The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not differences exist in heart rate (HR) between jogging on the track and jogging on the treadmill at the same speed. Twenty-four college-age (19-31 years old) male (n = 12) and female (n = 12) recreational runners volunteered to participate in this study. Each participant performed a maximal graded exercise test (GXT) and four exercise sessions. During the first exercise session, participants completed a 1-mile steady-state jog on either the track or treadmill at a self-selected submaximal pace that could be maintained for 30 minutes. The following three exercise sessions were completed at the same pace as the first exercise session. Two of the exercise sessions were performed on the treadmill and two were performed on an indoor track. The order of the four sessions were counterbalanced. Participants were randomly assigned to an order of sessions. Heart rate was recorded every minute and the participants were asked to give an RPE at the end of every session. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences in pace (mph) between the trials within the two track or two treadmill trials (p = 0.5812), in the HR response. Therefore, gender and trials were excluded from the final model, and the final model included only the treatment effect (track, treadmill). There was a significant treatment effect (F 1,94 = 39.126, p < 0.0001) indicating that significant differences in the HR responses between track and treadmill jogging at the same pace. Jogging on the treadmill elicited an average HR of 5.16 bpm (S.E. = 0.82) less than that observed while jogging on an indoor track at the same pace. We conclude that jogging on the treadmill and track at the same, self-selected speed results in HR values that differ significantly by 5 bpm. Differences in air resistance, biomechanics, and muscle activity most likely contributed to the observed differences in HR. The results of this study are applicable to various individuals who often train or exercise on the treadmill or overground. Use of a HR monitor is recommended to determine personal responses to exercise on a treadmill and overground.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


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HR monitors, jogging, maximal graded exercise test, GXT, indoor track