One question I frequently get is about ‘Garmin is accurate on Treadmill.’ I’ve asked myself this question, and I imagine you have too. The majority of runners, even those who run inside, track their runs using a Garmin or other GPS watch. You can monitor and record your treadmill run using the Run Indoor feature on many GPS watches, just like you would an outside run. However, a number of the runners I mentor query me over the Garmin Run Indoor mode’s accuracy. The Garmin treadmill sensor frequently registers a different distance, and thus an alternate average pace, than the treadmill.



The treadmill will be calibrated for the proper distance unless it is an outdated model. Newer treadmills, especially residential versions, are especially guilty of this. These equipment’ cutting-edge technology produces reliable data.

It does not indicate that the treadmill is slower or quicker whether it feels harder or easier on the treadmill than it does outside. While VO2max and heart rate are frequently comparable between treadmill and outside jogging, a meta-analysis reported in Sports Medicine found that endurance is worse on the treadmill. This could be as a result of poor airflow, treadmill boredom, or other issues.



Using of a GPS watch:

A GPS watch uses an accelerometer to measure distance indoors unless you use a foot pod. Accelerometers use your stride length, stride frequency, and arm swing to measure the distance you have traveled.

Accelerometer for outdoor runs:

On outdoor runs, the accelerometer calibrates based on your form and cadence. It then calculates your distance traveled during the timed recording by counting your steps while you run on a treadmill.

Stride length and stride frequency:

Regarding heart rate and energy expenditure, treadmill running is similar to running outside. On the treadmill, many runners do, however, slightly change their stride. Stride length and stride frequency tend to be different while jogging on the treadmill compared to running outside, according to a study that was published in the International Journal of Exercise Science.

Adjusting it with your choice:

It seems reasonable that walking on a treadmill differs from walking outside. Even though your general form is comparable, many runners may slightly adjust it in response to various contextual signals, as found in this study published in The Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. Many runners’ forms might shift on the treadmill due to the small area. If you worry about falling off the back of the treadmill and unconsciously change your stride, you might do this. Your form will differ from jogging outside if you are used to running on rolling hills and set the treadmill to 100% inclination the entire time.

Proper calculation of distance:

It makes sense that the distance estimated is different from what the treadmill displays if the Garmin treadmill mode is estimating the distance ran based on your stride and arm swing and you modify those parameters while using the treadmill. The treadmill uses the number of belt revolutions to calculate distance; therefore, unless the treadmill is very old or inaccurately calibrated, it should be fairly accurate.

GARMIN data in Mobile

Changing of cadence:

If your cadence on treadmill runs is often lower than on outdoor runs, you will be aware that this is occurring to you. Know that there is probably a technical flaw if your cadence is almost the same yet the figures still differ. Your cadence may only change by 15 steps per minute between easy and hard paces; that is undoubtedly insufficient to distinguish between, say, a 7:45 and an 8:15 mile pace.


Your form may be quite different on the treadmill than it is outside if the statistically significant variances between the indoor mode of your GPS device and your treadmill are more than 15% of the run’s distance, for example.

For instance, most runners will pace themselves similarly indoors and outside. There are aberrations in both directions, though. You could have a lower cadence on the treadmill than inside if you discover that your Garmin treadmill mode reads more slowly than it does outside. If so, take care to keep the treadmill’s turnover moving quickly.

Pay close attention to your form on the treadmill whether or not you care about the GPS data. Avoid sprinting at the very front of the belt or clinging onto the front bars. If you run in the front of the belt, your stride and arm swing may become shorter. To allow your stride and arm swing to open up more organically, you should run in the middle of the belt. Avoid bent shoulders by running tall. Give oneself the command to “run light,” which promotes a quicker cadence and less time on the ground. Avoid constantly looking at your watch since doing so will cause you to lose form by pulling your wrist forward and lowering your head.


Change your metric and run by time rather than distance if even a small distance difference will make you mentally unstable. In the end, how long you run will determine how your body reacts. For instance, if your typical easy run speed is around a 9-minute mile and you want to run 5 miles, run on the treadmill for 45 minutes. You will have completed your assigned workout whether your watch says it was short or lengthy.

Use time-based interval exercises, rather than distance-based intervals for speed work. Faster speeds could accentuate disparities in cadence and form. In this scenario, interval runs on your watch will probably be less precise. Time-based intervals will coincide with the time readouts on the treadmill if you are utilizing the interval feature on your watch. Try a fartlek exercise or one of these runner-specific treadmill routines.


