Converting treadmill speed to mph is easier than you think.
The reason? On most modern treadmills, the treadmill speed setting is the miles per hour (mph). So there is no conversion necessary. When you step on the treadmill and start increasing your speed, you are increasing the miles per hour.
But the question you may be asking is…what is the pace per mile? That is how most people measure pace (speed) when considering jogging, running, or HIIT cardio.
In other words, you know your favorite jogging speed on the treadmill is 6.0 (which is 6 mph). But what does this convert to in pace per mile? And pace per mile is simply how many minutes it takes to jog, walk, or run one mile.
At a treadmill speed of 6.0, am I running 6 minute miles? Or 10 minute miles? Or 15 minute miles? What should be my speed when doing HIIT on a treadmill?
Here is an easy formula to convert treadmill speed in mph to pace per mile.
First, the speed on your treadmill should already be in miles per hour (mph). On most treadmills (and all modern treadmills), this is the case.
To convert that mph to pace per mile….
Take the treadmill speed, and divide into 60. And that is your pace per mile.
So if your treadmill speed setting is 6.0 (6 mph)…
60 ÷ 6.0 = 10 minute miles
In other words, at a treadmill speed setting of 6.0, you will jog one mile in 10 minutes.
At a treadmill speed of 10.0…
60 ÷ 10.0 = 6 minute miles
So at a treadmill speed setting of 10.0 (10 mph), you will jog one mile in 6 minutes.
At a treadmill speed of 3.0…
60 ÷ 3 = 20 minute miles
So at a treadmill speed setting of 3.0 (3 mph), you will walk one mile in 20 minutes.
If you know the pace per mile you are after, then just do the same math, but in reverse.
So if you want to run at 8 min/mile pace, what is the correct treadmill speed?
60 ÷ 8 = 7.5 mph (Treadmill Speed)
If you’re a serious runner and want to run at a 6 min/mile pace, what is the treadmill speed?
60 ÷ 6 = 10.0 mph (Treadmill Speed)
Treadmill Speed to mph? Already Done For You
Treadmill speed to mph should not be necessary on most modern treadmills. Most modern treadmill’s speed setting is in miles per hour already.
The main conversion that you might be interested in is converting that to pace per mile. Many runners and fitness enthusiasts measure their speed more in pace per mile than in mph.
It is a personal decision, and it really depends on what works best for you and what you are most accustomed to.
The key is knowing the best speed for you to achieve your fitness goals.
What Is a Good Treadmill Speed?
The right treadmill speed for you of course depends on your personal fitness level, as well as your fitness goals. However, here are some general guidelines that fit most people.
|Treadmill Speed||Pace per Mile||Description|
|2.0 - 3.0||20-30 minute miles||Moderate walking speed; good for warm-up; good for cool down|
|4.0 - 6.0||10-15 minute miles||Good moderate jogging speed|
|6.0 - 8.0||8-10 minute miles||Moderate to fast jogging speed|
|8.0 - 10.0||6-8 minute miles||Fast jogging / running speed; HIIT speed (fast) for many people|
|10.0-12.0||5-6 minute miles||Very fast pace; only for highly conditioned people|
Treadmill Safety Tips
Treadmills can be very dangerous, so always be careful and err on the side of caution. (1)
Here are some basic safety tips when doing cardio on a treadmill:
- Always stay focused on your activity. Whether you’re walking, running, or sprinting, be aware of your foot position on the treadmill. Be aware and cognizant of every step that you take.
- Make sure your shoelaces are tightly tied.
- Stay in the center of the treadmill. It is easy to get into a “trance” on the treadmill and start drifting forward, drifting backward, or to one side. If your foot leaves the treadmill (front, back, or sides), it can be disastrous.
- Be mentally prepared for something going wrong! So have in your mind that if something goes wrong, your hands will immediately grab the safety rails to the right and left, and your feet will hop to the side on the non-moving frame. This is good to be aware of, as if you have a sudden leg cramp and your leg gives out, you’ll be ready!
- Don’t get distracted on the treadmill. Many people are drinking from their water bottle, changing music on their smart phone, or getting too focused on the treadmill TV. Stay focused on the cardio, and don’t get distracted, as this leads to accidents.
- Make sure you workout at safe speeds that fit your fitness level. And always err on the side of caution. Start slow, and build your treadmill speed and stamina.
Click to return to cardio info.
- Haupt, A. (2022, August 29). How to keep yourself and your kids safe around your home treadmill. The Washington Post.