Tips To Run On A Treadmill For 30 Minutes

Woman running on a treadmill for 30 minutes

By Simon Gould

Running for 30 minutes is fantastic for your health and well being. Whether you want to run that long to lose weight or maybe you just want to get fit and healthy. Do it regularly and you’ll start feeling good in body and mind. Here I’ll go through how to run for 30 minutes on a treadmill. What it can do for you and when the results will come, so let’s go!

Build up slowly

If you exercise regularly then 30 minutes won’t be a problem, it will just be a case of getting used to a treadmill and choosing your speed. If you’re a beginner then 30 minutes will be a tough task at first. Even if you’re young and slim you’ll still need to build up to that length of time. You need your body to get used to the new exertion you’re putting on it.

Taking your time is good for you. It will make you far less likely to get any injuries and your body adapts. Getting to run for 30 minutes isn’t a competition, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, get there in your own time. If you’re overweight it will take you longer and that’s ok. This is the same if you’re a bit older too, fitness doesn’t come so easily as we get older.

Treadmills are ideal for this. I won’t go through the benefits of a treadmill over running outside (there are many). But your speed will be constant and the console will tell you how long you’ve been running for. Speed is also not something to be concerned about when beginning a running routine, slow and steady wins the race.

Remember you’re not competing for 30 minutes. You want to feel exhilarated after your run not exhausted, running to exhaustion won’t help and you’re unlikely to stick at it. What I’ll do is give you a running workout to build you up to 30 minutes and tell you how many calories you’ll burn. First a word about speed.

Speed is not important

It isn’t, like I said, don’t run to exhaustion. Even athletes don’t run fast in their training runs. They maintain their fitness and you’re building your fitness so speed is not important. When you’re successfully running for 30 minutes non stop then think about speed. To begin with I would advise jogging speed. This is around 5.2 mph depending on your stride length.

I can’t stress enough how much it will benefit you to take it easy. I go through a workout plan next and the minutes goes up weekly and quickly. Run fast and you won’t be able to achieve your 30 minute goal. This is the case especially if you’re a beginner. If you do find one week hard then repeat the previous week, it’s all about reaching your 30 minute goal.

30 minute treadmill run workout

I start with 5 minutes of running and you should be able to achieve this at a sensible speed. Do include a 5 minute brisk walk before and after each routine to warm up and cool down your muscles. Don’t set an incline for the running part. Running on a steep incline for long periods is not good for your joints. The fact that you’re running makes is hard enough, you don’t need to add an incline to make it harder.

  • Week 1 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 5 minutes
  • Week 2 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 8 minutes
  • Week 3 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 11 minutes
  • Week 4 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 15 minutes
  • Week 5 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 20 minutes
  • Week 6 – Day 1, 2 and 3 – Run 25 minutes
  • Week 7 – Day 1 – Run 30 minutes!

The 3 days in the week can be any. This is a slow increase and you may be able to advance sooner. This is a guide on building up to 30 minutes and is easy to accomplish. Your whole body including your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) will adjust as you run for longer periods. By the 3rd day of the week you should find the running easy.

If you’re very unfit, over weight or elderly. Repeat a week if you find it hard. By building up slowly we’re building a level of fitness and losing a bit of weight. If weight loss is your aim think about your food intake as well to maximize results. Scroll down and I tell you how many calories you burn by running for 30 minutes.

If you want an even slower build up and are familiar with the couch to 5k, then I have one for the treadmill: couch to 5k treadmill plan. This is a walk/run routine. When you’ve finished with these plans you’ll be fit and healthy after 7 or 8 weeks of running 3 times a week.

How many calories you’ll burn

30 minutes is a lot of exercise so you’re going to burn a lot of calories. As I recommend a nice long and slow run at 5.2 mph, I’ve assumed that’s what your speed is in my calculations. I’ve also taken the average weight for a woman and a man from Medical News Today. The following numbers are for running on a treadmill and assume no incline.

  • Speed – 5.2 mph
  • Time – 30 minutes
  • Weight – 170 pounds (average for a woman)
  • Calories burned – 364
  • Speed – 5.2 mph
  • Time – 30 minutes
  • Weight – 198 pounds (average for a man)
  • Calories burned – 424

All calculations were made using this fantastic tool: treadmill calorie calculator. Exercise combined with diet changes are the secret to successful weight loss. You don’t have to starve yourself and you shouldn’t if you’re running. But eat sensibly and watch those portion sizes. We all know when we’re eating excessively so try and resist.

Global physical activity recommendations

The World Health Organization and Governments around the world have recommended their citizens get regular physical activity. They define running as vigorous activity and say we should do 75 to 150 minutes per week. Running for 30 minutes per day, 3 times a week is in that range and is very good for our health.

The health benefits happen very quickly. Apart from weight management and your heart and lungs becoming more efficient, regular exercise is known to help all kinds of problems. Diabetes, liver problems, some cancers, bone diseases, mental health, the list is endless. Plus it can prevent many health conditions and make you live healthier for longer.

A doctor has said that if regular exercise were a pill it would be the most prescribed pill worldwide. It would be called a miracle cure. After all the scientific research on the human body and our advancements in medicine. Something as simple as regular exercise is still recommended for everyone. Get advice before exercising if you’re not sure you’re up to it.


If you’ve managed to accomplish running for 30 minutes, keep doing it 3 times a week and you’ll feel amazing, I know I do. This might represent a real lifestyle change for some, but the benefits are proven and if you have your own treadmill there are no excuses. Make it part of your normal week and you’ll get used to it.

Anyone can get running, young or old, slim or heavy. I’ve gone through on this page how to build up slowly and that’s all you need to do. Everyone has to do that when they start to exercise, no one can do 30 minutes straight away. You’re here because you want to run for that long so follow my tips and you’ll get there in the end.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

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