How do speed settings on treadmills work?

I have a fitness test in a few weeks time, which involves using a treadmill. I hate the flipping things, but went to use one at local gym last night to get myself used to it.

 But, I have to admit, I am really confused about how the speed settings on it worked. It didn't seem to be in mph, kph or anything else that was remotely fathomable.

 Are they all the same these evil machines? Can anyone help me? (I need to run 1.5 miles/2.4 km in 13mins)


  • All the dreadmills I've used have shown speed in KM/H or M/H, with options to choose.
  • chains per month ?
  • Why not ask someone who works at the gym? Or simply run eyeballs out for 13 minutes on the treadmill, and then see how far you have travelled!! Surely it displays your distance travelled?
  • It should be either mph or kph, and you should be able to choose which.

    Ask a member of staff at the gym, perhaps?  They would be more likely to know about their treadmills than anyone!

  • I've never been able to select mph or kmh on any treadmill I've ever used.  The only place I've come across treadmills in mph is in the US.

    The treadmill will probably be in kmph.  To run 2.4km in 13 mins you need to run at a constant 11.1 kmph.  But I'd up that to around 11.5 make sure you don't ever run.   If it's in mph, you need to be doing 6.93pmh.  Again, up that a bit.

  • BDB - all the treadmills I've used allow you to change between mph and kph, although they are usually in kph as default.

    There is usually a i (information) button, and that takes you to a menu where you can change units.

  • @Wilkie - actually, IME there's usually a "MPH/KMH" button that swaps. YMMV!
  • None of the treadies I've used have had an obvious way of changing.  I'm so used to kms on treadies that miles on a treadmill really throw me, although my gps and log is set to miles.  I think the conversions are etched on the surface of my brain now - 1.6, 3.2, 4.8, 6.4, 8, 9.6, 11.2 12.8, 14.4, 16 image I don't worry about the extra few m per mile.
  • Well the reason for me asking is the ones I have been using at my local gym will not be the ones I will be using for the test. It was also busy at the time, so if I got off the treadmill to ask a member of staff, I would have lost my treadmill, so I kept on it.

     I figured that the distance was milage, otherwise I was doing KM very slowly. The speed however was a bit of a mystery, maybe it was in MPH, I was doing a setting of 7.5 towards the end, and that was quite fast - I defiantly wouldn't have made it up to 12!

    I am aiming to do my mile and a half in 12 minutes - give me a bit of lee way should anything go wrong!

  • Sounds like MPH then Vicky.  To do 1.5m in 12 mins, you need an average speed of 7.5mph or 12kmph.  Just know those 2 figures and you'll be fine.
  • My limited treadmill experience was that you could set it based on running pace in mins/mile or mins/km.
  • Hi sorry to but on this conversation, but If I do speed session the treadmill at my gym

    (km) I set it on 7.2 for 3mins then move it up to 11.5. How do I know what this is miles?



  • It's been nearly three years, I don't think anyone will be offended that you butted in!

  • Divide it by 1.6 ?

    So 7.2km = 4.5 mph

    11.5km = 7.2 mph

    (that seems a short warm up if you ask me ? I take at least 10 mins to get warmed up before ramping it up)
  • Some treadmills go from Speed Levels 1 to 10. I had the gym modifiy one specially for me with a Speed Level 11 added.  If there are any Spinal Tap fans out there, how fast is Level 11 in mph?

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