.

Is there any truth to this?

Thank you!
April 17, 2012 5:11 AM
Depends what kind of hill you are looking to simulate really. I run at a 1.0 incline as my normal speed (running flat on the treadmill hurts my knees). When I want to do hill training, I alternate between 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3. I can't handle much higher than 3.
April 17, 2012 5:18 AM
I have heard something similar, that you should switch up the incline a little bit every couple minutes or so because most likely that's how it would be running outside(though where you live is pretty flat, right?).

I just started C25K and have only jogged on the treadmill so I have been switching it up and down between 1.5 and 2.5, will eventually add inclines of a bit more.
April 17, 2012 5:54 AM
I would say that the incline does not make a difference in the experience. However, a slight incline may cause you to land more on the front of your feet, reducing the stress on your knees.
  5342179
April 17, 2012 5:55 AM
I forget what the best incline is to simulate outdoor running, I believe it is 0.5-1.5 so running at 1.5 is fine. When I warm up I usually vary it between 0.5 and 9, but when running I just concentrate on running and not pressing buttons, if you've got a fancy treadmill then it's fine to get it to change but no real need to.

On a side note: NEVER run with 0 incline it can cause you serious damage to your ankles, knees and back
April 17, 2012 5:59 AM
My trainer said to always run at an incline ( can't remember why). I always run at a 2% incline.
  38493
April 17, 2012 6:01 AM
QUOTE:


On a side note: NEVER run with 0 incline it can cause you serious damage to your ankles, knees and back


Do you have studies to quote that confirm this? I simply don't believe that it's true. If it were, then running on perfectly flat surfaces would do the same damage and there are plenty of people doing that without incurring serious damage to their ankle, knees or back.

There are some that say you need to be between 1% and 1.5% incline to simulate the wind resistance from outdoor running. There was a scientific study conducted recently, and reported in Running Times, that stated that this really didn't come into play until you go to paces near and below 6:00 per mile (pulling from memory, so I may be off by 30 seconds or so). So, for most of us mortal runners, the slight incline really makes no difference.

The bottom line is, do what feels comfortable to you. If you like the way it feels at 1%, then set it there.
  20003417
April 17, 2012 6:08 AM
QUOTE:

I would say that the incline does not make a difference in the experience. However, a slight incline may cause you to land more on the front of your feet, reducing the stress on your knees.

This is what read in the last week also. They suggested always running with 2% incline for the reasons you mentioned
  20849897
April 17, 2012 6:15 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I would say that the incline does not make a difference in the experience. However, a slight incline may cause you to land more on the front of your feet, reducing the stress on your knees.

This is what read in the last week also. They suggested always running with 2% incline for the reasons you mentioned


I think a better idea would be to concentrate on proper running form. Doing things like counting your steps per minute and trying to get that into the 160 to 180 steps per minute range. Having a quicker turnover will naturally shorten the reach in your stride, causing you to land in the mid-foot and not heel strike. This will do a lot more for reducing injury than setting the incline at 2% will.
Edited by CarsonRuns On April 17, 2012 6:16 AM
  20003417
April 24, 2012 3:26 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


On a side note: NEVER run with 0 incline it can cause you serious damage to your ankles, knees and back


Do you have studies to quote that confirm this? I simply don't believe that it's true. If it were, then running on perfectly flat surfaces would do the same damage and there are plenty of people doing that without incurring serious damage to their ankle, knees or back.

There are some that say you need to be between 1% and 1.5% incline to simulate the wind resistance from outdoor running. There was a scientific study conducted recently, and reported in Running Times, that stated that this really didn't come into play until you go to paces near and below 6:00 per mile (pulling from memory, so I may be off by 30 seconds or so). So, for most of us mortal runners, the slight incline really makes no difference.

The bottom line is, do what feels comfortable to you. If you like the way it feels at 1%, then set it there.


I can't find the article on ACSM however there has been research on it by them that shows that a 0 incline increases pressure on the shin bones, which can lead to shin splints amongst other injuries to the knees, ankles and back. Obviously you aren't guaranteed to get injured, but why take the risk?

