• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Training on a treadmill.

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have a treadmill, but haven't used it to specifically train for the Camino. I think that I would use it to increase my general cardiovascular fitness. I don't consider myself to be a runner but when I do use the treadmill I like to do intervals. For instance I'll alternate between walking and jogging/running every tenth of a mile. Or you could do intervals alternating between flat and incline.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
Hello, I live in Texas where it is too hot in the summer and early fall for me to walk outside, I do not tolerate heat well. Two years in a row I have gone to my gym every day and claimed a treadmill to walk with my pack for an hour or two, using various speeds and inclines. Of course it does not simulate my exact walking style but is close enough. This does attract some attention which is how I now have a walking partner, a big stretch for me. A man showed interest, I jokingly asked if he wanted to go and he said yes. Now I am stuck, but in a good way! His job is to make sure I do not fall off a mountain and mine is to help him find the best wine!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm


I live in a relatively flat part of the U.S.. I use a treadmill for hill training and increasing my pace for hill climbing. I train between 4-15% inclines at 3.5 mph (6kph). Other than the first day on the Frances, most of your climbs are not more than a few km's. Therefore, I usually do not walk more than two miles (3.5 km's) at a time. The most up and downs I have encountered on any Camino is the Norte, especially the first third.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Just got a treadmill, largely for this purpose because we keep going into lockdowns that limit how far we are able to walk away from our houses. Mine goes to 10% incline over 10 stages. That's pretty good for training.
To make it more fun, I'm watching BK Lee's Youtube series and when he goes up; I go up.... I can't reproduce the vicious descents of course. I started on New Year's Day and have made it from SJPdP to Uterga going 1-2 hours each day.
My speed registered on the treadmill is much slower than on the ground, but when I do get the chance to walk outside, I am seeing that my speeds there have increased about 20% already. I might get another 5-10....
My point on camino is not to go as fast as possible, but to be able to in case of bad weather.
As it is, I feel like 4km per hour is "too fast" to appreciate the culture.
And that is my one moaning bit of ingratitude about the BK Lee videos -- it's purely walking, just the road... no sense of what is valuable about each town along the way. Thankfully there are things I already know for myself, and other sources (like this forum) where I can learn more about sites and history, food, architecture etc.
So... there you go.
FWIW -- my treadmill is an Xterra XP intro level -- about $1100 Canadian
 

Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
I can't reproduce the vicious descents of course.
Treadmills are great for building basic strength and endurance, as well as cardio fitness, and training on one is a much better option than not training at all. They will also help you get a read on your shoe/sock situation, which is critical. The weakness in treadmills is that the ground can be uneven, and there is a whole set of stabilizing muscles from your back to your toes that the treadmill does nothing for. What muscles? walk on some uneven ground for an hour, and they will all raise their little hands for you.

By all means, the treadmill will be great to build your cardio and endurance. When weather/lockdowns improve where you live, try and get some outdoor walking in on trails, preferably with some hills. If you live in a flat place, stairs are a pretty good substitute as well. It doesn't take long to get your stability muscles toned up with a pack. When I put mine on after a long lull, its maybe two or three weeks to get back to the point where I don't notice I'm wearing it any more.

Buen Camino
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
I have trained on a TM when the weather is too cold for me. Not my favorite, but I'm not one to go out in the cold. I've done 14 miles a couple of times preparing for a marathon. I also use it for speed drills...a runners thing. My advice is to make sure you included cross training..core and strength...if you are on the TM a lot. There is a good possibility of overuse injury as your body is repeating the same motion over and over. No sidewalk cracks or tree roots to dodge. I never use it on consecutive days. I have mine set up in front of a TV for entertainment. It is really boring...unlike being outside and seeing birds etc.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Treadmills are great for building basic strength and endurance, as well as cardio fitness, and training on one is a much better option than not training at all. They will also help you get a read on your shoe/sock situation, which is critical. The weakness in treadmills is that the ground can be uneven, and there is a whole set of stabilizing muscles from your back to your toes that the treadmill does nothing for. What muscles? walk on some uneven ground for an hour, and they will all raise their little hands for you.

