Treadmills and running watches?: Hi All I would... - Couch to 5K

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Treadmills and running watches?


Hi All I would like to buy a running watch so that I can see how far I have run and see if I beat my times etc.... But I run on a treadmill at the gym, are there watches that will work on a treadmill without the GPS signal needed - any help would be appreciated :-)

26 Replies

You need a Garmin with a footpod. The footpod which goes on your shoe will measure your indoor running and sync with the watch bit. I think it works with the 610 but best look it up.

If you're looking at watches you're definitely an addict !! Happy running.

JudefGraduate in reply to Hidden

Thank you henpen, I will investigate :D

Doesn't the treadmill give you that info? I have never actually been on a treadmill but the crosstraining machines and exercise bikes and rowing machines all do.

JudefGraduate in reply to Rignold

They do indeed, but have no measurement to see how I did from one run to the next and see if I am getting better with each run

I would have thought the treadmill would give you the information you want.

useitorloseitGraduate in reply to spoonierunning

That's what I was about to say ... I thought treadmills had all those clever computer style thingies ...


Hi Jude,

I reckon you have 3 options:

1) If you have a phone with a camera, then simply take a photo of the display on the treadmill at the end of your run. Then, once you are showered and sitting down, transfer the details to whatever record-keeping system you want (spreadsheet, notes in a running diary...). This is free if you have a camera phone already. You'll get distance, time, calories, possibly heart-rate this way, just note the pace that you ran at a particular time in the run.

2) You could choose to buy a pedometer. This will count your steps whilst you are running, and estimate the distance that you have run. It won't be 100% accurate compared to the display on the treadmill, but the important thing is that it will be consistent from run to run. There are simple pedometers from £20, or you could purchase something like the FitBit One or Withings Pulse. Both of these will send the data that they record to the web (via a BlueTooth dongle or a smart-phone) and you can see all of the data on a private web-page. For about £70, you'd never have to copy data from either the photo of the treadmill display, or the screen of the pedometer. You'll get calories, distance, number of steps, possibly pace, and time.

3) Or you can buy a 'running' watch that links to a foot sensor. HenPen suggested a Garmin, but you could also look at the Nike SportWatch + foot sensor for about £150. It does come with GPS of course, and so is an expensive way to record your progress.

If you don't want to spend any money (and don't have a camera phoneme or want to take it to the gym), simply take a pencil and notepad to the gym, and write down the data from the treadmill at the end of your run. I do just that when I run on my cross-trainer at home. Modern smartphones can run apps that will record your running on the treadmill (the phone app turns it into a pedometer). Just a shame that these phones are so big and bulky, I don't recommend them for running.

Have a think and ask me any questions in reply.


JudefGraduate in reply to MarkyD

Thank you Mark

Very useful information and some great ideas, thank you for your time to reply to my post. I am a bit of a geek, so will look into the Nike and Garmin, It will be interesting to see how differently I run on the treadmill to how I will run on the road and compare - not that I am feeling brave enough to run on the roads yet. In the meantime, taking a pic of the stats and setting up an Excel spreadsheets seem the best solution.

Again, thank you for your reply

Happy running

Jude :D

or just remember it. I can remember to the metre how far I ran today. it is etched on my brain till next time. My pace and splits too.

JudefGraduate in reply to Rignold

I would have to borrow your brain then as my memory is terrible :)


Hi Judef, I have just bought a Garmin 220 as a graduation present to myself (yippee!). It arrived yesterday so today will be it's first outing (outdoors), but the literature says that it can be used on a treadmill. That model and the higher model don't need the foot pod (I think). I have only briefly investigated the treadmill option so suggest you check the Garmin website (and sometimes the Amazon reviews are helpful too). I bought the version with the HRM too so I will have data overload about how unfit I still am!

Another option is Nike+ app. I completed C25K using podcasts on my iPod, so switched on the Nike+ app at the same time. iTunes then syncs that data to Nike online, so I have a nice record of my progress through the whole program. The downside that I discovered only recently is that I don't think the distances it recorded have been accurate - probably my fault for never calibrating it. It has been telling me through Week9 that I've run 5k, but my hubbie tells me he has measured the route on his Garmin before and thinks it's nearer 4k (to say I was gutted was an understatement! :) ). I expect that the Nike app would have been ok if it had been calibrated correctly, because it has been entirely consistent about the distance of that route each time. I'm planning to do that route this morning with my Garmin (if I can actually work out how to switch it on!) so I'll soon know how far from 5k I am!

Good luck with your running :)



Firstly congratulations on your graduation, I am looking forward to this part of my journey, although the end date has been extended by a week, as I had an injury this week so have rested and will hopefully get to the gym this afternoon to start Wk5.

