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If you’re investing your time and energy into training on a treadmill, make every second (and every step) count. Rather than aimlessly jogging or trying to guestimate the right speed, you can dial in more precise workouts using our treadmill pace chart. 

RELATED: 5 Best Treadmill Workouts For All Fitness Levels

Whether you’re a beginner or a battle-tested runner, this resource will help you maximize the returns on your cardio sessions. In addition to speed conversions (we did the math for you) and training tips, I’ve also provided a few sample treadmill workouts that you can utilize for inspiration. Lace up your favorite running shoes, and let’s get started. 

What Is Treadmill Pace? 

Typically measured in miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kph), treadmill pace refers to the speed at which you run on a treadmill. Minutes per mile is a common metric used to measure treadmill pace, indicating the time it takes to cover one mile at a specific speed. 

Unlike outdoor running, where factors like terrain and weather conditions can affect your pace, treadmill running occurs on a consistent surface without those external variables. The lack of wind resistance means that you may find running at the same pace on a treadmill easier than running outdoors. However, adjusting the treadmill’s incline settings can help mimic the resistance of outdoor terrain.

An image of a woman adjusting the speed on the ProForm TLX treadmill

RELATED: Running Pace Calculator & Chart

What Is a Treadmill Pace Chart? 

A treadmill pace chart is a valuable tool that helps runners correlate treadmill speeds with outdoor running paces. By using a treadmill pace chart, runners can determine the equivalent pace for various treadmill speeds, allowing for seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor workouts. 

For example, a treadmill speed of 6.0 mph corresponds to a 10-minute mile. If you need to adhere to a particular pace, the chart can quickly answer what mph setting you must utilize to stay on track

Benefits of Using a Treadmill Pace Chart

Using a treadmill pace chart offers several key benefits that can significantly enhance your running experience and training effectiveness:

Adds Precision to Your Training

Knowing exactly what speed corresponds to your desired pace eliminates all the guesswork. A treadmill pace chart provides accurate speed conversions between treadmill mph settings and outdoor running paces, allowing you to train at the correct intensity. This precision is particularly useful for runners following a specific half marathon training plan (or full marathon), where hitting target paces is crucial for crossing the finish line as quickly as possible.

Adaptable to Different Goals

Whether you want to improve your mile pace, prepare for a race, or simply stay fit, a treadmill pace chart allows you to tailor your workouts to your specific goals. It helps you choose the correct treadmill speed settings for various types of runs, such as intervals, tempo runs, or long-distance training.

An image of a man running on the AssaultRunner Elite treadmill
Coop using AssaultRunner Elite, a more expensive version of the AssaultRunnerPro

RELATED: 11 Tips For Running Long Distance

Improves Race Preparation

If you’re training for a competition, using a treadmill pace chart can simulate race-day conditions more accurately. By matching your treadmill speed to your target race pace, you can better prepare your body for the demands of the actual event. 

Maintains Consistency Across Running Workouts

By using a treadmill pace chart, you can maintain consistency in your workouts—regardless of whether you’re running indoors or outdoors. This consistency helps you track your progress and ensures that your body adapts steadily to the training load. 

RELATED: 4 Guided Treadmill Workouts For Beginners

Treadmill Pace Chart: Speed Conversions and Equivalents

Using the treadmill pace conversion chart is simple. Let’s say you want to run a 7-minute mile pace. Look for 7:00 in the “Running Pace” column, and you’ll find that it corresponds to a treadmill speed of about 8.6. While you can find several versions of this chart online, we utilized one from Hill Runner as a guide. 

Note: Most treadmills only reach max speeds of 10 to 12 mph, though you may find some models that can hit speeds of up to 15 mph.

Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)Treadmill MPHRunning Pace (Min/Mile)
1.060:003.119:215.211:327.38:139.46:2311.55:13
1.154:323.218:455.311:197.48:069.56:1911.65:10
1.250:003.318:115.411:067.58:009.66:1511.75:08
1.346:093.417:385.510:557.67:549.76:1111.85:05
1.442:513.517:085.610:437.77:479.86:0711.95:03
1.540:003.616:405.710:327.87:419.96:0412.05:00
1.637:303.716:135.810:217.97:3610.06:0012.14:58
1.735:183.815:475.910:108.07:3010.15:5612.24:55
1.833:203.915:236.010:008.17:2510.25:5312.34:52
1.931:354.015:006.19:508.27:1910.35:5012.44:50
2.030:004.114:386.29:418.37:1410.45:4612.54:48
2.128:344.214:176.39:318.47:0910.55:4312.64:46
2.227:164.313:576.49:228.57:0310.65:4012.74:43
2.326:054.413:386.59:148.66:5910.75:3712.84:40
2.425:004.513:206.69:058.76:5410.85:3412.94:39
2.524:004.613:026.78:578.86:4910.95:3013.04:36
2.623:044.712:456.88:498.96:4411.05:2713.14:34
2.722:134.812:306.98:429.06:4011.15:2413.24:32
2.821:264.912:147.08:349.16:3611.25:2113.34:30
2.920:415.012:007.18:279.26:3111.35:1813.44:29
3.020:005.111:467.28:209.36:2711.45:1513.54:27

Treadmill Training Tips and Strategies

Optimizing your treadmill workouts can significantly boost your running performance and keep you engaged during cardio sessions. Here are some effective ways to help you get the most out of your time on the treadmill.

Don’t Neglect Your Warm-Up (Or Cool Down)

Always start your workout with a proper warm-up to prepare your mind and body for what lies ahead. Performing a structured routine that includes functional movements like lunges, bodyweight squats, and dynamic stretches can help get your blood pumping, raise your heart rate, and activate your muscles.  

stretch shin splints

Once you’ve finished your run, conclude your workout with a cool-down period in which you let your heart rate gradually return to baseline. You can use this time to stretch and work on any mobility issues with a set of resistance bands or a foam roller. 

RELATED: 3 Treadmill Warmup Ideas for Your Pre-Workout Routine

Focus On Your Form

Maintaining good running form is crucial for preventing injuries and maximizing efficiency. Keep an upright posture, engage your core, and avoid overstriding. Regularly check your form to ensure you’re running efficiently, especially as fatigue sets in. 

Incorporate Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity running. This method offers several advantages, including improving maximal oxygen uptake, aerobic endurance, and anaerobic capacity1

RELATED: How To Use a Treadmill For Interval Training

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals keeps you motivated and focused. Whether increasing your treadmill speed, extending your running duration, or preparing for a race, having clear objectives helps measure progress. Break down large goals into smaller, manageable milestones to stay on track.

Include Outdoor Running In Your Routine

While treadmill running offers many benefits, outdoor running provides unique challenges and experiences. Incorporating outdoor runs into your training regimen can improve your overall fitness and prepare you for race day, especially for marathon training where long-distance outdoor runs are essential. 

RELATED: Increase Running Speed and Strength With Hill Training

Track Your Heart Rate

A heart rate monitor can help you stay within your target heart rate zone, ensuring you’re working at the right intensity. This is particularly useful for structured training plans where maintaining specific intensity levels is important.

Luckily, there are plenty of devices that offer this useful feature. Whether you have an Apple Watch, Garmin smartwatch, or a standalone heart rate monitor, you can take advantage of the tracking technology. Plus, most running apps provide tracking capabilities, with ones like Joggo even offering a specific treadmill mode. 

Use The Treadmill Incline Feature

Adjusting the incline simulates outdoor terrain and increases the intensity of your workout. Running on an incline engages different muscle groups and helps improve strength and endurance.

An image of a woman walking on the ProForm TLX treadmill at an incline

Adding a slight incline (1 to 2%) can mimic the resistance of outdoor terrain and help improve your overall running strength. Start with a low incline and gradually increase it as you build stamina.

