Optimal Running and Walking Treadmill Speed for Beginners: How to Know Your Pace

Running on the treadmill is one of the important aspects of building fitness and keeping a healthy lifestyle. A few weeks on the treadmill can help burn several calories and help you build muscle.

However, only some know how to use a treadmill. The newbies on a treadmill always wonder about the right amount of running speed or walking speed to start with. Clocking the right speeds is vital because you want to move quickly, save a session, or set the speed too high and overwork yourself. A delicate balance must be maintained to make the most of your treadmill session.

This post will teach you how to know your pace as a beginner and the optimal speeds for walking and running on a treadmill. But the main questions are, how fast should I run on a treadmill? And how do I know my optimal walking and running speeds? Well, keep reading!
How Fast Should I Run On a Treadmill

When you start working out as a beginner, taking things slow and easing into exercise is essential. The same goes for using the treadmill for the first time. You don’t need to push yourself too hard; consider starting at a basic speed level. Afterwards, you can gradually increase your difficulty level as you go through the gears.

The "average treadmill speed" or "ideal speed" to set your treadmill differs for each fitness level and each individual. To understand your level, you need to record things like your breathing rate and heart rate while working on the treadmill. Ideally, your treadmill pace while working out should make your heart rate between 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate.

To get the full results of your treadmill exercise, your workout must at least pose a challenge. For example, when I work out, either by lifting weights or running on the treadmill, I need to feel a certain level of exertion to understand my progress. At the same time, I need to ensure that my exertion levels don't get me exhausted after 5 minutes.

Hence, your ideal pace should gradually accelerate your heart rate and breathing so much that you sweat. To get great results on your first workouts, be bold in adjusting your speeds to prevent quick burnout. If you prefer a longer workout, starting at a slower pace and taking many breaks is the best choice.

One thing we do guarantee is that; as your fitness levels rise, so will your treadmill pace and endurance.

Optimal Treadmill Speeds for Beginners

Optimal Treadmill Speeds for Beginners
The awesome thing about treadmills is their great flexibility. When we work out on them, it's easy to adjust the pace from a walk to jogging paces and then light runs or sprinting speeds. Several speed controls on most treadmill consoles make it effortless to adjust your speed between mid-runs.

Many people often wonder what the average treadmill speed for beginners is and my answer is simple - there’s none. The truth is, there is no one size fits all treadmill speed.

The answer varies and depends on the form of treadmill workout you choose. So, let's address the optimal running, jogging, and walking speeds for a treadmill beginner, shall we?

● Walking

When you get on the treadmill and turn it on, we advise starting as low as possible. For newbies, it is a good idea to start at a pace of less than 5 km/h. Often when I work out, I start slowly and wrap up my sessions slowly. Exercising on a treadmill isn't one of those workout types where you start slowly and end with a bang.

An ideal treadmill workout should start and end with a walk to give the body a transition period to warm up or cool down. As we said earlier, heading straight into a sprint before warming up can cause instant and excessive fatigue or injury. So it is best to maintain walking speeds of less than 5 km/h.

● Jogging

After getting a handle on your walking speed, graduating to a jogging pace is the next step. Optimal jogging speeds for beginners can range between 5.0 – 7.0km/h.

Jogging on the treadmill is a great step up from walking because it offers a medium-intensity cardio workout. This type of workout is essential in keeping your fitness and losing those extra calories. We recommend jogging on the treadmill for beginners using the recommended speed range to build endurance and flexibility slowly.

● Running

Running is the hardest exercise stage for beginners to achieve on the treadmill. Some people even find it easier to progress from running to sprinting than from jogging to running.

Jogging can be frustrating or difficult to get good at or accustomed to when you're a newbie, so we suggest patience and constant practice. Don't worry; the effort and perseverance will surely yield you rewards, and you'll get incredible weight loss benefits as a bonus.

Running too fast, too soon, will leave you with massive exhaustion and quick burnout. As we mentioned, good treadmill pacing involves training yourself to gradually improve your speed. The optimal running speed on the treadmill for beginners is between 8-12 km/h.

● Sprinting

Sprinting is the pinnacle of your treadmill exercise journey. Sprints are great for testing your limits and breaking a sweat. We recommend high-intensity, short-burst sprints that require explosive power and less endurance when you’ve passed through every other stage. When you finally get to this stage, keeping sprints to around 30 - 45 seconds is the goal. We understand that it'll be a reach to call yourself a beginner at this stage.

Typically, sprinting speeds are between 20 - 24 km/h. However, we do understand that not all treadmills can reach this speed. That's why an advanced treadmill will be required to increase your speeds to the sprinting levels. Running at a high pace on treadmills can be risky, which is why it's only reserved for experts. Regular treadmills are made for beginners and people who do okay with running.

Compared to the previous speeds, it is even more dangerous to go straight into sprinting without jogging or running warm-up. We understand sprinting is a heavy-impact exercise, so it is necessary to have a gradual pace increase to avoid fatigue, joint pains, or injury.

Benefits of Using Optimal Treadmill Speeds

Benefits of Using Optimal Treadmill Speeds
Using a treadmill is more complex than you might think. So, it would help if you used optimal exercise speeds to get the desired fitness results. If you go over the average speeds, we know that's overexertion, and if you go below, we know that won't get you to progress either. So finding the sweet speed spot is essential.

Now what wonders do using a treadmill correctly bring? Why is it important? Well, it has numerous fitness benefits that can be conveniently obtained in your home. So follow me as we look at some of them below.

● Good heart health

Treadmills are well known to be beneficial for heart health because of their applications in cardiovascular exercises. Running or even walking on the treadmill can increase your heart rate to a healthy level, enabling you to exercise even better. It also improves blood circulation and reduces your blood pressure to keep your risk of heart disease very low.

● Build muscle

Although not a weight-lifting exercise, using a treadmill can help burn calories and build muscle. This strengthens your lower body muscles, like your calves, glutes, and quads, improving your agility and endurance.

● Weight loss

Finally, we have weight loss. We all agree that running and walking are the most effective methods to rapidly and safely reduce body fat. This is undoubtedly the biggest appeal of using a treadmill because you get immediate results through constant calorie burn.


Running on the treadmill can be challenging for everyone; it will take dedication and practice to increase your running speed progressively. Knowing your pace and gradually building it up will naturally begin with conquering lesser speeds.
Remember, it is critical to recognize your boundaries and not push yourself too much. The first step is to get started, and then you can enjoy all the health and fitness benefits various treadmill exercise speeds offer.

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