Comparison of perceptual and physiological variables of running on a track, motorized treadmill, and non-motorized curved treadmill at increasing velocity

Veronika Myran Wee, Erna von Heimburg, Roland van den Tillaar


The aim of this study was to compare perceptual and physiological variables between running on three different modalities — an indoor athletics track, a motorized treadmill, and a non-motorized curved treadmill — for 1000 m at three different velocities. Ten male athletes (age 24±3 years, body mass 69.8±6.91 kg, height 1.80±0.06 m, VO2peak 69.0±6.70 ml/kg/ min) conducted three 1000 m laps at increasing velocity on three different running modalities. The athletes had a 3-minute recovery between each lap, where the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was registered and the blood lactate concentration and heart rate were measured. Oxygen uptake was measured using a portable metabolic analyser. The physiological (oxygen uptake, heart rate, and blood lactate concentration) and perceptual (RPE) variables were higher when running on a non-motorized curved treadmill compared with running on the track or a motorized treadmill. No differences were found between running on a motorized treadmill and the track except for the RPE, which was lower when running on the track compared with the motorized treadmill. Running on a non-motorized curved treadmill at three different velocities results in a higher oxygen uptake (37%) and heart rate (22%) and is subjectively much harder than running on a track or a motorized treadmill at the same velocities. The difference is around 4 km/h when comparing the physiological and perceptual responses. Thus, when performing training sessions on a non-motorized curved treadmill, subjects should subtract 4 km/h from their regular pace on a track or motorized treadmill to get the same response considering oxygen uptake, heart rate, RPE and blood lactate concentration.


rate of perceived exertion; blood lactate concentration; heart rate; oxygen uptake

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ISSN 1406-9822 (print)
ISSN 2228-3501 (online)
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