You may notice that the speed from your Stryd device differs from the speed on your treadmill display.
This is completely normal and expected.
To explain why this is, it is important to understand there are three speeds/paces you could look at while running on the treadmill.
The first speed is the speed displayed on the treadmill console.
This speed represents the speed that the treadmill is trying to run the belt. However, due to the degradation of the treadmill motor/poor control over the motor, this speed is not the same speed that the belt is running at.
The treadmill is not a constant pace machine. It is not an accurate pace machine. It is not a consistent pace machine. A treadmill only spins a belt and that belt speed can change in a run, between runs, and run at any speed it wants to run at, independently of what the treadmill display may say.
The second speed is the actual speed of the treadmill belt.
This speed is much closer to the speed that the runner is actually running at, however, the treadmill belt speed is still not the same as the speed of the runner.
Why is this?
As we covered back in 2017 (https://blog.stryd.com/2017/02/10/mysteriously-low-treadmill-pace-2/), the treadmill's belt speed isn't actually constant. More specifically, when your foot strikes the belt, the motor is loaded and the belt slows temporarily. Conversely, when your body is in the air, the motor applies an extra speed to the belt to recover from the previous loading. This extra speed is recorded by the treadmill, but it isn't applied to you as the runner.
The third speed is the actual running speed.
This can only be captured by a foot pod.
A Stryd power meter is one of the best ways to track this because a Stryd pod is fundamentally a motion capture device. It knows the displacement from one stride to the next and, from that info, the speed you are running at on the treadmill.
The reported pace and distance from your Stryd pod will be a far better representation of your true running speed.
The topic of "true running speed" vs "treadmill speed" has been covered by top leaders, such as fellrnr and DCRainmaker, in the fitness technology space.
Please see Fellrnr's explanation of this topic here: http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Stryd#Treadmill_Problems
Please see DCRainmaker's explanation of this topic here: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/01/treadtracker-treadmill-accuracy.html#accuracy-testing
Why is the correct indoor pace important for runners?
The Stryd power meter bridges the gap between indoor and outdoor running for the first time. You can directly compare your running intensity from outdoors and bring it indoors to create a seamless training plan. This knowledge helps improve run training because runners can consistently improve and measure their performance year-round.
Why does it feel harder to run on the treadmill?
While running at the same pace, running indoors can feel more difficult compared to outdoor running.
- Heat builds up around the body quickly because there is less airflow indoors
- Some runners are not well adapted to run on the indoor surface compared to the outdoor running surface, which can increase the RPE of the runner
- The treadmill surface is jerky. The treadmill belt is constantly slowing down and then speeding back up which will cause your body to engage extra muscles.
- Inadequate lubrication between the treadmill belt and rollers. You may need to apply new or more lubrication to the rollers, which will make your treadmill run smoother.
Why should you use power on the treadmill instead of pace on the treadmill?
As you can tell, it is hard to dial in on an exact pace while running on the treadmill. You should treat the speed dial on the treadmill as an intensity selector. If you are not reaching the proper power target, you should increase the intensity on the treadmill. If you are too high, you should dial down the intensity.
Should I calibrate my Stryd pod?
It depends on what you would like.
1. TRUST YOUR STRYD DEVICE:
The accuracy of a Stryd pod out of the box exceeds all other wearable devices such as GPS watches and other foot pods.
Most Stryders choose to trust the values from the Stryd pod due to the difficulty of completing a controlled precision test i.e. You would not want to compare a ruler (a Stryd power meter) against a less accurate ruler (an unmeasured track, a race result, or GPS), therefore you are better off trusting Stryd.
2. VERIFY OUTSIDE:
Your Stryd power meter will maintain the same accuracy from outdoor running when you move indoors to the treadmill. You can verify the accuracy of your Stryd pod by running outside and performing a controlled accuracy test on the track. You can find instructions for that here: https://support.stryd.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004337834-Distance-and-Calibration
3. PERSONAL PREFERENCE:
If you would prefer the speed/distance from your Stryd pod to match the speed/distance that is being displayed on your treadmill, you can adjust the calibration factor on your sports watch to scale your Stryd pod's pace and distance to match the pace value on the treadmill's display. Be sure to adjust your calibration factor before you run again outside, or you will receive inflated pace values when running outdoors as well.
NOTE: This choice will nearly certainly make your Stryd pod less accurate on the treadmill. You are purely choosing to do this out of preference.
4. VERIFY INSIDE:
We recommend verifying the accuracy of your Stryd power meter outdoors on a measured track but you can also perform a treadmill test. However, this is a fairly difficult process so an outdoor test is generally preferable. You can find instructions for a treadmill pace/distance verification test here: http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Treadmill_Calibration
If you have additional questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.