Incline on Treadmill

Hi All, new to this forum. I have so far only ran on a treadmill as too embarrassed to run outside yet but when I do my warm up 5 mins I set the incline to 3.5% but then when I start running I lower it to either 0.5% or 1% depending on how I feel. Am I cheating? Should the incline stay at about 3% - 4%? I was told to have some incline to try to replicate outdoor running.


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5 Replies

  • I incline to 3% ish to warm up and cool down, but run with it flat. I ran only on the treadmill until week 7 and then ventured outside, and I find running outside easier and more enjoyable than running on a flat treadmill (but it doesn't fit with my life so well), so I am not sure the incline on the treadmill really matters overall. But I have also heard that you should have a small incline to replicate outdoors. I ignored it ;)

  • I use the treadmill, and have so far not used the incline. I'm on week 5 now and still happy not to use the incline, perhaps I should if I decide to venture outside as its all uphill ;-)

  • I use a treadmill for most of my runs, only running in the park when the ground is soft after rain. A treadmill absorbs impact better than pavements so it's kinder on joints and muscles. I didn't find an incline made any difference to my fitness, but having a slight one (2-3%) is said to be easier on the knees. It takes a bit of time adjusting to runing outside if you do all your runs on a treadmill, but I found the biggest problem outside was estimating what pace I was doing. Becuse the numbers were not displayed, I usually ran faster until I got used to pacing myself.

    Get fit using whatever method suits you. It isn't any easier or harder running outside or on a treadmill, just different. Happy running :)

  • I've done most of my treadmill runs (including the warm up/down walks) at 3%, although I did drop it to 2% when I had some tougher runs. The doc advised me to always run on an incline to protect my dodgy knees. I've tried running on no incline and didn't like it. 2-3% seems to be quite a good incline to me - not too severe but enough to feel a bit more like running outdoors. I run outside too and definitely find it easier when I'm on the treadmill on a constant incline. The ground is continually undulating when you run outside, so you have to keep adapting to it. Now I've graduated I plan to do some of the pre-programmed runs on the treadmill, which vary the incline, and so are much more like outdoor running. I'm hoping this will improve my stamina. At the end of the day, you need to choose something that suits you and that you can do. It's certainly not cheating, but you might find it helps to have a bit of an incline on the earlier c25k runs, so you can then decrease it later in the programme if you need to, as I did. ;)

  • I haven't used the incline on the treadmill as I found I was tiring easier during the runs. I figure once i had graduated I would slowly build up the incline as my fitness increased.

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