Beginner's guide on treadmill speeds?

Hi all,

Today was the first day I jumped in the treadmill in a very long time.  I didn't know what to go by so I just kept pushing the buttons to get the speed up/down to as much as I could take.  I've just found a beginner's plan online and wish to give it a go the next time I'm at the gym.  Just wondering as a beginner what sort of speeds should I be looking at? Just a rough guide really, I can always take it up/bring it down depending on my endurance. I'm thinking for walking something along the lines of 5km/h. How about jogging and running?



  • It's difficult to say without knowing you but possibly try between  8.0/9.0 kph for a few minutes and see how you feel.

    10.5 kph gives you a 4 hour marathon so its probably a bit speedy to begin with.

    Hi btw!

  • Just, when you're next in the gym, can you ask someone whether its set to kmph or mph? 

    JB's advice is good but if the gym is mph then it might be a bit speedy with those figures!

  • Start on 8 km/h ( 5mph). If that seems too slow then push it up slightly on the next running section. You'll soon learn what speed you can cope with. 
  • justaddh2ohere wrote (see)

    Hi all,

    Today was the first day I jumped in the treadmill in a very long time.  I didn't know what to go by so I just kept pushing the buttons to get the speed up/down to as much as I could take.  I've just found a beginner's plan online and wish to give it a go the next time I'm at the gym.  Just wondering as a beginner what sort of speeds should I be looking at? Just a rough guide really, I can always take it up/bring it down depending on my endurance. I'm thinking for walking something along the lines of 5km/h. How about jogging and running?

    that is your first mistake.... image
  • For walking warm ups, I go from 5.5 - 6 kph. For intervals, I try to keep the average speed up by doing 6kph, unless I'm working particularly hard and need more of a rest!

    8kph is my "cruising" speed, but as I'm trying to get to 10-minute-miling, I'm currently doing 9.6kph, but with walk breaks.

  • Thanks for the help! Will give 8 a go next time and tweak from there, I tried jogging at 6.5-7kph but found that a bit sluggish.
  • i too have often wondered whether my speed is ok - i run 8mph at the moment i am still a beginners and technically still in training but for 4 weeks i have been stuck on last week of a 5km programme- cant get form 25 mins to 30. i See people at the gym running 9/10- i dont know how they do it. I stared running something like 6 something and have worked it up to 8 . i dont know if this is classed as jogging or running!
  • If it feels like running it's running. Don't let any naysayers yell you a speed that suits you is jogging, or that that's a bad thing image

    justaddh2ohere and mumof2wantstorunrunrun, why don't you try running outdoors when you get a bit of time and the weather's right? Without staring at the treadmill readout all the time you'll more easily find a pace that suits you and manage to keep going for longer without realising it. Good luck!

  • HI Mumof2... Are you sure you're in mph? 8mph is very fast for a beginner unless you've already got a high level of fitness. To get up to 30 mins try dropping your speed a bit (especially if it is mph!)
  • cb oh i dunno i guess i assumed 8mph...what else could it be- i thought i was slow as everyone runing like 11mph esp the men! I will check today ...if it is 8mph no wonder i cannot get form 25 mins to 30 and i get a stitch!!
  • This is probably a silly question, but if my average speed running trail is about 11.30/mi, what speed should I set the treadmill to??

  • If you are in a gym, ask a member of staff for advice or just use trial and error.  Start slow and then put speed up incrementally every couple of mins until you are at a speed that you think will be ok for the rest of the run.  If you did the distance too easily, just speed it up next time or go farther.

    I find running on a treadmill to be very different to running on the road or trails so don't stick slavishly to your road/trail pace.

  • Okay thanks Fergosi. I usually jog about 7.5ish because I am not worried about speed at the moment because I am totally new to running so I am concentrating on my distance.  I usually find this an okay speed, but I slowed down on trail on Sunday (11.30/mi) but I managed to run for longer so thought perhaps my speed was too quick..

    Thanks for your advice image)

  • 11m30s for a mile is the same pace as 7m15s for a km

  • Thanks very much that is great. image


  • Don't base your beginners running/jogging on treadmill speed first - base it on effort first which chooses your speed.  As you do more, your spped will increase for the same effort.  You should still be able to have a conversation while doing most of your running (so not gasping for breath) or have your HR at about 70% of max to maximise improving your aerobic fitness - experiment and find your own speed, rather than ask others as everyone is very different.

  • mumof2wantstorunrunrun wrote (see)
    cb oh i dunno i guess i assumed 8mph...what else could it be- i thought i was slow as everyone runing like 11mph esp the men! I will check today ...if it is 8mph no wonder i cannot get form 25 mins to 30 and i get a stitch!!