RELATED: Incline Treadmill Workouts

Vary Up Your Workouts

Variety is the key to preventing workout boredom and plateaus. Alternate between different types of runs, such as tempo runs, long-distance runs, and sprints. This will keep your body (and brain) stimulated by challenging you to adjust to the demands of each training session.

Sample Treadmill Workouts 

Need some inspiration for your next treadmill training session? Here are three workouts you can try that make this cardio machine the star of the show. I designed each program so you can focus on specific goals, including improving your metabolic conditioning, expanding your aerobic capacity, and building sufficient stamina for long runs.

HIIT Running Workout

This HIIT-style workout challenges you to run at a fast pace, recover quickly, and go again. While I’ve provided recommended speed settings, feel free to make adjustments based on your fitness level.

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes at 3.5 speed
  • High-intensity interval: 1 minute at 7.5 speed (a run, but not a full sprint)
  • Low-intensity interval: 2 minutes at 3.5 speed
  • Repeat intervals: Alternate between high- and low-intensity intervals for 20 minutes. 
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes at 3.0 speed

RELATED: 6 HIIT Treadmill Workouts

Hill Workout 

Ramp up the difficulty by taking advantage of the treadmill’s incline feature. Hill running has been positively associated with greater aerobic capacity2, and this workout simulates those conditions by alternating between incline and flat ground intervals.  

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes at 3.0 speed with 0% incline.
  • Incline interval: 2 minutes at 6.0 speed with 5% incline.
  • Flat-round interval: 2 minutes at 3.5 speed with 0% incline.
  • Repeat intervals: Alternate for 20 minutes.
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes at 3.0 speed with 0% incline.
NordicTrack Commercial X32i Treadmill incline in use

Progressive Long Run Workout

This workout will help you develop the physical and mental fortitude for longer-duration runs. If you’re not quite ready for the recommended speed or time settings, adjust accordingly and build up your stamina until you can complete the entire workout. 

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes at 3.0 speed.
  • Main workout: Start at 5.5 speed for the first 20 minutes.
  • Increase speed: Gradually increase the speed by 0.5 every 10 minutes until you reach 7.0 speed.
  • Maintain last speed: Run at the final speed for the last 15 minutes.
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes at 3.0 speed.

Treadmill Pace Chart: Final Thoughts

While it’s important to take things at your own pace in the beginning, it’s also important to know what pace you need to maintain if you’re training for a competition. Between implementing my running tips and leaning on the pace chart for guidance, you can put yourself on a path to more efficient and enjoyable treadmill workouts. 

Treadmill Pace Chart: FAQs

What is a good pace on a treadmill?

A good pace on a treadmill depends on your fitness level and the type of workout you’re doing. For beginners, anywhere between 3 to 5 mph is considered a good pace for distance runs. Meanwhile, intermediate and advanced runners should aim for 6 to 9 mph.  

What is 7.0 on a treadmill?

Setting your treadmill to 7.0 corresponds to a speed of 7 mph. This equates to a per-mile pace of approximately 8 minutes and 34 seconds.  

What is a 7-minute mile on a treadmill?

A 7-minute mile pace on a treadmill equates to a speed setting of approximately 8.6. 

What are the benefits of using a treadmill pace chart?

Using a treadmill pace chart will allow you to dial in more precise cardio sessions, as you can quickly convert treadmill speeds to outdoor running paces. This can be particularly useful when you’re preparing for a race or have specific performance benchmarks you want to achieve. 

References

  1. Atakan, M. M., Li, Y., Koşar, Ş. N., Turnagöl, H. H., & Yan, X. (2021). Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13), 7201. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137201
  2. Lember, L. M., Di Virgilio, T. G., Brown, E. M., & Rodriguez-Sanchez, N. (2021). Hill Runner’s Physiology, Performance and Nutrition: A Descriptive Study. Frontiers in sports and active living, 3, 676212. https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2021.676212

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