By all means, the treadmill will be great to build your cardio and endurance. When weather/lockdowns improve where you live, try and get some outdoor walking in on trails, preferably with some hills. If you live in a flat place, stairs are a pretty good substitute as well. It doesn't take long to get your stability muscles toned up with a pack. When I put mine on after a long lull, its maybe two or three weeks to get back to the point where I don't notice I'm wearing it any more.

Buen Camino
Thanks; I already knew all this already. In my regular life I walk 60-70km per week on all kinds of terrain. I've lost all that thanks to lockdowns.
The treadmill allows me to exercise without worrying about having someone complain to bylaw or the cops that I'm too far away from home.
I don't think I made any suggestion that the treadmill could produce anything other than a reasonable (defined by being only available) option in the circumstances.
It obviously misses out on descents, on uneven terrain, on scree and larger rocks that challenge one's footing all over the Camino (and, indeed, any long hike).
But is it a reasonable thing to use for training in our present situation? Yes. And I wear my pack on the treadmill; nothing prevents anyone from doing that.
I'd rather go an hour on the treadmill than up and down my staircase for an hour.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Thanks; I already knew all this already. In my regular life I walk 60-70km per week on all kinds of terrain. I've lost all that thanks to lockdowns.
The treadmill allows me to exercise without worrying about having someone complain to bylaw or the cops that I'm too far away from home.
I don't think I made any suggestion that the treadmill could produce anything other than a reasonable (defined by being only available) option in the circumstances.
It obviously misses out on descents, on uneven terrain, on scree and larger rocks that challenge one's footing all over the Camino (and, indeed, any long hike).
But is it a reasonable thing to use for training in our present situation? Yes. And I wear my pack on the treadmill; nothing prevents anyone from doing that.
I'd rather go an hour on the treadmill than up and down my staircase for an hour.
I don't like to walk in the cold so I use a DVD walking program that also uses HIIT, weights and resistance bands. I like it because there is a lot of back and forth and lateral motion that works those "back up and sideways muscles". I have found that I have gotten stronger and it is easier for me to move confidently on muddy, slick or gravel descents. I would like to add a treadmill (if only to get my husband walking again)!! Do you mind telling me which model you bought, and how easy/difficult it is to set up, use and maintain?
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I go to our town center gym in the winter. They have machines that go up to 15 levels. I use it like I am walking on a camino, and gradually raise it up to level 8 at the equivalent of 4 km per hour. Sometimes, I may stay on for two hours, but I vary the grades after an hour. Example
5 minutes at Level 5 then 2 minutes at grade 10. Then 5 minutes level 5 then 1 minute level 11 and 1 minute level 10. Then 5 minutes level 4 and 1 minute at 10 and 11 levels, etc.

I do rarely, use the pack when walkiing the first hour, but when doing intervals, I do not. And I never put full weight in the pack on a treadmill.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I go to our town center gym in the winter. They have machines that go up to 15 levels. I use it like I am walking on a camino, and gradually raise it up to level 8 at the equivalent of 4 km per hour. Sometimes, I may stay on for two hours, but I vary the grades after an hour. Example
5 minutes at Level 5 then 2 minutes at grade 10. Then 5 minutes level 5 then 1 minute level 11 and 1 minute level 10. Then 5 minutes level 4 and 1 minute at 10 and 11 levels, etc.

