The first day of training on a treadmill for an upcoming race with some elevation (Conquer The Rock 50k), I realized that the treadmills at the local YMCA here did not actually tell you the elevation you climbed. The following day I went back to the gym to train for some more elevation but before I got started, I asked one of the staff members about the treadmills and showed him how it didn’t show the actual elevation gain. He said he would look up a formula that I could use to get an estimate of the elevation. I forgot his name, but he was extremely helpful and wrote down the entire formula for me and gave it to me. Since I’m a programmer in web development, I took the formula and developed an online tool so it would be easy to calculate and plan my training for the elevation on the treadmills.
How does it work?
The tool is simple to use. I just select the elevation setting I set on the treadmill (between 0-15), add the distance in miles, then click the “Get Elevation” button. It will then show me a summary of the elevation gained in feet and meters, as well as a table of different paces and the estimated time it would take to complete. So if you’re training for a run that has a 3,000 foot climb to the top and you know it’s 5 miles to the top, I can find the correct treadmill settings (elevation level and pace) to use when I run on the treadmill. If I set the elevation level to 11.5 and the distance to 5, it will show me the amount of elevation and the pace I would need to keep in order to get to the top with the specific time.
Here’s a link to the online tool: