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Hiking Prep/Treadmill Incline
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Ryan Tucker
(BeartoothTucker) - M
Hiking Prep/Treadmill Incline on 06/25/2011 10:32:35 MDT Print View

I have tried googling this, but I don't believe I know the proper terminology to find relevant results.

In preparation for a hike at incline if you walk miles at 15 incline on a treadmill, what amount of incline is this equivalent to per hour in feet of elevation?

assuming 3 mph

Edited by BeartoothTucker on 06/25/2011 10:33:29 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Hiking Prep/Treadmill Incline on 06/25/2011 10:53:12 MDT Print View

If you take the amount of elevation per mile you are climbing (for example say 650 feet per mile) and divide that by 5280 then you get the percentage incline.


650 elevation change
5280 feet in a mile


That may or may not help.

Chris Hanson
(ChrisHanson) - F

Locale: Eastern Wyoming
Treadmill Incline on 06/25/2011 11:00:52 MDT Print View

This may not be the "cleanest" way of doing it but if you take the miles traveled in feet, multiply that by the incline, and divide that by the hours it took you and then multiply that by the speed you're traveling, I think that will give you the answer you are looking for.

For example:

If I walked 1 mile (5280 feet) at a 15% incline for one hour at 3 mph I will have been climbing at the rate of 2,376 feet per hour

5280 x .15 = 792 feet / 1 = 792 792 x 3 = 2,376 feet of elevation per hour

I think this is correct because it closely matches what the treadmill I use says in my workout summary when I do 45 minutes at 3.5-3.8 for 45 minutes plus cooldown...

Any mathematicians out there?

Edited by ChrisHanson on 06/25/2011 11:03:16 MDT.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
forget the math on 06/25/2011 11:26:20 MDT Print View

Just forget the math and do 15 miles on a Stair Stepper. ;-)

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: forget the math on 06/25/2011 17:02:37 MDT Print View

1) On a treadmill your actual effective MPH or feet vertical climbed is less than reality due to the ability to "cheat" a bit by "bouncing" instead of STRIDING and Accelerating.

2) This is also true on a stair climber, but less so as it mimics steeper grades more effectively.

I have found a treadmill at 15% grade and jogging at say 6mph is equivalent of trail walking at around 4mph of the same gradient.

About 2/-3/4 the actual "numbers" read on the treadmill. You also do not develop your balance and stability muscles that are very important for any uneven surface.

If at all possible I try to get out on a real trail, even urban trails. Doesn't happen nearly as much as any of us would like as it simply inconvenient most of the time.

PS 15% grade = 15 feet vertical for every 100 feet horizontal. Or roughly 750ft vertical/mile. (15% grade is not an angle of 15 degrees.)

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: forget the math on 06/28/2011 19:08:33 MDT Print View

It's not just the bouncing -- with both treadmills and stair steppers, the "ground" moves down as you step on it, so you are never truly lifting your entire weight the same distance as if you were on a trail (or actual steps.) That said, putting the treadmill on the top incline does help, even when walking.

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Talk a hike on 06/29/2011 11:54:09 MDT Print View

Or you could just hike outside with a pack on and call it good.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Treadmills on 06/29/2011 18:48:11 MDT Print View

I don't have the links, but exercise physiologists have studied the amount of energy saved by the sliding motion of a treadmill, and it's negligible compared to walking/running on the ground.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Hiking Prep/Treadmill Incline on 06/30/2011 21:50:47 MDT Print View

First reply/post. I've had people whose only exercise was the gym, on the treadmill or stairstepper, still not keep up with my older bones on bp trips. I trained on actual dirt, either jogging or mt. bike riding. Where I live, if it isn't uphill getting there, it will be coming back or a combination.