I do rarely, use the pack when walkiing the first hour, but when doing intervals, I do not. And I never put full weight in the pack on a treadmill.
I wish I could go to a gym to try one, but I live about an hour from the nearest town with a gym. So if I do this it is going to be an investment. I have been doing some research, but there are just so many to choose from, and when you don't know anything about them it can get overwhelming.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I wish I could go to a gym to try one, but I live about an hour from the nearest town with a gym. So if I do this it is going to be an investment.
If your priority is to get your heart and lungs in shape then a cheap (and smaller) stationary bicycle will do the trick. The threadmill will do that too but also get your walking muscles in shape.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
If your priority is to get your heart and lungs in shape then a cheap (and smaller) stationary bicycle will do the trick. The threadmill will do that too but also get your walking muscles in shape.
My heart and lungs are in shape from my aerobic exercise walking DVDs, and I am looking for something different that would mimic walking on camino, and I would much rather walk than bike. Even when I was a teenager I walked everywhere rather than bike. :)
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm
I cant offer you a personal experience as I never use treadmills. However I can offer the perspective from our Oxfam Trailwalk team. This is a 100km all terrain event (held at various places around the globe) It involves all 4 team members walking 100kms, it usually takes us 24-27 hours.
The first time I did this our youngest team member (27) didnt want to train outdoors with the rest of the team, and opted to train on a treadmill (for the gym airconditioning) most days. With the event in March, the training takes place over a NZ summer. The treadmill gave her a level of fitness but didnt prepare her feet and legs for the uneven terrain, walking in the dark, dealing with the weather, or the rubber-hitting-the road effect. She went on to develop terrible blisters, pain in the soles of her feet, wrenched ankles and she sobbed and moaned for the last 25kms, and then took a week off work. As all 4 members have to finish together she was basically dragged in by 2 people either side of her. Our employers and workmates had paid for our team so we were all (including her) determined to finish and not let them down.
The rest of the team were aged 47-60. We all trained together outdoors on actual ground, and had only small blisters, and all went back to work the next day. Apart from the rain and the sleet we encountered the walk was mostly enjoyable.
Given the Camino isnt a race, I think treadmill walking isn't a complete substitute , but as an addition to a training programme that would be fine.
 
Last edited:
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I cant offer you a personal experience as I never use treadmills. However I can offer the perspective from our Oxfam Trailwalk team. This is a 100km all terrain event (held at various places around the globe) It involves all 4 team members walking 100kms, it usually takes us 24-27 hours.
The first time I did this our youngest team member (27) didnt want to train outdoors with the reat of the team, and opted to train on a treadmill (for the gym airconditioning) most days. With the event in March, the training takes place over a NZ summer. The treadmill have her a level of fitness but didnt prepare her feet and legs for the uneven terrain, walking in the dark, dealing with the weather, or the rubber-hitting-the road effect. She went on to develop terrible blisters, pain in the soles of her feet, wrenched ankles and she sobbed and moaned for the last 25kms, and then took a week off work.
The rest of the team were aged 47-60. We all trained together outdoors on actual ground, and had only small blisters, and all went back to work the next day. Apart from the rain and the sleet we encountered the walk was mostly enjoyable.
So I think treadmill walking isnt a complete substitute , but a addition to a training programme that would be fine.
Agree, Treadmill is not a replacement for terrain walking. One must do pavement walking to harden the feet and prevent blisters on Camino and some trail walking ( for stability). But for one who does not have hills outside, the treadmill, in combination with various terrain walking is a great way to get ready.

@witsendwv may not want to join a gym. But you might want to travel to a couple of different clubs and get a free week, to see if you want to join. In the meantime, you could sample the various equipment and get a feel if this is a way for you to train, before you invest money.
 
Last edited:

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
I cant offer you a personal experience as I never use treadmills. However I can offer the perspective from our Oxfam Trailwalk team. This is a 100km all terrain event (held at various places around the globe) It involves all 4 team members walking 100kms, it usually takes us 24-27 hours.
The first time I did this our youngest team member (27) didnt want to train outdoors with the reat of the team, and opted to train on a treadmill (for the gym airconditioning) most days. With the event in March, the training takes place over a NZ summer. The treadmill have her a level of fitness but didnt prepare her feet and legs for the uneven terrain, walking in the dark, dealing with the weather, or the rubber-hitting-the road effect. She went on to develop terrible blisters, pain in the soles of her feet, wrenched ankles and she sobbed and moaned for the last 25kms, and then took a week off work. As all 4 members have to finish together she was basically dragged in by 2 people either side of her. Our employers and workmates had paid for our team so we were determined to finish and not let them down.
The rest of the team were aged 47-60. We all trained together outdoors on actual ground, and had only small blisters, and all went back to work the next day. Apart from the rain and the sleet we encountered the walk was mostly enjoyable.
Given the Camino isnt a race, I think treadmill walking isn't a complete substitute , but a addition to a training programme that would be fine.
I am just looking to add something new to my routine until we can get outdoors without freezing rain and ice, and help relieve the repetition of DVDs and climbing the house stairs again and again and again......... I am so looking forward to spring. 🌷
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015)
Agree, Treadmill is not a replacement for terrain walking. One must do pavement walking to harden the feet and prevent blisters on Camino and some trail walking ( for stability). But for one who does not have hills outside, the treadmill, in combination with various terrain walking is a great way to get ready.

