Treadmill training in the city for elevation

Ideally, training for Georgia Death Race would involve going up and down a mountain, followed by a middle-distance run on damn tired legs. But like I said, ideal.

Our training plan involves two back-to-back long distances on Saturday-Sunday followed by a mid-distance run on Wednesday. These are the days where getting in hill and elevation training coupled with distance would be very beneficial to GDR success. Living near downtown Columbus, Ohio doesn’t really give you that option without driving 1+ hours, so we’re trying out a plan that we hope will help.

By taking the numbers from a very kind past-GDR racer, we converted the course elevation map to a comparable treadmill incline.

So by taking the elevation change, feet, over each 1 mile segment, 5280 feet in a mile, and dividing those two x 100 you have the estimated incline, which needs 1% added to each.

This past Wednesday was our first run using this formula giving us the following run plan:

Mile         Incline

1                 9.6% (rounded this to 10%)

2                 4%

3                 1.2%

4                 6.5%

5                 10%

6                 14%

7                 18% (gym treadmill maxes out at 15% grr)

8                 6%


Speeds varied but let me tell you that by that 5/6 mile mark my calves and quads were starting to feel it. I definitely think this might be a successful way to train in the city when you don’t have time to make it to a trail with decent elevation.

Of course, I don’t think relying solely on this method would be as beneficial as doing some trail running as we aren’t able to practice any downhill (something that really was my demise at Burning River 100 this past year) but for a few training sessions, it’s a pretty solid training run.

Due to icy conditions we’re trying out 22 tonight at the gym. This should be a good mental strengthening exercise as much as physical.

I already know after mile 15 my mind will go to ALL THE FOOD, which we will certainly be eating tonight.

Thailyr Scrivner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *