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treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The speed in mph of a treadmill........how can I tell how
accurate it is? Is there a general rule like "usually
accurate within plus/minus X percent"........?

Same with the heart rate that some of the treadmills
display........how accurate might that readout be?

Thank you Lee Carkenord
post #2 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

In article <4346b55e.0404160505.5ad67ffb@posting.google.com>, Lee Carkenord wrote:
> The speed in mph of a treadmill........how can I tell how
> accurate it is? Is there a general rule like "usually
> accurate within plus/minus X percent"........?

Very accurate, probably 1% or so. At least accurate enough
that for the most part, other factors (the fairly forgiving
surface, heat accumultion issues, etc) seem to play a
greater role than miscalibrations.

The heart rate monitors are good, but it's tricky to use
them while youre running.

Cheers,
--
Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
post #3 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

"Lee Carkenord" <carkenord@juno.com> wrote in message
> The speed in mph of a treadmill........how can I tell how
> accurate it is? Is there a general rule like "usually
> accurate within plus/minus X percent"........?

You will need to measure the length of the belt and do some
math to find out how accurate the treadmill is.

> Same with the heart rate that some of the treadmills
> display........how accurate might that readout be?

1. The treadmill picks up the signal from your existing HRM
and simply displays it, or
2. You grip a bar in front or beside you (annoying,
obviously, but a reasonable method on a stationary
recumbant bike).

Both methods are accurate, provided the contact points are
wet.

cheers,
--
David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org "The most
insecure people are the ones you see, putting other people
down constantly."
post #4 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

> Google for "It's Treadmill time again".
<snip> I second that. On our treadmills at the gym there is
a drift away from a Breitling of quite a few seconds per km;
so much that trying to train reps will give you false
readings by 2 or 3 seconds per 400 metres. And that's if the
metre measurement is accurate ... The hrms are probvably as
accurate as any hrms, though. J
post #5 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

This is a running newsgroup, not about machines that make a
poor substitute for it.
post #6 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

"rick++" <rick303@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> This is a running newsgroup, not about machines that make
> a poor substitute for it.

psssh.

I run a lot on treadmills. I'm generally top 1% - 3% in
about every race I enter. I used to run a lot more on the
road but I had various injury problems. The treadmill allows
me to keep running week after week without interruption,
which IMO is a key factor in getting better.

My friend is one of the best 50+ runners in Canada and does
nothing but stationary recumbant bike training.

Certainly different things work for different people - you
can't just dismiss a training method because it doesn't
work for you.

cheers,
--
David (in Hamilton, ON) www.allfalldown.org "The most
insecure people are the ones you see, putting other people
down constantly."
post #7 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

Sam wrote:
> As for the speed, in the lab at school we calibrated the
> treadmill every semester. It is pretty easy, just takes a
> bit of time.
<snip>

> Since you know the length of the belt (say 60 feet)

That's some size of treadmill!

On a more serious note, I can see an obvious source of error
in this method of calibration in that I'm pretty sure that
most treadmills derive their speed from the rpm of the motor
or belt roller. Belt speed in ideal conditions will = roller
speed but any slippage with introduce inaccuracy. Depending
on incline, speed and weight of runner, the degree of
slippage will vary and consequently invalidate any single
correction factor (unless you really go the whole hog and
calibrate across the full range of speed, inclination and
runner weight combinations).

Of course all the above wouldn't be a problem if treadmills
directly measured belt speed via optical or other motion
sensing systems. I guess manufacturers don't bother with
this as measuring motor/roller speed is easier/cheaper and
to be honest, is good enough 99.9% of the time. It's only
when you get mad b*gg*rs who want to set treadmill records
that accuracy really become important. ;-)

Tim
--
Remove the obvious to reply by email.
post #8 of 8

Re: treadmill, how accurate is mph and BPM?

The only time a t-mill speedometer is accurate, is when it
says zero. If you start in your living room, never leave
your living room, and finish in your living room, you've
gone nowhere..........fast.
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