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Perceived Effort On Treadmill (Read 175 times)

mab411


Proboscis Colossus

    I've only recently gained access to a treadmill - joined a gym - and it seems like when I get on it for an "easy" run at 10:00m/m, which is the slow end of what I usually shoot for on the easy road runs, it feels like a harder effort than it does outside.  Still within the range of what I would call "easy," but is that just a psychological effect?  Or is there something physical about treadmill running that makes it harder?

     

    At first, I thought the treadmill might be calibrated incorrectly, but it's the same on every treadmill I try.

    "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

      I have a similar experience, you can see my log and spot all the treadmill runs as being a whole lot slower. I blame my situation on 1) being hot and humid inside (70-80F) and 2) pace being too monotonous. Not sure if they really are the causes or not but that's my excuse.

        It might be calibration - it might not be calibration.        This statement or question is a common one "I'm running on a TM and my pace is slower".     As far as I can tell its also a common occurrence because for some reason TM running 'seems' a little harder for many people (ME included).          I have a treadmill and during the winter time I run on it quite a bit (over 50% of my winter runs are on my TM).    From Mid March to the end of November I'll barely run on it at all............and my TM runs always seem a little harder than my out of doors runs.       I know my TM is calibrated because I have the instructions and calibrate it a few times during the winter months.

         

        What I do now is to NOT compare my TM runs to my out of doors run.   I only compare my TM runs to other TM runs and my out of doors runs to other out of doors run.    I even have two sets of 'acceptable standards' one for each.........like you, they overlap, but are still not the same.

         

        I think your circumstance is VERY common....

        Champions are made when no one is watching

          I think the mechanics of running on a TM are slightly different, but enough to make the perceived effort higher at first. Same thing when going exclusively from Treadmill running to outside.


          Feeling the growl again

            I think the mechanics of running on a TM are slightly different, but enough to make the perceived effort higher at first. Same thing when going exclusively from Treadmill running to outside.

             

            When I did most of my running outside, I thought the treadmill was harder.

             

            Now that I do ~50% of my volume on the treadmill (including most fast workouts), I find fast running outside to feel harder.

             

            YMMV.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              I have a similar experience on Treadmills. For me I think it is mostly psychological--I notice that when I run on a TM for a few days in a row  I start to run faster at the same perceived effort. Part of it also seems due to the fact I over heat a lot faster on the TM since there is no natural air flow like outside.

               

              The other reason I think it's mostly psychological (for me) is that I notice my breathing is much slower and relaxed than at the same perceived effort outside, even though it "feels" harder. I know how fast I breathe at every effort so this is a sign to me that the perceived effort is not physical.

              Runners run.

              mab411


              Proboscis Colossus

                Okay, thanks.  Glad to know I'm not crazy.  Or if I am, it's not manifesting itself in the gym.

                 

                Might slow it down a little on the treadmill, then.  Like I say, it's still "easy," but maybe it would be best if I tried to make it feel as easy as the outside stuff, no?

                "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                  I've only recently gained access to a treadmill - joined a gym - and it seems like when I get on it for an "easy" run at 10:00m/m, which is the slow end of what I usually shoot for on the easy road runs, it feels like a harder effort than it does outside.  Still within the range of what I would call "easy," but is that just a psychological effect?  Or is there something physical about treadmill running that makes it harder?

                   

                  At first, I thought the treadmill might be calibrated incorrectly, but it's the same on every treadmill I try.

                   

                  Similar experience for me.  Trying to run 'easy' on a treadmill always seemed really difficult for me. I always felt better by cranking the pace to much faster than an 'easy' pace run outdoors.  That was the only way I could ever get through a treadmill run.

                  Luke79


                    I really think it's the monotony that influences this feeling.  Time flies when you're having fun, and feels more comfortable.  I think watching a TV or something would probably make an easy run much more pleasant on the TM.  Outside, you have a lot of distractions to constantly steer your mind away from the "pain", even if it's minimal.

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                      On my treadmill at home, my perceived effort (and my HR) is lower than outside.  I run in a room in the house that is generally cooler than the rest of the house (during the winter it will be 65 - 68 degrees in that room) and the treadmill has a nice fan built into it that blows directly on me as I'm running.  I have a nice large screen TV in front of me and a DVR full of interesting shows that have been recorded.  I've logged a couple hundred miles on it this winter so I'm getting pretty familiar with it.

                       

                      On treadmills at hotels, etc., my perceived effort (an my HR) is higher than outside.  Excercise rooms always seem way too warm (80's even in the winter), sometimes the treadmill is just a piece of junk, no fans, TV's if they have them are crappy and at an odd angle and rarely is there anything interesting on to watch.

                       

                      I'm still not 100% sure my home treadmill is calibrated correctly, but all the other differences for sure help to account for at least some of the differences in perceived effort.

                      Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                      Better I Leave


                        I really think it's the monotony that influences this feeling.  Time flies when you're having fun, and feels more comfortable.  I think watching a TV or something would probably make an easy run much more pleasant on the TM.  Outside, you have a lot of distractions to constantly steer your mind away from the "pain", even if it's minimal.

                         

                        Agreed. I do a lot of TM work, but I have to admit...It is definitely more tedious than running outside.

                        zonykel


                          I think it's possible that we use a slightly different set of muscles when running on the treadmill. If those muscles are under-utilized during your road running, then it'll feel like more effort when you do use them.

                           

                          if you do other type of cardio exercise that you are not used to doing (elliptical, indoor cycle ), you'll probably experience a similar high perceived effort.

                           

                          well, that's my hypothesis :-)

                          runbum


                            My perceived effort is also higher when I'm on a TM. Part of this is because I set the incline to 1%. Running at 0% incline just feels so strange to me. The 1% incline seems to make it a better simulation of outdoor running.

                             

                            Yet I don't think that's the most important factor. When I'm running at what seems to be an equivalently "easy" pace to the outside, I find I'm at a pace about 30-45 seconds/mile slower than outside. The 1% incline wouldn't explain that much of a difference.

                             

                            I also find that I can converse more easily on the TM than I do on my outside "easy" runs, which I take to mean that I'm not working as hard on the TM, even if it seems so.

                             

                            I think it's mostly psychological.

                            Julia1971


                              I've noticed the same thing - 6.0 on the treadmill feels harder than 10:00 pace outside.  I wear a footpod that has been calibrated.  And even if the calibration factor itself is wrong, I have been noticing the pace it shows will vary widely even if I don't change the treadmill speed.  Just by altering my stride and leg turnover, I can run anywhere from a 8:40ish pace and 10:00ish pace on the same treadmill setting.  So, I've stopped paying attention to what the treadmill is saying I'm running.  I'm not 100% sold on what my footpod is telling me either but I think it's convinced me that speed on the treadmill is more about mechanics than the setting.

                              The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb