>General Running>what is more accurate the treadmill MPH or my Garmin foot pod?
I am using my treadmill on bad weather days with a Garmin watch and foot pod. The treadmill speed (MPH) and milage is much different than what my Garmin 605 with the foot pod gives me. I am trying to do speed training so I want to be accurate. Which one should I trust?
Actually I don't trust either. I try to avoid any type of speed work on the treadmill because of this. I gave up trying to get the footpod accurate. The only way to do it seems to be to calibrate it by a run at the track at a constant pace (the pace for you will want to use the footpod in the future) on the shoes you will ALWAYS use with the footpod as high on the shoe as possible and never moving it to a different position or a different pair of shoes.
I ended up trying various calibrations on the footpod to get one that kind of matched the average of what I was getting on the treadmill. Of course when I run I have warmup laps, intervals, recovery between intervals, cool cown, etc. I only find the footpod to be of benefit for cadence.
It might be of benefit for pace/distance in those cases where one is doing trail runs under a heavy canopy cover on a trail that has lots of switchbacks. These things would make the gps unsuitable.
It's been a rough winter here in CO for outside running. I'm working with a trainer and doing specific interval runs. I have been trusting the Garmin over the treadmill. Now I'm thinking that I was fooling myself. Race this weekend will tell. I guess I'll be running by effort level on the treadmill from now on. Just give it what my old body can give.
I trust my Garmin over my treadmill. I can also tell my treadmill is off based on how I feel at the different paces. YMMV. Let's us know how the race goes.
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I trust the Garmin foot pod over the treadmill.
When I am on the track and can stay on the inside lane without weaving in and out of crowds of people the foot pod hits the mark just about right on every time. So I have a pretty decent comparison. Whenever I am on the treadmill it is pretty far off. Our gym also got a whole new fleet of treadmills recently and the effort to maintain the speed on the new treadmills is A LOT higher than the effort to maintain the speed on the old treadmills, so I know one was way off. Based on the data from the track it is the new treadmills that are way off.
Thanks for the feedback. My pace (per Garmin) was improving on my runs, with less effort. I was afraid that it was an error of the treadmill reading v/s the Garmin. I know that treadmill running is easier even with it set at 1% incline as I do. I hadn't done the conversion of MPH to pace until today. I was shocked to see that the MPH per treadmill was 1 min per mile slower than my Garmin. I had my race pace planned out for this Sunday. I think that I'll just have to run it by effort (easy 1/3, moderate 1/3, and hard the last 1/3) and not worry about the pace my watch tells me. So much for trying to keep accurate records.
They are both likely close enough, it's getting the effort level desired done that matters.
I know my treadmill is optimistic a little, so I don't compare treadmill workouts to outdoor workouts. But I can compare treadmill workouts over time. If the treadmill is where you have to run, it would be silly to skip a workout rather than do it on the treadmill.
But if you are getting 1mph difference, something is off...possibly the treadmill in one direction and the pod in the other.
Overly anal logs don't make you faster. When traveling I usually just estimate what pace I was running, divide that roughly into the total time of the run, and log it.
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If you have calibrated your Garmin footpod according to the directions (run 800 m on a track and hit the right buttons at the right times on your watch), then I would trust the footpod if your training pace is similar to the pace you ran when you calibrated the footpod. The trouble is, if you are doing speed training, and you didn't calibrate the footpod at your "speed" training pace, then it can definitely have a non-trivial error. I don't trust treadmills to be very accurate, either, though, and I definitely do not put too much stock in their readings.
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I agree with joescott--unless you set your footpod on a track while doing speedwork then it will be off. The other factor is stride cadence--mine tends to vary slightly --I know it shouldnt regardless of pace and I'm working on it but easier runs average around 81 and faster runs get to mid 80s
But when I start out on the treadmill at 1.0% incline and avg 7.5 mph or so to warm up my footpod seems to be in synch with the treadmill reading. The moment I increase it to 9.0-11.0 the footpod gets way out in front of the treadmill reading. You really cant go by feel in my opinion because if you've been running outdoors through the winter, you'll naturally feel a greater perceived exertion since you are indoors in a hot/humid climate and your HR will naturally increase.
They are both capable of being reasonably accurate if properly calibrated; and both capable of being very inaccurate otherwise.
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I trust my calibrated foot pod over the treadmills at my gym, but have been noticing some very speedy readings so I've had some doubts about my calibration factor. I've been compensating for it by running for time rather than distance. So, if my 6 mile recovery runs normally take 54 minutes on the road, I'll run 54 minutes on the treadmill even though that'll take me over 6 miles according to my footpod. I haven't done speed work with my footpod for a while - the treadmills at my gym make interval work annoying since I have to repeatedly hit the up and down button between recoveries - but I would probably do the same thing. If I wanted to run 800m in 3:15, I would run at max effort for 3:15 despite what the foot pod said the distance was.
Edited to add: I run at a gym, so I never had the same treadmill. I'm thinking if you ran on the same machine, maybe you could get a better sense for the error rate. Also, I've read that there's no reason to do the 1% incline thing unless you're super fast. This Runner's World article discusses the debate at the end:
The study's final verdict? At paces slower than 8 mph (7:30/mile pace), no adjustment is necessary. "The difference is so small as to be meaningless," says Doust. Between 8 mph and 11.2 mph (5:21 pace), a 1 percent treadmill grade provides the right adjustment. At higher speeds you will need at least a 2 percent grade to offset the lack of wind resistance. Don't worry if you choose to ignore your well-meaning friend's advice. You'll simply run at a slightly faster pace than you could outside with less effort. Consider it a confidence boost.
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I did a calibration run outside with my foot pod. It was set at 100, and the calibration shows now that it is 90.3. It will be interesting to see how close it is to the treadmill on my next treadmill run. My self deception (thinking that I was running faster on the treadmill than I really was) did effect my race. I was 4 minutes slower than last year, and it was a harder race for me. Other factors may have effected me, but I think that the treadmill was a large part of it.
Does any one know what the calibration numbers mean? if the factory set it 100, then what does the 90.3 mean? I've tried the web and can't find an answer.
I was increasing the incline on the treadmill, and the foot pod caused the watch to report a faster speed than at zero Incline. Is the foot pod being "tricked" by the incline into thinking I'm going faster?
I don't know but will take a wild guess. I'm guessing the factory setting of 100 is some average stride length over a certain distance that they've worked out and then the calibration factor is just an individual's average stride length relative to that rate.
That would make sense as I have a short fast stride (5'3" with a 190 step per minutes pace). So I look like a hamster running on a wheel, but hey it gets me there.
I'm going to call Garmin today and see if I can get an answer. I'll post it if I can get answers.
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