To incline or not to incline?

Mondays for me are typically one of the best days of the week. I work on the weekends and usually Monday is a nice break from work and classes that allows me to catch up on homework and studying and Pinterest and blogging, and then I get to go to my “Yoga for Athletes” class in the evening. Today appears no different, and I started the day off by sleeping in until 6:30, and hitting the gym by 7 am. I planned for a long run today, because I have the day off, and due to a -29 windchill, I hit the treadmill for my miles. 

This is what happens when you try and take pictures after running for a long time on the treadmill. This is how my legs and brain felt too.

I ran 12.0 miles in almost exactly 100 minutes. I didn’t even try to do this, it just happened… and really delighted the OCD inside of me.

2.0 miles warm-up @ 8:34 min/mile.

2.0 miles tempo @ 8:00 min/mile.
1.0 mile recovery @ 8:43 min/mile.
2.0 miles tempo @ 7:54 min/mile.
1.0 mile recovery @ 8:57 min/mile.
2.0 miles tempo @ 7:58 min/mile.

2.0 miles cool-down @ 8:38 min/mile. 

My run, as all my treadmill runs do, happened at a 1.0% incline. 

Apparently that 1.0% incline is a “running myth.” I disagree. Runner’s World just published an article today that talked about popular treadmill running myths and one of them was the 1.0% incline myth. It says that unless you are running about 8mph or faster, the incline really doesn’t need to be above zero. 

Whether that is true or not, I think I will stick with my 1.0% incline runs because I feel it more accurately trains me for outdoor running. I think I would rather be trained to run faster than find out that I have to work a lot harder outdoors where a treadmill belt isn’t helping carry my motion. Plus, I like the feeling of doing a cool-down mile at 0% incline and feeling like I am running downhill.

Instead of reading a newspaper with world news and the local events and happenings, I read Runner’s World and Canadian Running in the morning while I eat my breakfast. Instead of being aware of national politics and local court cases, I prefer to read about the best brain foods for runners or how to prevent injuries in the winter… and then obviously share this wealth of knowledge with YOU 🙂

This article particularly caught my attention and definitely applies to me, but you might find it interesting as well. I have often wondered about possibly higher Calcium requirements for runners just purely based on how hard we are on our bones when running. Runners World discussed the need for calcium (and Vitamin D) for female runners. They say a lack of calcium could cause shin pain and if I am doing heavy mileage, I get bruises on my shins and that is usually the only place I feel pain if I do have a painful run… coincidence? 

Looks like I should figure out if I am getting enough Calcium! As if I need another reason to eat more cheese 😉

After my run today I did some stretching, particularly calf stretching, and some planks. I think my Yoga for Athletes foam rolling and stretching class tonight will feel horrible painfully needed. 

There is obviously much debate about whether to incline or not to incline the treadmill to accurately portray outdoor running. Road running and treadmill running both have benefits and downfalls (literally, I could fall down on the road 😉 but one thing is for sure… it’s all running! I’m keeping my incline at 1.0% so that hopefully when I come out of winter training and hit the streets it will feel easy. We can always hope right?

Do YOU run on the treadmill? What incline do YOU use?


  1. Great run! I don’t usually run on the treadmill except if it is super stormy out…..since I don’t have a gym membership ( I just have a 10 punch pass). I find it hard to keep a balance and I do honestly almost fall off every single time! My shins are where I get pain as well. Interesting.

  2. I prefer not to run on the treadmill, but I also prefer not to slip on ice, so in the winter, the treadmill is a must on some mornings! I do a 2.0% incline. I’m like you… 0% makes me feel like I am going downhill! I live in a hilly area… in Pennsylvania, NOTHING is flat. So I figure if I keep it around 2.0% it is still probably easier than running around my neighborhood.

  3. I usually set my incline to 1.0, too. Otherwise it kinda feels like my foot is stretching out “looking” for the belt… Maybe it’s all in my head… 🙂
    I never thought about calcium supplements. I drink so much milk I’m probably safe! But a few weeks without my iron supplements and… we’re in trouble.

  4. Interesting stuff! I’ll have to read those articles. Especially about the shin pain, because that is currently plaguing my existence, as is treadmill running, lol!

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