@witsendwv may not want to join a gym. But you might want to travel to a couple of different clubs and get a free week, to see if you want to join. In the meantime, you could sample the various equipment and get a feel if this is a way for you to train, before you invest money.
I would have to travel at least an hour by car each way in three different directions to find three different gyms to try them out. I truly live in the middle of nowhere! 😅
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Thanks for all the input. The treadmill will be another tool to use in preparation. I may try it with the YouTube video, sounds like the time may pass faster. Agree with suggestions to train in various way. I’m thinking of alternating walking/biking/treadmill, with the treadmill being used for inclines. It’s flat unless I want to drive an hour or more. Time to go work up a sweat.......
frm
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Nothing, imo, can really prepare a first time walker for a Camino. You can walk distances, hills, core train etc. These help build your stamina and overall condition. What you can not really train for is the mental aspect. That first day from SJPdP is, seemingly at times, never-ending. Your feet are going to walk varying surfaces, which they are not accustomed too. They are going to be hot, maybe blistered and definitely sore at the end of each day. Your pack, in many cases, will have lots of unnecessary stuff. You will decide quickly to dispose of it or carry. Several times, during the walk, you will ask yourself, "What am I doing here?".With that thought in mind, you only have to repeat this 30+ times. Ground hog day.

That said, anyone, imo, can walk a Camino.

Beyond all the other things you will encounter - Spanish culture, Spanish history, new friends, new foods, drinks, different sleeping conditions, etc. etc. You will learn something about yourself.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
My heart and lungs are in shape from my aerobic exercise walking DVDs, and I am looking for something different that would mimic walking on camino, and I would much rather walk than bike. Even when I was a teenager I walked everywhere rather than bike. :)
What are some good walking DVDs?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Nothing, imo, can really prepare a first time walker for a Camino. You can walk distances, hills, core train etc. These help build your stamina and overall condition. What you can not really train for is the mental aspect. That first day from SJPdP is, seemingly at times, never-ending. Your feet are going to walk varying surfaces, which they are not accustomed too. They are going to be hot, maybe blistered and definitely sore at the end of each day. Your pack, in many cases, will have lots of unnecessary stuff. You will decide quickly to dispose of it or carry. Several times, during the walk, you will ask yourself, "What am I doing here?".With that thought in mind, you only have to repeat this 30+ times. Ground hog day.

That said, anyone, imo, can walk a Camino.

Beyond all the other things you will encounter - Spanish culture, Spanish history, new friends, new foods, drinks, different sleeping conditions, etc. etc. You will learn something about yourself.

