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Races vs. Time Trials (Read 1210 times)

    One time I tried a time trial on a treadmill.  If you're considering this course of action, it is a very, very stupid idea.

    Charles G


      I loved doing time trials. I also loved racing.  In the eighties I ran 30 plus sub 20 5K time trials on the track,  and four 10K races under 40 before breaking 20 in a race in 1991. They were good traIning for racing 10K and 5 mile. I don't think I wouldn't have broken 40 if it wasn't for the time trials. Now I don't race and don't live near a track but I time myself or a mile or two on the road using GPS.

        One time I tried a time trial on a treadmill.  If you're considering this course of action, it is a very, very stupid idea.

         

         Why?

           Why?

           

          One thing is knowing that the treadmill is actually properly calibrated - I suspect that many are not.


          Interval Junkie --Nobby

            How would a time-trial on a treadmill work, anyway?  I mean, the belt determines how fast you are going to run.  You can either keep up with it, or you can't.  But it would seem that unless you are just trying to hit a certain marker, it wouldn't really tell you how fast you can run the distance: only that you can or cannot run it as fast as the TM was set.

             

            So, if you set it for a 6min mile and you can keep up with the belt, then you can do a 6min mile.  But what if you can do better than a 6min mile?  Do you click the button to make the belt accelerate for the kick?

            2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

            Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

              I just want to know how others work on treadmills.  I can never run as fast on that as I can on solid ground.  At about 7:30 pace I feel like I'll fly off the belt.  Have run a few 1:30-1:35 quarters (just 1 or 2 to see if I can), but if I try to run at 10 MPH setting on the treadmill even for a min, I think I'll pull some muscle.

                I just want to know how others work on treadmills.  I can never run as fast on that as I can on solid ground.  At about 7:30 pace I feel like I'll fly off the belt.  Have run a few 1:30-1:35 quarters (just 1 or 2 to see if I can), but if I try to run at 10 MPH setting on the treadmill even for a min, I think I'll pull some muscle.

                 

                It's quite possible your treadmill is going faster than it says. My new treadmill goes anywhere between 0.2 and 0.4 MPH faster than what I set it to.  I just account for this when I set the speed. Also, every treadmill has a different feel to it. My new one does feel faster even accounting for the known speed issue. I think it's because the deck is pretty firm (not hard, but more road like). 

                 

                There's a couple ways you can determine the speed accuracy.  I first did it with a measuring wheel and measured how many feet the belt traversed at quite a few different speeds and compared it to what what it should have traversed. Then, the manufacturer told me about a mode I can get into where the display will indicate the actual and desired speeds. 

                 

                In the end, I think it just takes some getting use to running fast on the treadmill. The first few times I set it to 12 MPH, it's pretty scary, but after a while, it's not so bad.  Just don't lose focus :-)


                Doughboy

                  I think to get used to going faster on the treadmill works much the same way as it works on the road. You try it for brief periods, then drop back into your comfort zone. Try again; drop back. A one-button speed change on the treadmill is your friend. I recently found the custom screen for setting high and low speeds for a workout. When I do this it gives me one button to switch back and forth between two speeds. One is comfort zone, the other is the scary danger zone. This keeps you from having to hit the up-arrow a million times back and forth, or to coordinate yourself enough to hit a keypad to select a new speed. You just guess the neighborhood of your top speed and then you can refine the speed up and down a bit to adjust. One button gets you back and forth between modes.

                   

                  And the TM's at my gym also have 2-4-6mph buttons. You can always hit the one of these buttons to quickly slow down if the speed gets too crazy.

                   

                  But BoilerTom, 12 mph?! That's still too scary for me. I'm no longer afraid of 10 after warming up to it, but I don't think I've ever hit 11 yet.

                  xor


                    Any time I've tried to take my gym's treadmills past 10, they make that "wanh wanh wanh" sound the Millenium Falcon made when the hyperdrive was busted and he tried to engage it anyway.

