Distance Measurement-Slopes

7 messages
13/08/2002 at 13:04
Hi Tim
I have a GPS device which cost me £214.
It can accurately measure distance, and also has an altitude meter, so it takes the height into the equation as well. Although its quite a small, light device its impossible to run with, because you have to keep it level in order for it to operate correctly. I tend to walk the route using the GPS to calculate the distance, and then when I run I know how far Ive gone. Doing this allows me to calculate my average speed... etc. Computer software can also be brought with it, allowing you to download detailed maps. Its expensive, although good for fell walking/running.
13/08/2002 at 13:19
No - but are you sure you want to?

For one thing the difference in distance between travelling along the flat and up and down hills is pretty trivial - unless you're into fell running. For example, while you're running up a 1 in 10 hill your actual distance travelled is only 0.5% greater than the "flat" distance, and 3% for a 1 in 4 hill.

For another, the ground distance isn't significant (IMO) if you're running hills. What's significant in terms of performance prediction is the horizontal distance plus the altitude gains and losses (and I don't know how to work these out other than by looking at a map and counting contours).

13/08/2002 at 15:31
Hi Tim -There was a good thread on the old forum concerning the option for distance measuring, software, gps and nike sdm. I went for one of the two software options Trailgauge. It's very good and does take into account height but it relies on you being able to scan in maps or downloading them. The other s/w option was accuroute. Both have free trial versions on the web at these addresses:
I think trailgauge cost me $19. I'ved used it for routes over the South Downs (Ups is definitely more accurate)and the gradients do make a difference
13/08/2002 at 16:20
Sorry Tim that should have been www.accuroute.co.uk
13/08/2002 at 16:24
One of the easiest and most accurate methods of measuring distances is to use a map and a pair of dividers (like you see the captains using on their charts at sea) setting the gap to 1/4 mile lets you measure the roads very accurately using a 1:50,000 OS map.

Using an accurately calibrated cycle computer is also a good method, although only the more expensive models can be accurately calibrated to exactly match the circumference of your wheel.
18/08/2002 at 20:04
A recent addition to the software products available is at www.anquet.co.uk. I've used this successfully myself for a few months. It comes with digital OS maps on CD so no scanning is needed and will automatically take account of height contours.
04/10/2002 at 13:50
Hi Tim,

A method hill walkers use to measure distance covered over hilly ground is called Naismiths rule. Basically add on 1km for every 100m climbed.
This is again just a rough guide to predicting race times as most hill races include very boggy ground, climbing fences etc. Hope this helps??????

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