What Is A Good Treadmill Speed?
By Simon Gould
Unlike running outside, on a treadmill you can set your speed and stick to it. You won't go faster or slower if you don't change the speed up or down. This is great if you want to commit yourself to do a certain speed for weight loss or as part of training for a race. By knowing your speed you can see how long it would take you to run a mile for example.
What is a good treadmill speed for some may not be good for others. Comparing yourself on a treadmill with others is never a good idea. Whether it's the speed you read online or the person on the treadmill next to you is going so much faster. Forget them concentrate on your own goals and you'll get to them more successfully.
Treadmill speed for walking, jogging and running
A question amongst beginners is often what speed is jogging and what is running. Here we'll investigate. Walking begins at any speed above 0. If the treadmill is moving no matter how fast to begin with then you're walking. Although jogging will come into it soon. Walking speed is 0.1 mph to 4 mph.
Jogging is that zone between walking and running, you're actively lifting your feet above the ground but not going very fast. Jogging is when the exercise gets a lot harder to maintain. That's why it's such good exercise and is classed as vigorous physical activity by the CDC. Whereas brisk walking the CDC calls moderate physical activity. Jogging speed is 4 mph to 6 mph.
Remember jogging and running is different for different people. Someone who is very tall and has a long stride will still be jogging at 6 mph whereas someone shorter with a small stride will be running fast at 6 mph. It's what works for you and not what the speed is called. However actual running is the goal of many runners and it does look good on the treadmill when someone is running. Running speed is 6 mph+.
Speed is not important, time is
Unless you're training for a race and/or doing some speed work, the speed you're going shouldn't really be important. This is especially the case for a beginner. If you're just starting out exercising then you need to get used to the treadmill and your body needs to get used to the exercise. Set a speed to something comfortable but still causes heavy breathing.
For a beginner the time spent exercising is far more important than speed. A 20 minute jog is a valuable day of exercising whereas a 3 minute fast run is not. It's not a competition. If you walk at the moment and that causes heavy breathing then keep doing that for a good period of time. If you want to get started running then we have a couch to 5k walk/run schedule that begins very slowly and gets you running in 9 weeks.
Your purpose of exercising
As we said before, if you're training for a race then knowing and sticking to your speed is important to get the time you want. If you're a beginner and want to get healthy and lose weight then you need to log time or miles on the treadmill. More calories are burned the longer you can keep exercising. The CDC recommends 30 minutes of brisk walking or 15 minutes of jogging per day, 5 days a week. This sounds a lot and will take time to work up to.
For health and weight loss you'll succeed far more if you choose a speed you can stick to and perform regularly. I've taken it to the extreme in my own weight loss goals. If you see my progress, I'm running (jogging) at 5 mph and working up to doing that for 60 minutes a day and the weight is falling off. I couldn't run any quicker than 5 and maintain it or a period of time. Weight loss is what I want so time is the important factor.
So a good treadmill speed is one that you can keep up with. Whether you want to call it running, jogging or walking as long as it's helping you achieve your goal then it doesn't matter. If you run at home or in a gym keep going and progress, walk or run that little bit further every week then you'll be able to achieve what you want. Your treadmill speed will be secondary.
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Meet The Author
I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.
1 Couch to 5k on a treadmill
2 Can I train for a race on a treadmill?
3 How to lose weight on a treadmill
4 How to make a treadmill run more fun
5 Anxiety about using a treadmill?