                     

                      "Time trial" is probably a bit elevated for what happened.  It was more like "I wonder how fast I can do a mile on this here treadmill."  A rather literal instance of "racing your workout."  And, yeah, you just kind-of guess how fast you should be able to go and speed it up (or slow down) if appropriate.  Treadmill appeared to be pretty well calibrated -- paces seemed roughly equivalent to feel outside.  Obviously this wasn't a precision operation.  (I also tend to run slower on treadmills than outside, probably due to the heat buildup.  Not too much of an issue for a mile though.)  As it turned out, the only thing I really learned was that my speed exceeded my ability to cope with the fear of falling off of the thing.

                        Any time I've tried to take my gym's treadmills past 10, they make that "wanh wanh wanh" sound the Millenium Falcon made when the hyperdrive was busted and he tried to engage it anyway.

                        It's uncommon to find one that goes to eleven.

                        “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                           

                           

                          But BoilerTom, 12 mph?! That's still too scary for me. I'm no longer afraid of 10 after warming up to it, but I don't think I've ever hit 11 yet.

                           

                          I only do it for brief periods (< 1 minute at a time) for some quick "strides."  At my age, I can't handle that pace/effort for much longer unless I was maybe running a race 1 mile or less. 

                            How would a time-trial on a treadmill work, anyway?  I mean, the belt determines how fast you are going to run.  You can either keep up with it, or you can't.  But it would seem that unless you are just trying to hit a certain marker, it wouldn't really tell you how fast you can run the distance: only that you can or cannot run it as fast as the TM was set.

                             

                            So, if you set it for a 6min mile and you can keep up with the belt, then you can do a 6min mile.  But what if you can do better than a 6min mile?  Do you click the button to make the belt accelerate for the kick?

                            You see, that's the all-backward thinking.  Is it possible for you at all to crank up the speed until you settle down at "comfortably challenging" pace and stay there for however long you want to run?  Instead, you set the pace and try to stick with it.  Yes, there IS an element of the belt speed and you having to keep up--if so, you probably are forced to run a bit faster.  Still, the best doesn't determine how fast you're running.  YOU still control the belt speed.  If you think otherwise, that means you don't know how to listen to your "inner coach".  In a way, THAT is why time trial should not be, and will not be, alternate to a race.  Workout is workout.  

                              You see, that's the all-backward thinking.  Is it possible for you at all to crank up the speed until you settle down at "comfortably challenging" pace and stay there for however long you want to run?  Instead, you set the pace and try to stick with it.  Yes, there IS an element of the belt speed and you having to keep up--if so, you probably are forced to run a bit faster.  Still, the best doesn't determine how fast you're running.  YOU still control the belt speed.  If you think otherwise, that means you don't know how to listen to your "inner coach".  In a way, THAT is why time trial should not be, and will not be, alternate to a race.  Workout is workout.  

                               

                              Not sure I agree.  I'm all for listening to your inner coach and letting your body set the speed but I know that I'm not wired to move my arm forward and press a button on a console to increase the speed tof the belt 'neath my feet to some number that I think seems right the same way I'm hard wired to "run as fast as I can over the distance that's left."

                               

                              On a treadmill I can't come close to the speeds I've run in races (or even in workouts on the roads or track for that matter.)  Some people can I guess.

                              Runners run.

                                Not sure I agree.  I'm all for listening to your inner coach and letting your body set the speed but I know that I'm not wired to move my arm forward and press a button on a console to increase the speed tof the belt 'neath my feet to some number that I think seems right the same way I'm hard wired to "run as fast as I can over the distance that's left."

                                 

                                On a treadmill I can't come close to the speeds I've run in races (or even in workouts on the roads or track for that matter.)  Some people can I guess.

                                I can NEVER run anywhere near my best speed on treadmill.  In fact, it's quite a bit slower.  So I don't care how fast the meter tells me.  For one, it's too depressing.  I just did tempo-ish run on treadmill today.  I thought I wanted to do about 20-minutes of good effort.  I got it up to about 8.3MPH but it could have been 7.9, it could have been 8.7...it could have been 6.9.  In fact, I think I do better on treadmill doing fartlek.  It's sort of all over the place.  When I do hills, it could be 7.5 grade at 5.5MPH for 12 minutes; it could be 10.0 grade at 4.8MPH for 4 minutes...  I can fairly easily run 6:30 in a race.  As long as can do that, I don't really care what numbers I see on treadmill.

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