Please let me know how you get on on your first run and hope that your watch will show a quick recovery time on your HRM to show that you are fitter than you think :)

I got a bit excited as I have an IPod touch so grabbed it to download the app, but wont download as I my touch wont upgrade it OS to above 6 and it requires version 7 or above to run - buggar :( Mind you could download on my android phone, just thought of that (but don't really want to take my phone running, to clumsy for that hehe) Lets hope that hubby has got the distance wrong and you come back today having done 5.5

Keep on running and thank you so much for replying to my post

Jude :D

Hi there if you have a smart phone have a look at looking at some of the running apps. some of them can be used indoors and then they will log your run. Nike, run meter and runtastic are one to have a look at to start with. Hope you find one. I am a stats hound so I know how it feels.

JudefGraduate in reply to Realfoodieclub

Thanks Realfoodieclub - love the name

Will defiantly investigate, glad I am not the only one that likes to keep a track, even if Im not running on one yet :)

I use Runtastic on the treadmill setting and it works really well.

JudefGraduate in reply to LadyP79

Downloaded and will give it a go :-)


hi got myself the tom tom cardio runners watch. not cheap but on special at moment in the sweat shop. it has a treadmill setting on it . this you have the ability to sync with your treadmill which calibrates things like stride length and speed and importantly distance. just depends on your budget. thing i like about it is the heart rate monitor no chest strap. try the internet it will give you all the info. keep running and well done on everything you have achieved.

JudefGraduate in reply to Hidden


I think that is the hard bit isn't it that there are so so so many items on the market these days that it is hard to work out which is best and which works well in a budget that you are comfortable in. I am happy to pay out for something that is going to do the job that I want and will give me some enthusiasm on a day that you may not want to run the thought of trying to improve on your previous run, one way or another

Thank you for the advice and encouragement, see you at graduation :)


I run on a treadmill. My 5 minute walk takes me 0.5K so it is easy to subtract that off the total for my run, I then record them on my phone on a database app. I think that expenditure on techy gear just for a treadmill is overkill.

For my outside runs I use a Garmin Forerunner 10 which has proved great so far, I tried phone apps but they couldn't either find or maintain the signal.

I find the roads tougher than the treadmill when I run on my own, but my local Parkrun is great for motivation and a sense of belonging.

Good luck with what you decide

JudefGraduate in reply to Theziggy

Hi Theziggy

You are probably right about the cost for treadmill run, I will eventually road run and probably mix and match gym and outdoors depending on the weather so would like one that covers both environments to catch my data.

Interesting to here you say that road runs are tougher, maybe that could be my step up when I have graduated to see how I go. I love the outside and look forward to eventually running outside, but for now I feel more comfortable and confident at the gym

Thank you for the reply, happy running :)

LadyP79 in reply to Judef

I found out the other day that if you increase the incline on a treadmill to 1% that is more like running outside. Don't know if 1% make a massive difference but I can notice the difference when I am running with no incline and running with 1%

JudefGraduate in reply to LadyP79

Thanks LadyP. Think that I will run the 9 weeks on the flat, then give myself some inclines post graduate, loving all the ideas from people, what a great forum this is,



Funny, I'm looking to be doing a lot more running on a treadmill during the Winter - though this Indian Summer is absolutely fantastic - Parkrun yesterday in Castle Coole in Fermanagh was glorious. Most people find the outside versus treadmill - that treadmill is easier. I do too I guess, but do find it a PITA if I want to adjust pace (which I do quite often).

Is there a particular reason for doing the C25K on a treadmill as opposed to outside? Other than feeling more confident and comfortable? Running outside in most seasons is very liberating.

How far along the C25K are you?

Keep running - after all it's only running


JudefGraduate in reply to Theziggy


I suppose the main reasons for doing my C25K on the treadmill

* It is indoors so don't have to worry about climate

* It is on an even surface so possibly less chance of injury (twisting ankle on a dodgy bit of path)

* Don't have to dodge kids / dogs at the park

* Air-con on the treadmill keeps me cool and don't have to run with a water bottle as it fits nicely into the holder

* Keeps me at a steady pace for both walking and running - I keep it at the same pace so walk on 5 and run on 7.5 so not too much adjusting

* No chance of bumping into family and friends when you look a sweaty mess lol

*Also when I finish my run, I go downstairs of the gym and have a swim (well float), sauna, steam and Jacuzzi

I do like the sound of running around a castle, and I will get to that point and hope that I feel the same as you and others

I have just finished Wk5 D1 so neary halfway there, had a week off due to injury. Where are you on your journey?

Take care



I know this is a anold post but I cam across it and though of sharing that in case you are still investigating into watches

I found the website very helpful in giving a detailed review about the running watches

I decided to treat myself with one once i graduate :)

Happy running :)

JudefGraduate in reply to Zeinab

Thank you Zeinab, still not purchased anything yet, I will like you treat myself once I have graduated - 3/4 weeks time :D

Also near my birthday, so happy days all round

Thanks again and happy running to you too :)

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