How to Calculate an Elevation Gain for a Treadmill

Feet running on a treadmill.
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You don't need crampons and an ice-ax to be a mountain killer. The incline settings on your treadmill let you simulate the effort required for a change in vertical height, or elevation gain. You can build your endurance and stamina by using and calculating elevation gain on your treadmill. As you prepare for an upcoming race, compare your treadmill elevation work with the race map. If the race route contains steeper elevation changes, you can adjust your training accordingly.


Step 1

Write the percent grade, or incline, setting of your treadmill. For example, write "7 percent."

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Step 2

Divide the percent grade you have written by 100 using a calculator. For example, 7/100 = 0.07.

Step 3

Multiply your answer by the number of miles you have run on your treadmill. For example, you have run three miles: 0.07 x 3 = 0.21. You have completed an elevation gain of 0.21 miles.


Step 4

Multiply your answer by 5,280. For example, 0.21 x 5280 = 1108.8. You have completed an elevation gain of approximately 1,108 feet.

Step 5

Divide your answer by 3.281. For example, 1108.8/3.281 = 337.945. You have completed an elevation gain of approximately 338 meters.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil

  • Paper

  • Calculator

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