Should you take your 2.4km IPPT test on the track or the treadmill? If you’re thinking track, bud, you’re wrong. Here’s why: When your feet land on the treadmill’s belt, their movement pushes them backwards upon contact, so less effort is needed in the toe-off action, says Adrian Mok, one of Singapore’s top Ironman triathletes. However, this is assuming the gradient of the treadmill is set at zero and the speed calibration is correct. Older machines may have stretched belts, which make the calibration inaccurate.
According to Mok, another reason you may find the treadmill easier is its shock-absorbing deck, which helps to reduce the impact on your legs when you run on it. So, if you think running on the treadmill is tougher than the track, it’s purely psychological.
Why Do Some Fear Running On Treadmill?
The sensation is very different from that of running outdoors, says Mok. From a spatial perspective, people who are not accustomed to staying stationary and balanced on a fast-moving belt will find the experience intimidating. Hence, they could be running slower – not because they are not up to it physically. They fear falling off.
Mok advises that you do some homework on the treadmill before your IPPT. For starters, put in a few sessions to familiarise yourself with the sensation of running on a fast- moving belt. Next, try this drill: Start with a warm-up jog on it. Then do a short speed build-up for about 30 seconds, and slow down again. The point of this drill is to get your body adapted to the fast speed on the treadmill.
What Will Make You Run Slower
When you’re at the gym, choose a treadmill that doesn’t face a mirror. A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that although watching yourself on a treadmill may help you run more smoothly, it will also cause you to run slower, and at a lower intensity, says study co-author Daniel Eaves.