Treadmill vs hiking for aerobic workouts

  • Creator
  • #43335


    I’m in Week 6 of the 24 week Mountaineering Plan. For the aerobic workouts as per the Plan, you need to maintain your HR in a certain range, like AeT minus 10 or 15. I’ve found that it’s much easier to maintain HR within specific ranges on a treadmill as opposed to hiking a mountain (at least the mountains I have easy access to). You can easily adjust the settings on the treadmill but on a trail you have to constantly go faster or slower to get your HR to be in that specific range. However, on the treadmill, I don’t get any elevation gain even with a 15% incline. On hiking trails, I get elevation gains, but HR is usually too low (usually around 90 on average – my AeT is 142). What’s the best strategy to get both HR and elevation gain?

  • Participant
    Rachel on #43337

    I increase my pace or the slope to up my HR. I’ll set a narrow HR zone on my watch, and run if needed (or slow to a crawl) to keep it in the range. But why don’t you get vert on the treadmill? 15% should result in elevation gain unless the treadmill is broken. Or are you not able to reach your vert goal?

    mzkarim on #43339

    My Garmin watch does not give any elevation gain for treadmill runs (see attachment) and the Training Peaks workout then shows 0 elevation gain. Maybe I could use a Stairclimber and calculate the elevation based on the number of steps or floors that the Stairclimber records? This would be for the workouts that require elevation, not the recovery ones.

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    mzkarim on #43343

    The above example was a 2-hour treadmill run at 15% incline, but no elevation was recorded.

    Dada on #43345

    mzkarim, you need ro calculate your elavation gain from the treadmill using a calculator 😉 and then edit your workouts.

    Good luck!

    mzkarim on #43346

    Thanks, Dada. How would I calculate elevation gain using a calculator?

    Rachel on #43347

    I usually snap a pic of the treadmill console so I can input everything into TP afterwards. I just googled and there are online calculators where you input grade and horizontal distance and it’ll spit out the elevation gain.

    mzkarim on #43348

    Wow, that was so easy! I’m getting almost 5,000 feet of elevation for my 2-hour, 6-mile treadmill runs. Thanks so much guys!

    Anonymous on #43465

    For miles: MILES x 5,280 x INCLINE_% = VERTICAL_FEET

    For km: KM x 1,000 x INCLINE_% = VERTICAL_M

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