How old are you?
By the looks of your avatar, you can't be as old as I am.
Have you ever tried just walking really fast for an interval, then going slower, then repeating?
It looks silly, but when I first started training (I was a 280 lb tub of goo, so I couldn't do much either), it really jump started me (along with the horrific first few months of training).
I learned that it's more about how your excercise affects YOU more than it is about what other people are doing. If I get my heart rate up to 160 bpm by doing the stationary bike, I couldn't care less about that dude on the stairmaster.
Good Lord. Am I becoming a zealot?
Wheels, I'm 39. I've been working out with weights for close to 20 years, been a runner since I was a kid.
Interval walking- never tried it. Regular walking never has gotten it done for me, and to be honest, I find fast walking uncomfortable.
I like wind sprints best, but they bother me and I find the more violent the action the higher the injury risk.
Steady as she goes for me. I can put the treadmill at 8 mph and run for 5 minutes, take a minute off and then repeat 5 or 6 times. Sounds like a form of interval training, I guess, but I'm on for 5 and off for 1.
You aren't a zealot, you're just explaining what works for you.
I have a friend who runs as hard as he can for 12 minutes everyday. He loses weight, but I'm not so sure it's that he's gaining much in the way of cardiovascular health.
As well- the body can't do that forever, and how much forward does anybody look forward to a workout where you are going at it that hard everyday?
I love these discussions because you learn that everybody has a different idea of what is good, yet if you do something enough, results come.
Are treadmills accurate? It seems like I can run forever on one of those, but whenever I attempt to run outside I can't go 1/2 the distance.
Treadmills are accurate, but remember, they are doing some of the work for you. I find treadmills easier, which is a good thing in my opinion.
Because of the stat counter, you can make sure you are doing the workout. If you run down the road you can slack off, pick it up, but you never really know how well you are doing unless you time it.
I also like treadmills because the surface is normally softer. I have a Landice treadmill at the house, and it's surface is softer than grass. It's great.
I'd look up the model of treadmill you workout and see what the surface is rated out as.