Ultreya,
Joe

There is certainly a mental aspect to the Camino. However, if one trains sufficiently, paces themselves properly when walking the camino, watches their weight and that of their backpack - practices with it, and takes care of their feet properly, they can for the most part, avoid blisters and some injuries. Physical suffering can be minimized and does not have dominate your camino. But if you don’t prepare properly - as some do not...or worse, just wing it, the liklihood of blisters, shin splints, and other injuries increases.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk around 2022
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm
I have a fancy newer Nordictrack treadmill that has a 15% incline and a 3% decline. With a subscription service, I walk routes pre-mapped or built by me, anywhere in the world mapped by Google street view. When in this mode, my treadmill will automatically adjust to the inclination/declination of the route. I can watch the scenery “go by” in a series of stills from Google Earth as I walk. It’s not perfect, I can only cover about 85% of the Frances route this way, and it’s not “virtual” technology, but still pretty darn cool. I like to play a game of “spot the arrows” as I walk. I’ve also been able to virtually walk in Paris, London, all kinds of amazing places 😊
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I use the treadmill just to keep in relative shape until the next Camino (whenever that is). In addition, I've found that a combination of stationary bicycle and stairmaster workouts help quite a bit. I also try to match the maximum uplift workout to an actual days peak walk (say 1000 feet in an hour or two). It's not perfect but it helps. Nothing really preps you for walking a Camino than walking a Camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I believe a 3% incline on the treadmill is equivalent to outside on flat terrain. This takes into account that the treadmill belt is actually doing some of the work for you and air resistance outside.
I have found that my foot strike is different on the treadmill which creates different rubbing on my feet and alignment with ankles, knees,etc. With that said I rarely walk/run on the TM, so would expect it to ‘feel’ different than walking/running outside (my body is conditioned to be outside and not on the TM).
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
Thanks; I already knew all this already. In my regular life I walk 60-70km per week on all kinds of terrain. I've lost all that thanks to lockdowns.
The treadmill allows me to exercise without worrying about having someone complain to bylaw or the cops that I'm too far away from home.
I don't think I made any suggestion that the treadmill could produce anything other than a reasonable (defined by being only available) option in the circumstances.
It obviously misses out on descents, on uneven terrain, on scree and larger rocks that challenge one's footing all over the Camino (and, indeed, any long hike).
But is it a reasonable thing to use for training in our present situation? Yes. And I wear my pack on the treadmill; nothing prevents anyone from doing that.
I'd rather go an hour on the treadmill than up and down my staircase for an hour.
Apologies for the misunderstanding, my post was not aimed at you, but rather the OP. I shamelessly quoted part of your post as having a key thought in it, that's all. My point (same as yours) was that a treadmill does not simulate everything about walking the trail, a point which you brought up first, and I was expanding on.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Hello, I live in Texas where it is too hot in the summer and early fall for me to walk outside, I do not tolerate heat well. Two years in a row I have gone to my gym every day and claimed a treadmill to walk with my pack for an hour or two, using various speeds and inclines. Of course it does not simulate my exact walking style but is close enough. This does attract some attention which is how I now have a walking partner, a big stretch for me. A man showed interest, I jokingly asked if he wanted to go and he said yes. Now I am stuck, but in a good way! His job is to make sure I do not fall off a mountain and mine is to help him find the best wine!
I too lived I a very hot climate. I would walk for an hour at a very early hour but it would get even too hot. Then I just walked for an hour working up to about 3.8 mph and 12 to 15% incline. With a full pack. Worked my way into it. Then I take it slowly for about A week on the Camino. Walk my way to Camino shape that ways I am soon to be 67. I just bought a treadmill and intend to use it almost exclusively until the day my vaccine and Spain and safety and common sense allow me to take my first step from Sevilla. I know this will continue to work just fine for me.
 

Kevin Malinak

-kevin-
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, St Jean PdP, March 18 (2018)
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm
YES, I have a treadmill, and used it heavily in training for my Camino!!! It is AWESOME!!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Apologies for the misunderstanding, my post was not aimed at you, but rather the OP. I shamelessly quoted part of your post as having a key thought in it, that's all. My point (same as yours) was that a treadmill does not simulate everything about walking the trail, a point which you brought up first, and I was expanding on.

Thanks... I could not understand what on earth I'd said that could be interpreted as other than "under the circumstances, this is the best option I can think of, but.... "
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Does anyone have experience training using a treadmill? I want to add the treadmill to my biking/walking regime. This would be in addition to walking outdoors. We have recently purchased a treadmill and it seems good way to get miles in during bad weather. Does wearing a full pack on a treadmill have the same results as wearing one while walking outside? Does using the treadmill on an incline approximate walking uphill? Any insights, advice, or experiences will be appreciated.

Best,
frm
What's missing on the treadmill are those thousand steps where your toes strike first on a small wobbly cobblestone. It's no wonder most blisters are behind the toes and those black toe nails.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I am a runner who at one point had an injury requiring me to run on a treadmill. It in NO WAY mimicked anything remotely comparable to running on the ground. On a treadmill, after the first couple of steps, the treadmill does the work. All you have to do is land. I could run 6 hours on a treadmill and it would not equate to 1 hour on the road! Training is training. Train for that which you want to replicate.
 