But yes, slight incline doesn't feel much different to most, so it doesn't make a massive difference.
April 24, 2012 3:33 AM
QUOTE:

I forget what the best incline is to simulate outdoor running, I believe it is 0.5-1.5 so running at 1.5 is fine. When I warm up I usually vary it between 0.5 and 9, but when running I just concentrate on running and not pressing buttons, if you've got a fancy treadmill then it's fine to get it to change but no real need to.

On a side note: NEVER run with 0 incline it can cause you serious damage to your ankles, knees and back



I run at a 0 incline - always have. Running with an incline puts too much strain on my lower back. Considering I'm in pain if I run with an incline and not in pain if I run at 0, I think I'll pick 0.

I really think what's comfortable is more important than trying to make a blanket statement like "you must do this.." or "you can't do that...". I've been running this way for nearly 2 years. Like I said, I've tried running with an incline and it hurts my back terribly.
Edited by chevy88grl On April 24, 2012 3:36 AM
  3200790
April 24, 2012 11:20 AM
I don't know who started the goofy incline myth, but I wish it would stop. Unless you're running sub 5:30 miles on the treadmill, keep it at 0, that simulates running on a flat surface outside: http://www.hillrunner.com/jim2/id110.html. Even if it someone was trying to "compensate for the lack of wind resistance", why someone thought that raising the incline, instead of just speeding up, was the solution baffles me. Your stride is different on an incline and you will have muscle imbalances if you do it long enough since you work your quads more than your hamstrings. Biomechanically, running on a treadmill is the same as running outside.
  7871556
April 24, 2012 11:26 AM
QUOTE:

I don't know who started the goofy incline myth, but I wish it would stop. Unless you're running sub 5:30 miles on the treadmill, keep it at 0, that simulates running on a flat surface outside: http://www.hillrunner.com/jim2/id110.html. Even if it someone was trying to "compensate for the lack of wind resistance", why someone thought that raising the incline, instead of just speeding up, was the solution baffles me. Your stride is different on an incline and you will have muscle imbalances if you do it long enough since you work your quads more than your hamstrings. Biomechanically, running on a treadmill is the same as running outside.


I didn't think the idea of using an incline on a treadmill had anything to do with wind. I thought it was because when you run outside it isn't usually always at 0%. I live in an area that can get hilly so I don't want to be in shock when I hit the pavement. I do think running on a treadmill is different than outside. Treadmill absorbs more shock so feels better on my knees.
November 26, 2012 8:51 AM
I always thought treadmill running was considered easier because the motor and belt helps push your leg back, whereas running outside you would have to push off your foot more. Always thought the incline was to compensate for this. Anyway I run at 2%, my times are a slower on the machine than outside.
November 26, 2012 1:49 PM
QUOTE:

Hello All!

I have read over a few places that states that I should have the treadmill at around a 1.5 incline to simulate outdoor running.

Is there any truth to this?

Thank you!


To always run on an incline will place additional strain on the achilles.

The only hard and fast way to get used to running outdoors is to train outdoors. Running on the treadmill (I have one myself and used to train all the time on it until I moved outside) is not the same as outside however, for instance you cannot assimilate the weather such as wind and rain.

Just be careful about always running on an incline on the TM.
November 26, 2012 1:52 PM
I also use 1.5 which I believe is about the same as outdoors in terms of difficulty. However the treadmill cannot simulate winter weather outside!
  26529664
November 26, 2012 1:58 PM
I set it to 0.5%. I was told that when you have it set to 0%, you don't simulate the natural friction and push-off you would get on running on a flat surface outside. When you are running on ground, the ground stays still and you propel your body forward. When you run on a treadmill, the belt moves and you stay in the same place, so you don't have to work quite as hard. Setting it to a slight incline overcomes this.
December 16, 2013 4:54 AM
I found a good chart online
http://www.trinewbies.com/tno_running/run_treadmill_chart.asp

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