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is unlikely to be mph - 11 mph is 17.7 Kph - assuming people are running for say ~20 min or so as a run rather than just for 3 or 4 minutes, this would be a *very* fast pace and unsustainable for all but the most advanced runners/semi-pro sportspeople.  I'd certainly be off the back of my treadmill If I tried that speed for more than a couple of minutes it's around 5:45 min/mile!

  • Which is all very well, but given this thread is over 2 years old and Mumof2 hasn't posted for 16 months, she probably doesn't need our advice any more!

  • Hi everyone i Hope you guys and girls still read this thread...i have just bought a new treadmill and i am keen to get going on it and i wanted some advice and i came across this thread and forum.

    A bit about me, i used to have a treadmill back in 2008 and got myself jogging/running up to 3-4 miles on it but i have forgot what speeds i was doing it at?...however i sold the treadmill later on in 2008 as i had to work away from home for some time and never really took it up again...what i did do and enjoyed was weight lifting however that was all i did not any cardio which i know is bad!

    However in September of this year 2013 i had a heart attack and my heart was fairly damaged as a result and i left hospital with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% which is considered poor and i am only 46....i was told not to expect that much of a recovery as the heart muscle is in constant use and the heart does not repair like other muscles..

    However 2 months after my heart attack i had to returned to hospital to have a electrocardiogram as the cardiologist and of course i wanted to see what if any recovery had taken place....and to mine and the cardiologist amazement my heart had recovered to a left ventricular ejection fraction of 50% which is considered normal and he has told me to go out and start jogging before i lift weights again which is some thing i really i bought a treadmill today and i was stood on it after assembling thinking what to do now i started it and it came up with a 15 min program so i set a brisk walking pace for 2 mins then i started to up the speed and i found i was jogging nicely at 5.5km..however since reading the posts on here that sounds to slow?...but i did the 15 mins at 5.5km and added 4 mins due to warm up warm down time

    What i would like to ask is that does 15mins sound to long for some that is totally new to cardio work? ...or not long enough?....i did do the 15mins with ease and tomorrow i want to do fast shall i ramp the speed and duration of my jogging?...i was thinking of doing that for one week and next week going to maybe 30 mins?...also i would like to ramp up the speed that i am running at but i want to take things slowly to start with as i am getting my confidence back as regards my heart...could anyone recommend a beginners guide to treadmill running jogging or give me some guidelines to go by as to how long to run for?.. as a total beginner for what length of time and at what speed....and when to increase the speed and distance run and over what time scale....i do not believe you have to take my heart attack into account as it is pumping at normal volume now and i have been given the go ahead from my doctor and cardiologist to train now.... however i thought it was best to put everyone in the picture as i am somewhat nervous,which may of been reflected in my speed of 5.5km...but i do have short legs as i am only 5 foot 6 lol....also i do not and never have carried any heart attack was genetics...its in my family....anyhow any advice would be greatly received as i want to get as fit as i can and eventually move from doing purely cardio and back to my weight lifting and do both...i have to admit i felt really great after my run earlier and eagerly your reply's!  

  • I'm sure you will get lots of replies saying seek advice from your doctor : cardiologist and you should we might be talking you into a heart attack, so please take any of our advice with a pinch of saltimage

    but look up couch to 5k programmes and maybe customise them, frankly you sound a bit to keen and I'd take things slower, with smaller jumps.

    stick at 15 3 times a week, then maybe 20 then 25 etc... Just take it slow and steady less chance of getting a running injury and being back at square one. 

    ALos get a heart rate monitor and monitor your heart rate, a lot of runners are now going on heart rate not speed so to begin with if you run by heart rate try not to go over about 70% of your max heart rate and just keep building up how far you can run before you get tired and your heart rate rises to high. 

    Experiment but you really should get some professional advice on how much training you can do. 

  • Thank you so much for your reply bootrunk and that sounds like a good guideline to be following and i like the part about the heart-rate that makes perfect sense and your time scales are what i was thinking and hoped i would get some clarification about as regards that..

    Yes i may sound a bit to keen but i guess that's comes from being told that when i left hospital after the heart attack that i would not be able to do much again...ever!....and i became very down as i always thought i was fit-ish....i looked fit as i had weight trained for a few years now doing free weights at home though and not at the gym...

