Wednesday, August 10, 2005

better than real ?

Recently we got a tapis roulant (treadmill) for my mother as the doc told her she should walk at least 3Km per day and she doesn't like the idea of going around like a drone for no reason (except at home I mean).
Of course I ended up giving it a try and I've the impression that running on it is harder than running on the street. I did a 10Km run at 10Km/h and I was really almost dead when finishing (no kidding I was counting the last minutes one by one and telling myself "you can do it.... c'mon! don't give up!").
Actually I'm used to run quite longer at about that speed so this puzzles me... I've no idea if it's the missing of the fresh air flowing in the front of you or if it's being *forced* to keep a constant speed. Anyway I like not having to worry about bad streets any I felt my shoulder and back ok even if I noticed my left knee "feeling" the run a bit at the end anyway.
What was also shocking was the price we paid for it. In the company I work for I think that we wouldn't be able to get such a thing out on the market for five times the price we paid to have it delivered to hour house. Ok the huge numbers they produce in China, ok for the really low labor cost over there... but still there is something that looks wrong to me in that price.

4 comments:

rince said...

How much was your treadmill? Good treadmills here in USA start from about $2000. You can get a cheap treadmill for under $1000, but they are not really very durable.

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,5033,s6-52-0-0-7807,00.html


If I have to compare between street and treadmill runs over the same distance then I have to say that do I feel physically less tired after running on the treadmill than I do on the street. The reason for it is that on the treadmill after about 20 mins my body seems to get into a constant rythm that is easy to maintain, while on the street that rythm gets interrupted by changes in terrain or wind.

However having said that, the only time I ever use a treadmill is if the weather outside is not suitable for running, i.e. it's raining heavily. I feel that street runs are better training, because you run in the actual 'race' environment.

See if you can spot me in those pictures =)

http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=4393&BIB=1233&PWD=

6502 said...

The cost was the equivalent of around 480 US$ including shipping to address (but I had to take it inside the aprtment myself).
It doesn't look really rock solid like the ones you see in gyms, and guarantee doesn't cover its use in a gym, but for my mother walking I think it's well more than adequate.

My comment about the price is because in the company I work for with $480 you're not going to buy really much... it's a price that's literally absurd compared to what one could aim to here. Just the delivery of a 70kg package is not terribly cheap. It's amazing thinking that with $480 I can get that from china to my address and even more impressive if you think that also a few intermediaries were able to get their pizzas out from that amount.

About going at a constant speed IMO it has pros and cons, but it's true... the first 40 minutes flew quite easily. The air is something I miss from the street... i think that on a treadmill one sweats more than on the streen because of that. Indeed in the link you posted one sees that there are treadmills with fans.

I realized that may be the hard of running until reaching the limit of 10 km I arbitrarely set before starting could have been a consequence of being able to stop anytime. On the street if I decide to stop halfway of a 10km run I'm still 5km from home in the middle of nothing :-) so there's not such an option and the brain is not tempted of saying "it's enough".

BTW, nice pictures; but they seem expensiveto me. Anyway I wonder if they just shot pictures with digital chainguns and then run all of them thru OCR software to recognize the numbers. It should be feasible.

rince said...

$480 sounds really cheap, I guess it's fine for what your mom needs though. But I would advise for you not to run on it too often if you want it to last.

Another reason why technically it is easier to run on a treadmill is that you are running in place and there is no air resistance.

Given the same ambient temperature I do find that I sweat more when running on a treadmill, probably due to lack of air movement as you said.

The pictures are taken by human photographers on the race course, I don't know if the process of assigning them to race numbers is automated or manual. Sometimes you do get someone else's picture assigned to you so there is some element of error involved...

Davide Pasca said...

Mr.Price !!
I recognize you, you are about the only one without any hats, sunglasses or gloves 8)

As for the cheap treadmill from China. It's obviously a conspiracy. It's cheap and it's hard to run on it.. it makes sense. It's so cheap because after an initial start, it actually uses human energy to make the thing work.. inside there is an accumulator, and the more you run, the more you charge it.
They sell for a loss at the begin, but they make their money back by the energy that you produce running like a mice 8)

Jokes aside.. ..I sometimes think that someday we could have a series of transparent systems that maximize the recycling of energy (kind of like what's already happening with hybrid cars).