sunnystaines 09:18 23 May 2010

I'm away out of G.B. and there is a running machine in the gym of the hotel, few speak english and those that do no nothing about using one.

i have set it in a speed rating of 8 and a incline of 3. trying it each day but get very breathless around 15 mins max 20 mins.

to get fitter should i increase the time and less speed or increase the speed with less time?

i find without a small incline set its like running on thin air.

if i can get the knack of these machines i might buy one next month on return to G.B. but not sure untill i get to grips here.

  johndrew 09:31 23 May 2010

I should reduce speed and increase time. Better for stamina and reduces the chance of injury.

  OTT_B 09:35 23 May 2010

It depends on how you want to measure fitness. If by strength, then increase the incline and go for the same amount of time.
If for cardio / stamina, then go for longer at the same incline.

However.....I don't know how fast speed setting 8 is, but it sounds quite low. Getting tired afer 15 - 20 minutes of cardio exercise suggests you need to carry on at that level at the moment, perhaps trying to get to 20 minutes then go on a rowing machine for a while.

  sunnystaines 09:36 23 May 2010


i will lower it this afternoon it has speed ratings 1 to 20 also decimal points with each speed rating.

certainly works the lungs very hard, no tiredness in the legs.

  sunnystaines 09:41 23 May 2010

i think by the feedback from my lungs i need to focus on stamina.

i did try a incline of 6 and a speed setting of 10 but got breathless after 2 to 3 minutes, but did feel better as it needed a bit of effort from the legs. but gave up these settings as my stamina came to a limit too quickly.

  Forum Editor 10:01 23 May 2010

and when we bought it my wife consulted a colleague who specialises in fitness training. She (the colleague) said that the right way to run on the machine is to start with a very gentle incline, and go slowly - a fast walk is just right.

Do this for five minutes, so your heart rate rises in a controlled way, and your muscles warm thoroughly. Then start running, and go at a steady pace for five minutes. Your heart rate will increase, and your breathing will become more laboured. Your legs are not the problem - concentrate on your heart rate and breathing.

Finally, slow to a walk for five minutes, allowing your heart rate to fall, and your breathing to return to normal.

These machines give your cardio-vascular system a real test, and if you are tiring quickly you should heed the warning, and exercise more gently for a while. It takes time, and you mustn't expect to feel fitter overnight.

  michaelw 10:12 23 May 2010

I'm lucky enough to live near the Thames. The views are lovely as I'm jogging, much better than four walls ;0).

  BRYNIT 10:26 23 May 2010

I would go with Forum Editor post the only change would be to start without the incline until you are used to the running machine. The incline is like going up hill.

When you find it too easy increase the speed/time or add a slight incline this should be done gradually.

  spuds 13:07 23 May 2010

Having recently spent a little time on an hospital cardio running machine, I can truly state at one part of the procedures, had they stopped the machine suddenly or the power failed, then I would have made an hole in the facing wall. Either that, or perhaps they would have scooped me up in a bin liner bag ;o)).

On a personal note, I can never understand why people insist on using expensive gyms and the like, when a good stroll, bike ride or other outdoor-indoor activity would be just as beneficial, and far cheaper. A number of years ago I purchased a rowing machine and weight lifting equipment from Ebuyer, that was on a clearance offer at the time. Still in their boxes, and one day perhaps, I will donate them to the local youth club, if health and safety regulations permit.

  ella33 13:30 23 May 2010

When I had access to a gym with trainers Too expensive now!) they showed you how to build up slowly and wind down gradually, so you don't get over puffed and stop suddenly. There were also simple warm up stretch exercise routines at the beginning and the end to prevent muscles from being pulled/jarred. I still do those it's cheap enough.

I find our local parks have fixed exercise bikes, walkers, large enough for adults. I think you are supposed to jog from one to the next (but someone will be on it!) They do not have settings, unless I have missed something so I do find the walker a bit strange but it could need more practise. The rowing one is good. i do agree that a bike is best, if you can keep it in good repair and not get it stolen.

  QuizMan 17:32 23 May 2010

As you may be beginning to suspect, there is no single answer to this. It very much depends on what you want to get out of it. "To get fitter" really involves gradually building up the speed, rather than the incline. IMHO, running on an unchanging steep incline (above 5) for more than two or three minutes puts undue strain on the calf muscles and may cause injury. Liken it to running on the roads; there are very few hills that will take longer than that to run up.

My own method to improve fitness involves running outside my comfort zone. In athletics terms it is a bit like interval training. This involves using the machine for a few minutes only at a speed that is uncomfortable. Rest for a few minutes then repeat at least four times. Eventually, any one doing this will be increasing the length of effort or number of efforts or both.

My toughest session is eight three minutes bursts at whatever is the maximum speed the machine allows (usually 15 or 16), but 800 metres is my best athletic distance and this suits me well.

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