Build Elevation Cardio Stamina On A Home Treadmill

It is fully possible to build up your elevation cardio stamina on a good quality treadmill. The ability to do this on a treadmill can be especially helpful for those who don’t live in hilly areas.

To successfully increase your elevation stamina, there are a few things you need to do.

Make Sure Your Treadmill Has An Incline Range

There are plenty of cheap treadmills which don’t have an incline range or if one is available, it is very restrictive. A treadmill with an incline range of -3% to 15% is good for those who want to build up their elevation stamina. The most limited incline range we could recommend for incline training is 0% to 10%. However, you should be aware that with such a limited range, you may outperform the available range.

Start Slow Then Build Up Speed

There are two meanings behind our advice to start slow then build up speed. First, we do mean it literally. Most people cannot go the same speed while going up an incline as they can when running on a flat or declined surface. Pacing becomes even more difficult as the incline increases.

If you are used to pacing at 6 MPH but want to try an 8% incline, we would recommend you slow down so you don’t burn out or injure yourself.

The second meaning behind our start slow advice applies to the available incline levels. If you are trying to build up elevation stamina, you do not need to crank the incline level up to the max. That would be like constantly sprinting and hoping it made you a better long-distance runner. Instead, become comfortable with the lower incline levels and build up to the more challenging higher incline levels.

Use Weights To Increase Treadmill Incline Difficulty

If you have mastered the incline levels available on your treadmill, you can use weights to increase the difficulty. This also has the added effect of simulating the very real drag runners feel when running at higher elevations. Some ways to add weights while working out on your treadmill are:

  • Handheld dumbbells
  • Weight vest
  • Ankle weights

Treadmills Best For Elevation Stamina Training

The best treadmills for incline training are the NordicTrack Incline Trainer treadmills. These treadmills all have an incline range of -6% decline and reach an incredible 40% incline! With this kind of incline range, you can keep challenging yourself and steadily build up your elevation stamina.

No matter what treadmill you end up using, if you follow our advice, you will be able to see increases in your elevation stamina.