We can become a little fixated on the accuracy of statistics and figures in the era of GPS watches and social training diaries. In the end, what matters is the exercise itself, or how long you run at a given intensity. One way to gauge volume and intensity is via distance and pace, but other methods include time and perceived exertion. For instance, a 5 mile run with an easy effort is the same as a 5.3 mile run. Select the method for measuring that treadmill run, and then ignore any tiny differences. If your watch and the treadmill give slightly different distances, try not to worry too much, especially if it’s a short, easy run. The difference does not invalidate the intent.

GARMIN watch data


Running uphill or downhill automatically alters your gait. On a treadmill, your watch cannot distinguish between a flat, uphill, or downward gradient. Instead, it only observes how your stride varies. If you often modify the incline of the treadmill, the accuracy of the Garmin indoor mode may suffer. However, there is still no justification to stay away from treadmill inclination! Simply utilize auto lap and, after the run, calibrate your watch.


Want precise splits for your Final Surge? Utilize your watch’s auto lap feature. You may set the treadmill to automatically lap each mile. Even though you still need to calibrate the distance in the end, the splits will be precise at that point.

Garmin heart rate check


The fitness equipment won’t power on or charge!

If your Garmin device won’t power on or charge, you may apply some simple troubleshooting steps.

Is it possible that the device is locked?

A device may occasionally look frozen or locked up and not respond to any input, including key presses, screen swipes (on touchscreen devices), or connecting it into external power. If your device has a physical power button, you can try to restore it by following these instructions:

  1. Use the power/data cable to connect the gadget to an external power supply.
  2. Hold down the power button while waiting for the screen to change (hold up to 30 seconds).

Does the charging cable function properly?

Make sure the cord isn’t broke and the device won’t charge. Make sure the charging pins are clean and undamaged by inspecting them for obstructions. The cable may need replacement.

Do the device’s charging contact points function properly?

Inspect the device for damage, dirt, or debris at the charging contact points. To clean them, use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol or a pencil eraser. Observe these guidelines if you own a Garmin watch: The battery connectors on a rechargeable Garmin watch must be clean.

GARMIN charging functionality

Is the device’s battery fully charged?

Use the power/data cable to connect the gadget to a power source.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Garmin not accurate?

The discrepancy between your real position and the location that a GPS receiver recorded is known as GPS drift. Consumer-grade GPS receivers (like those made by Garmin) are not always reliable. This frequently results in a discrepancy between your reported position and real location.

How accurate is Garmin foot pod on treadmill?

Your cadence may only change by 15 steps per minute between easy and hard paces; that is undoubtedly insufficient to distinguish between, say, a 7:45 and an 8:15 mile pace. You can calibrate the distance after your run with many more recent versions of Garmin and other GPS watches.

How accurate is Garmin forerunner 235 on treadmill?

The distance on the treadmill will be fairly similar to actual distance. On a treadmill, I didn’t have much success with the 235 accuracy (about 20 percent discrepancy)

For me, speed appears to be a factor in accuracy. It’s quite accurate if I go more slowly-say let’s at 75 percent of maximum. It becomes worse if I pick up the speed. I might be using a different cadence on the treadmill than when jogging quickly outside. At least in my theory. I put up with that and occasionally use Garmin Connect total distance adjustment to ensure the accuracy of my training log.

How to reset treadmill calibration on Garmin?

Begin your treadmill workout (Starting an Activity). Run on the treadmill for at least 1.5 km until your gadget captures it (1 mi.). When you’re done running, press the key and choose done. You are prompted by the gadget to finish the treadmill calibration.

Facing error or problem in Garmin tools/ watch.

Fitness trackers and smart watches endure a lot of everyday hardship. They repel dirt and spills while being shackled to our wrists. They occasionally run into snags and problems, which is understandable, but many of them are easily fixed with some basic troubleshooting techniques. Although Garmin produces some fantastic fitness trackers and smart watches, its devices are also susceptible to similar problems.

Can a treadmill’s slope be detected by Garmin?

Any Garmin watch may connect to the Run by ANT+ FE-C and use the Run Statistics Field to display inclination, positive and negative elevation gain data from your treadmill workout in real time.

Do Garmin step counters work on a treadmill?

When using a treadmill without moving your arms, utilizing a foot pod will increase your distance and pace readings, but it won’t change your daily step total. Only the internal 3-axis accelerometer of a Garmin watch with an activity tracking feature is used to record daily step totals.


Here is the ending of ‘Is Garmin accurate on Treadmill’. Run Indoor mode also works well for the second indoor running option, the indoor track, in addition to the treadmill. On the indoor track rather than the treadmill, Run Indoor mode will be more precise. This is due to the fact that jogging on a track indoors is over ground, just like running outside. The length and speed of your run may also be verified using the carefully recorded distance of an indoor track (the majority are 200ms each loop).

James Manley

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