How Accurate are Treadmill Speeds

How Accurate are Treadmill Speeds?

If you’ve ever done a run on a treadmill on one day and then on another day you got a very similar run on a different treadmill and noticed a difference, you’re not alone.

In this post, we’re going to talk about how accurate treadmills really are.

Also, Read: Is It Possible To Lose Weight on a Treadmill? THE TRUTH

What is Speed Accuracy?

In theory, figuring out what the speed is on the treadmill should be pretty straightforward it should just be a matter of figuring out how long the belt, is how fast it’s moving.

It’s a pretty simple equation the manufacturer should have it down but you know if you’ve done that thing where you’ve gone from one treadmill to another and felt it entirely different.

Your rate of perceived exertion is much different between the two- that inaccuracies definitely exist and know that the rate of perceived exertion is my go-to in figuring out how to use your treadmill. When you don’t want to go through all the hassle of figuring out how accurate your treadmill actually is.

This inaccuracy has a couple of factors and part of that could be simply how the manufacturer is measuring the speed on that particular treadmill as well as the calibration of that treadmill, and its measuring equipment.

But not only the reason, for instance, I don’t have a treadmill in my home, I use the ones in the gym because there are the nicer ones and you know it’s nice to use nice equipment but there is certain wear and tear that happens on any kind of machinery over time and they really need to be recalibrated well that doesn’t happen every time.

So these things can start off in entirely equal scenarios say- they’re you know calibrated exactly the same but a different mine used by different users over time can change the accuracy of the machine, making what you think is say 5 miles an hour different between one particular machine and another similar kind of machine.

Also, Read: Best Treadmill for Home in India

How Accurate is my Treadmill’s Speed?

Now if you want to go through the trouble of figuring out how accurate your personal machine is… there is a method you can do find out, just don’t be caught doing this at the gym but if you have one at home you can figure out how accurate your machine is at different speeds easily.

So the method I’m going to describe try to give visual aids here as I can’t show this in a blog post but I’m gonna do my best to give some visual aid as I go along.

What you want to do first is figure out how long is the belt on your particular treadmill, you can find it on the manufacturer’s website or your manual may have this, but if you don’t you can figure it out with the help of a good piece of string.

Get a piece of tape, tape the end of the string to the belt and then manually with your hand roll the belt forward and let the string go along with it.

accurate treadmill speed
Image 1

The idea is that you’re going to continually move the belt forward as you go until it comes all the way back around, so it starts here ( Image 1) then it goes up like here ( Image 2)  then it goes under and has come back around like here ( Image 3).

treadmill speed accuracy
Image 2

Now you have the entire length of the belt, mark your string or cut it and take it off.

treadmill speed accuracy
Image 3

Now you can measure it straight out. 

so now you have the entire length of the belt, next step to the process is if you’ve taken that tape off of the treadmill put it back on because we’re gonna need it to count revolutions, so this is where you say let’s stay with 5 miles an hour, make sure that the tapes is a colorful tape or something that’s easy visually, most treadmill belts are black so you can see very easily.

What you want to do is a place that tape at the end of the treadmill belt back where your feet go, where you gonna fall off if you don’t continue to run forward and then you start the treadmill says at 5 miles an hour if that’s what we want to measure starting at 5 miles an hour.

You’ll have a timer with you as well you can use your stopwatch, if you have a hand timer those are nice too. Then the next step is you want to count twenty revolutions so start at zero when the time starts on your watch and the belt starts, then tapers at the end of the treadmill started at zero when you come around till 20 stop your stopwatch.

Now here’s a little math for us to figure out how accurate your treadmill is, don’t worry maths can be pretty easy so know that speed is distance divided by time(S=D/T) and we have both of those things

Now we have the length of the belt which you measured earlier and you need to multiply that by 20 because it went around 20 times. This is important because we want to know how accurate it is if you just do it one time your accuracy is gonna be smaller so when we let it go around more times we get in point here at measurement.

To calculate by the length of the belt times 20 divided by the amount of time it took you(in seconds) it depends on how long it took divided by seconds.

So now you have distance divided by time. It could be feet per second now there’s some conversion to do if you want to figure out miles per hour but I’m not gonna make you go through that and it really depends on what you use whether you’re doing meters per second or feet per second.

You can also calculate it using this calculator. Where you can plug that in and it will give you the conversion back to kilometers an hour, miles per hour, whatever you want to use for your particular treadmill. 

So that’s how you can figure out how accurate your particular treadmill model is.