You may notice that the speed from Stryd is different than the speed on your treadmill display.
This is completely normal and expected.
To explain why this is, it if 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 at. However, due to 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.
Stryd is one of the best ways to track this because Stryd 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.
Stryd's reported pace and distance will be a far better representation of your true running speed.
The topic of "true running speed" vs "treadmill speed" that 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?
Stryd 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 should feel more difficult compared to outdoor running.
- Heat builds up around the body quicker 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.
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 Stryd?
It depends on what you would like.
1. TRUST STRYD:
Stryd's accuracy out of the box typically exceeds all other wearable devices such as GPS watches, and other foot pods.
Most Stryders choose to trust the values that Stryd are giving due to the difficulty of completing a controlled test that exceed's Stryd precision. i.e. You would not want to compare a ruler (Stryd) against a less accurate ruler (an unmeasured track, a race result, or GPS), therefore you are better off trusting Stryd.
2. VERIFY OUTSIDE:
Stryd will maintain the same accuracy from outdoor running when you move indoors to the treadmill. You can verify Stryd's accuracy by running outside. We recommend to a controlled test on a measured track to verify Stryd's accuracy. 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 that Stryd is reporting to match the speed/distance that is being displayed on your treadmill, you can adjust the calibration factor on your sportswatch to scale Stryd'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 make Stryd less accurate on the treadmill. You are purely choosing to do this out of preference.
4. VERIFY INSIDE:
We recommend to verify Stryd's accuracy outdoors on a measured track but you can also verify Stryd's accuracy on a treadmill. 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.