    When i drove to the hospital and walked into A&E the nurse who came and got me said ....and this is before she gave me the ECG ...i think you must be having a panic attack and not a heart attack as you look very fit have just drove here walked in the door you are not sweating and you don't look pale as most of the people that i have seen and treated look like when they come into my room for an emergency ECG and are having heart attack...

    However she soon ran to get help when she read the ECG print out and found i was have a very bad heart attack....i think we were both shocked her and myself...and the only reason i went to A&E was that i had been having over a 2 week period a burning feeling in my chest and throat and a numb left arm...only and purely in my tricep muscle in my left arm which had been coming and going for 2 weeks....i also at the end of the first week of this coming and going discomfort... went to my GP who gave me a EGC which appeared to be fine and told me i had acid reflux! ...also i did not think i was having a heart attack as when i was lifting my weights i had no pain at all which is strange...and i was lifting 95kg on a bench press with no pain at all or burning feeling at all!....also it was just an uncomfortable feeling that's all when it did come...the reason i went to A&E that day was that it had woke me up at 3am that morning and i could not get back to sleep again...other than that i felt totally i carried on the whole day with this burning feeling that was now constant thinking it was acid reflux...that evening i went for a walk with a girlfriend of mine and i suddenly thought this burning feeling has not gone all-day and i wont sleep tonight!...then i decided to say goodbye to her as i could not enjoy my evening as i felt quite frankly ruff that's i drove from her house to A&E at 9.30pm that find i had a totally collapsed front left artery in my heart and as a consequence i was having a heart attack which had been taking place since 3.30am that morning while i was thinking it was acid reflux...however there are now 3 stainless steal stents in that artery so i don't think that will be collapsing anytime soon....

    As for my enthusiasm to get fit....and run dam for the last 2 months all i wanted to do was run...but i was told i could not...and now i can... that comes from the above and leaving hospital directory after my heart attack feeling as if my life was effectively over!...

    But now i can run i have been given my life back and i want to run and live it again lol...however i do want to do things in a sensible way which is why i have come here and of course i will talk to my GP and get his advice fact i have already talked to him about this and he said join a gym and go out walking and jogging he gave no specific details on speed and duration which is why i am here so thank you very much for your reply and yes i will get a new heart rate monitor...i had one from back in 2008 but the battery is flat on the watch and i can not find the chest belt so i will go on ebay and buy one..can you recommend one?

  • Do you have a running watch that your chest strap when you get one can connect to, if so which make / model, or a smart phone?

    As you've paid for a treadmill most of your running will be inside, so if you have a decent smart phone it might be easiest to get a bluetooth HRM and sync to your phone, then can easily read the output and upload to the 'net from your phone.

    So which watch / smart phone (if you have one do you have) then i'll dig out a relevant link for you image

  • Hi bootrunk my heart rate monitor watch is called "target fitness" and i have an iPhone 4 not an iPhone 4s...just iPhone 4...i did search online last night for a replacement belt for my watch but i think they don't make that model anymore....however i was reading about the Timex watches and like the sound of the 

    • Target Heart Rate Zones including Time in Zone 
    • Calories Burned and Percentage of Max Heart Display
    • Recovery Heart Rate Timer and Automatic Activity Time

    however can an iphone app do all of this and what is it called and do i need a belt that goes with it?

  • There are lots of apps for the iphone which do similar, along with lots of watches.

    But the iphone might be the way to go as your only doing it indoor so no worries about phone getting soaked etc...  If so then you need a bluetooth HRM ...

    damn a lot only say 4S and upwards. this for example

    You could get an ant blob to stick on the bottom of your phone and then get any garmin compatible ant+ hrm.

    Will see if i can find 4 compatible ones... if that's possible.

  • Humm bluetooth 4 needed on the ones i find which seems to be 4S and upwards, or an iPad 3? onwards... Got an ipad you can sit by or on the treadmill to sync to?


    Failing that it's Xmas, perfect excuse to buy a new shiny 5S iphone to help your running and heart image

  • Thank for the reply bootrunk yes i am doing a search myself to see if i can find one that works for the iphone 4...i don't think ill be able to upgrade my iphone at the moment after buying the treadmill...also i am not back to work yet as i am awaiting the DVLA treadmill test i have to take as an HGV driver....and they are not fast when it comes to getting things done...

  • Boottrunk what do you think of this...and do this arm bands cone with the iphone or do i need to download one....and if so which one?

  • Bootrunk i have found one working with iphone 4 and just bought it...what do you think of this?

  • Can anyone give me some advice on which running app to use with this...i have found 2 apps which ill post the links of.....if anyone knows of a better app or which is the best out of these 2 please let me know thanks

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