It’s one thing to hit the treadmill for half an hour, but quite another to take your run outdoors for some good, old-fashioned pavement pounding.
As many of us runners and wannabe runners realized early on, running on the treadmill just isn’t the same as running outdoors.
Thankfully, researchers at Ohio State have created a new technology that allows runners to feel as though they are speeding up or slowing down naturally. It does this by taking sonar readings of your position on the belt so it can tell when to crank things up a notch or slow it down.
Because of this technology, it’s able to simulate outdoor running. Meaning, you don’t have to break that “running zone” by having to push buttons to speed up or slow down.
How does it work, exactly?
A sonar is set up behind the treadmill and aimed just between the runner’s shoulder blades.
The treadmill technology has been patented and is expected to be commercialized soon. When the runner remains in the middle of the belt, the speed stays the same. But if the sonar senses that the runner is moving away from it – thus picking up speed – it sends a signal to the treadmill to speed up until the runner is back in the middle of the belt.
So, there you go, even more reason to take up running.
Photo courtesy of Ohio State University, Jo McCulty