P Rat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
I believe a 3% incline on the treadmill is equivalent to outside on flat terrain. This takes into account that the treadmill belt is actually doing some of the work for you and air resistance outside.
I have found that my foot strike is different on the treadmill which creates different rubbing on my feet and alignment with ankles, knees,etc. With that said I rarely walk/run on the TM, so would expect it to ‘feel’ different than walking/running outside (my body is conditioned to be outside and not on the TM).
Are you referring to the 3% mentioned in a post above? That is a 3% DEcline though...(and a 15% incline on same machine). I had to read it twice too. :)
 

Opa Theo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais to Santiago
Treadmills are good for training. The only thing they can't do is to prepare the muscles needed for downhill walking. There were many long downhill sections of the Francis route.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
I got a treadmill halfway through that first lockdown. I needed it for 2 reasons - firstly because my right knee was getting dicey and secondly to even out those days when work was so absorbing at home that I didn't go out. It has worked well on both counts. I set incline to max 10 and speed to 5-5.5kmh. I don't run at all. I change the length of my stride and do periods of ultra long slow strides. If you hold onto the sides, then it is easy and you don't use your core to balance. If you don't hold on, it really takes some time and increased fitness to adapt your core to balance. I like treadmilling barefoot, which may not be a good idea on all models. My knee is much better/stronger now which paradoxically means it copes with downhill paths much better - for now, the pain has gone. Finally, what I discovered works really well for me is to split the regime up into a couple of short sessions 12-15 minutes at lunchtime and the same again before the evening meal. This seems to keep my metabolic rate higher over 24 hours - I'm feeling warmer this winter, with no cold toes anymore!
And when I do get out to the hills, like yesterday, I've far more stamina to call on. Works for me.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I am a runner who at one point had an injury requiring me to run on a treadmill. It in NO WAY mimicked anything remotely comparable to running on the ground. On a treadmill, after the first couple of steps, the treadmill does the work. All you have to do is land. I could run 6 hours on a treadmill and it would not equate to 1 hour on the road! Training is training. Train for that which you want to replicate.
Aka: Specificity of Training! As you said, “ train for that which you want to replicate”.
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am a runner who at one point had an injury requiring me to run on a treadmill. It in NO WAY mimicked anything remotely comparable to running on the ground. On a treadmill, after the first couple of steps, the treadmill does the work. All you have to do is land. I could run 6 hours on a treadmill and it would not equate to 1 hour on the road! Training is training. Train for that which you want to replicate.

I mostly agree with this statement.

That said, if you live is a flat part of the world a treadmill can give you hills to climb. It will not be the same as walking up a hill but far better than no climbing training.

Also most people here, imo, do not have the same level of training and endurance that you have built over the years.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Are you referring to the 3% mentioned in a post above? That is a 3% DEcline though...(and a 15% incline on same machine). I had to read it twice too. :)
Not comparing figures from another post that mentioned incline and decline %. Just saying, if I’m using a TM to replicate the same ’feel/intensity’ of walking outside on flat terrain, I would need to put the TM at a 3% incline. Flat outside = 3% TM. This is an estimation!
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I am a runner who at one point had an injury requiring me to run on a treadmill. It in NO WAY mimicked anything remotely comparable to running on the ground. On a treadmill, after the first couple of steps, the treadmill does the work. All you have to do is land. I could run 6 hours on a treadmill and it would not equate to 1 hour on the road! Training is training. Train for that which you want to replicate.
Many years ago I had to have a cardiac test which included running on a treadmill. The aim was to raise my heart rate above 140 BPS. I was by no means a runner but my heart rate remained stubbornly lower than required. They raised the elevation over and over and in the end gave up and just did their tests anyway.
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I would point out that I find walking on a treadmill at a slightly faster rate than my usual walking is now a decent workout and raises my heart rate nicely. Not like O Cebreiro though!!
 

David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Treadmills are good for training. The only thing they can't do is to prepare the muscles needed for downhill walking. There were many long downhill sections of the Francis route.
The worst for me being the long downhill to Molinaseca. Brutal!!
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 60 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 207 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 338 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 101 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 29 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 399 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 171 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 10 0.7%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top