Exercise+, Day 20: Nearly There

February 7, 2009 at 11:21 pm 3 comments

Okay, so I did some research on treadmill walking today.  I had looked before, but somehow I guess this time I hit on the right keywords or something, because I got a lot more information this time.   This isn’t to say that the information I found was what I was LOOKING FOR, or anything, but it was still interesting.

The issue, I gather, is that most people who are serious enough about treadmill-based exercise are running enthusiasts.  Therefore, while I actually WAS able to find tables of data relating to treadmill incline, very little of it was meaningful to me.  Apparently Runners calculate their progress in terms of Min/Miles, which I assume means the time it takes them to run a mile.  Unfortunately, how this translates to a value meaningful to ME is harder to sort out.

The first link I found was this one, which is apparently discussing a commonly-observed practice of using a 1% elevation to ‘simulate’ the air resistance a runner might experience when running out-of-doors.   I guess outside, the air resistance you’d run into gives you a much better workout, so the logic goes that a 1% incline should sort of compensate for what you’re missing.    Apparently runners like to argue the validity of this practice, but I didn’t find the debate to be of much interest to me, so I didn’t read it too carefully.

The next link I found did provide a nice tidy chart on a subpage, but it didn’t make much sense to me.  Here’s the link to it; maybe one of you can explain it to me.  It seems to be showing how walking on inclines of various degrees compares with walking flat, but I apparently do not understand the values given.   For example, why is ‘Pace per Mile’ expressed as a time, and why are Pace Per Miles for higher inclines LOWER than they are for lower inclines?  I would have thought it would be the other way around… so apparently I’m misunderstanding the way PPMs are calculated or what they mean.

I did note, though, that the lowest speed represented on the chart was around 5 MPH, which means the data there wasn’t of much use to me regardless, I guess.   I mean, unless I want to start extrapolating or something.  Too much work.

Another site I found recommended walking BACKWARDS on the treadmill.  This obviously makes use of a completely different set of muscles, which is interesting.  The only downside to this site was that it scolds vehemently against holding onto anything while you walk, regardless of whether you’re going forward or backward.  I mean, it makes sense, but the arguments they make against clinging to siderails probably also applies to trying to type while walking, so… 

I AM sort of tempted to try walking backwards, though.  It wouldn’t be difficult to move the table to the back of the treadmill instead of the front and just walk that way for awhile.  I wonder if I could pull that off. 

Anyway… interesting stuff.  Still haven’t found any sort of rule of thumb regarding incline comparisons aside from that hard-to-understand chart, though.

I have officially completed my Day 20 now.  One more day to go!


Entry filed under: Exercise, Successes. Tags: , , , .

Exercise+, Day 19: Looking Down the Barrel Exercise+, Day 21: DONE!


  • 1. Pangie  |  February 8, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I had to walk backwards up an incline, and do stairstepper backwards, for my PT after my knees surgeries. I absolutely do not recommend trying it without siderails at first.

  • 2. Jennifer  |  February 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Yeah, Anna tells me the point of inclining and/or going backwards is just to work different muscles.

    At least facing backwards, the handrails would be clear of the Terrible Table. I may give this a shot next week,

  • 3. Michelle  |  February 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Going backwards is usually best at low speed, 2mph and high incline. Don’t put the table between you and the exit of the treadmill until you practice this.

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