A treadmill pace chart depicts the speed at which one runs on a treadmill and how the relative effort (pace) changes when adjusting the incline. A treadmill speed chart is a helpful tool for diversifying workout routines, enhancing performance, and achieving fitness goals.
Unlike outside running, the effort of jogging on a treadmill at 0% incline is lower. It happens because of three factors:
- Less impact of the moving platform
- Missing wind resistance
- Natural terrain curve
The Treadmill Speed Chart and Pace Conversions
The treadmill pace chart below calculates the relative impact of adjusting the incline between 0% and 5% to simulate the effort of outdoor running on an even surface.
How Does the Treadmill Pace Chart Work?
The treadmill speed chart is based on the three fundamental works about the impact of surface inclination on running performance.
- Andrew M. Jones and Jonathan H. Doust from the University of Brighton (UK) study found that a 1% incline on a treadmill most closely provides the energy burn associated with running outdoors on a flat road.
- The statement from the book Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Daniels: each 1% incline (uphill running) slows you down by 12-15 seconds per mile. Also, each 1% decline (downhill running) accelerates you by 8 seconds per mile.
- The rule of thumb introduced by John Kellogg on LetsRun.com: every 10 feet of elevation gain slows you down by 1.8 seconds, regardless of the horizontal distance covered.
How to Use a Treadmill Pace Chart
There are three primary use cases of the treadmill pace chart:
- Find out the speed on a treadmill to imitate the outdoor running pace and effort.
- Define the treadmill settings for hill training.
- Get different speed-incline pair settings representing the same relative effort to diversify your running routine.
To simulate outdoor running on a treadmill
- Adjust the incline to 1%
- Set the desired speed
Use the treadmill speed chart to convert your desired outdoor pace (3rd column) into the respective speed on a treadmill (1st column). The corresponding speed and pace are in the same row.
For a hill workout on a treadmill
- Jog for 2-3 minutes to warm up
- Adjust the incline to 5% to imitate an uphill run
- Set the speed that will bring your heart rate to the tempo HR zone (80-88% of your max heart rate) and run for 90-100 seconds
- Bring back the incline to 0% and run at an easy pace for 2-3 minutes
- Repeat 8-9 times
If you know your pace for outdoor uphill running, use the treadmill pace chart to get the respective speed for a treadmill. Find your outdoor pace in the last column in the table and get the equivalent treadmill speed from the first column of the same row.
To diversify your running routine
Find the same or close pace value on the intersection of different speed and incline pairs. For instance, you can get a 7:00 min per mile pace with: 7.5 speed and 5% incline, 8.0mph and 3%, or 8.5 and 1%.
Running at the same effort but with an inclined gradient enables secondary muscles that are not usually active. This training can help build the strength necessary for distance and trail running.
What is a good pace on a treadmill?
A good pace on a treadmill depends on your fitness level and the training objective. Although on average:
- A good pace for walking on a treadmill or warm-up is from 3.0 to 5.0 mph
- A good pace for easy running is between 5.5 and 8.0 mph
- A good speed for a workout is 8.5+mph
A general guideline for a normal pace on a treadmill is to start with a slow speed and work up to a brisk walk or slow jog. As you go, you can increase your speed and intensity to challenge yourself and reach your fitness goals.
It is essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard, as this can lead to injury. If you are not good at perceiving your body feedback yet, get a heart rate monitor (fitness watch, belt) and adapt your treadmill pace to your pulse zones.
The difference between a running pace and speed on a treadmill
Speed on a treadmill means the distance traveled in one hour and is calculated in MPH (miles per hour). You can leverage the speed on a treadmill by adjusting a special toggler.
Pace means the time it takes to cover one mile at a defined speed; it is calculated in minutes per mile. Pace is mainly used with outdoor running and is usually not revealed on a treadmill display. To calculate your pace with a given speed on a treadmill, divide 60 by your speed in mph. For example, if you run on a treadmill at a 6.0 mph speed, your pace is 60min÷6mph=10 minutes per mile.
FAQs About Treadmill Pace Chart
How fast is 7.0 on a treadmill?
7.0 on a treadmill refers to 7 miles per hour (mph) speed and equals 8:34 minutes per mile pace. The respective effort and energy burn correspond to the outdoor running pace of 8:42 minutes per mile.
It’s a good speed for beginners and a decent easy running pace for intermediate runners. With 7.0 on a treadmill, you will cover:
- 5k in 27:01
- 10k in 54:02
- Half-marathon in 1:54:03
- Marathon in 3:48:06
What is a 10-minute pace on a treadmill?
A 10-minute pace on a treadmill corresponds to the speed setting of 6.0 mph. It is a good pace for easy runs on a treadmill. The relative effort equals the outdoor running pace of 10:08 minutes per mile. With a 10-minute pace on a treadmill, you will complete:
- 5k in 31:15
- 10k in 1:02:30
- Half-marathon in 2:11:52
- Marathon in 4:23:45
What pace is 7.5 on a treadmill?
7.5 on a treadmill refers to 7.5 miles per hour (mph) speed and equals 8:00 minutes per mile pace. The respective effort and energy burn correspond to the outdoor running pace of 8:08 minutes per mile.
It’s a good running pace for intermediate runners. With 7.0 on a treadmill, you will cover:
- 5k in 25:00
- 10k in 50:00
- Half-marathon in 01:45:30
- Marathon in 03:31:00