How Long Should I Run on a Treadmill?

Running on a treadmill is an excellent alternative to running outside. You have purchased a brand new treadmill for use in your home, making all necessary set up and planning to start running on a treadmill. But are you wondering how long you should run on a treadmill?

It was a question I had when I first started exercising using a treadmill. The bottom line is that it relies on your long-term objectives. You may desire to lose weight, improve your health and fitness, or prepare for a race or a fun run.

Read this article on “How Long Should You Run on a Treadmill” to know how long you should run on a treadmill.

There is no specific timeframe on how long should you run on a treadmill. The time you spend training depends heavily on the purpose of your fitness. Another factor to consider is your existing fitness level. 

Can your body handle the pressure of working out for extended periods of time?

Running for Health Benefits

Any physical exercise can have several health benefits. The actual benefits to running on a treadmill start immediately.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it will help to minimize the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. It makes bones and muscles stronger. It improves your mental health and mood.

A moderate or vigorous physical activity like running on a treadmill enhances overall health and increases the chances of living longer.  Your heart will beat faster at this level of exercise. A good indication of reaching this level is being able to speak but not being able to sing a song.

Before beginning an exercise program, consult your doctor if you are new to it. Moderate exercise is normally safe for most people if you don’t have a medical problem.

It is always better to start slowly, at around 3 mph (miles per hour) and gradually raise the speed to around 4 to 5 mph.

However, for the recognized health benefits the CDC recommends jogging for 75 minutes per week.

You can broken down the recommended activity time as per your convenience. You can also make your schedule like following –

The 75 minutes per week can be divided into 10 minute segments. So you could do 10 minutes every day with one being slightly longer at 15 minutes. However it’s good to have a rest day so 15 minutes a day 5 times a week works.

According to the CDC, you can obtain even more health benefits if you double your activity time to 150 minutes per week.

Running for Weight Loss

How long you spend on the treadmill depends on whether you’re doing high-intensity interval training or a steady-state workout. Both are effective for weight loss.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend focusing just on steady-state workouts at first. Once you get used to the treadmill and can speed up a bit, you can start challenging yourself with HIIT workouts. 

You can change your speed and inclination or follow a preset routine that most machines have for your workout comfortable. A calorie counter is another function on many treadmills which helps you track how many calories you use.

Steady-State Workout

Running is an outstanding weight loss workout. When a 155-pound person walks at 3.5 mph for 30 minutes, they burn 149 calories while the same person burn 335 calories for that same period of time but at a running pace of 5.2 mph.

When you are new to exercise, or overweight, the general recommendation is to increase the speed of your treadmill in increments of between 5 and 10 percent of your weekly mileage. For your easy understanding see the following example-

Thus, if you run 5 times each week at a pace of 4 mph for 30 minutes each time, the distance traveled is 10 miles. Then, you should increase the speed by 10 percent, i.e. 1 kilometer, in the upcoming week.

It is also a fantastic approach to get started with an interval system to walk and run on the treadmill.

Start with a warm and easy walk for a couple of minutes at 1 mph. When you are ready, increase your walking rate to about 3 mph and then alternate this with jogging or running at about 6.5 mph.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is any form of exercise that consists of a short burst of intense exercise alternated with a period of rest or low intensity exercise. Typically, an entire HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration.

One of excellent advantages of HIIT exercise is that it does not requires equipment or gym membership. So, people can do it anywhere including at home or at a park at any time that suits them.

In a shorter period of time, HIIT offers many of the same health benefits as other forms of exercise. 

There is a wide range of benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT). These benefits include lower body fat, heart rate and blood pressure. HIIT may also help to reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance.

The following video from YouTube explains how it works-

Training for a Race

You may have decided that once your fitness levels have improved, you would like to challenge yourself by participating in a charity run. Or you could also be an experienced runner with an upcoming half marathon or 5K marathon race. A treadmill can prepare you for the marathon 

We always recommend performing one run outside per week if the race is taking place outside. The amount of training you do depends on the distance of the race and how long it would take you to run that distance.

If you run a 5k race (3.1 miles) at a pace of 10 minutes per mile (6 mph), then it will take you around 31 minutes to complete the course. Then, on the treadmill, gradually increase your running time until it exceeds that. Try running for 40 minutes the week before the race, and you’ll find it easier because you’ve previously covered a longer distance.

In your training runs, you might wish to undertake some speed work. These are made for treadmill running and will help you run faster on your regular runs. If you know that the race will be in a hilly parts, add a degree of incline during running to replicate those hills.

Many machines will let you map a preset course to mimic the route you will take on your actual race or run. One such machine is the NordicTrack C990 Treadmill. It has an integrated iFit system which lets you run routes all around the world.

Running for Muscle Strength and Fitness

Running at a moderate to strong speed is required to increase your overall fitness level.

A moderate degree of exercise would be running at 4 mph for 150 minutes per week, while a severe level would be running at 6 mph or greater for 75 minutes per week.

Your level of intensity can be determined by using a heart rate monitor. Moderate intensity means working at 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate, and vigorous intensity means working at 70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximal heart rate. For instance, at 40 years old, your maximal heart rate is 180 beats per minute (bpm). Your heart rate should be kept between 80 and 112 beats per minute considering moderate activity at 50% to 70% intensity.

Running exercise involves a lot of muscles of your body. It can improve your core strength, as well as tone and strengthen the muscles in the legs, hips and shoulders.

Final Thoughts

We explored how running on a treadmill would help you, and how long you can run on a treadmill. Don’t be afraid to go for a longer run if you’re used to running on a treadmill. But, if you are a beginner runner or feel that you lack the stamina to run more than one or two miles, don’t force yourself too hard. When running on a treadmill, it really is a good idea to start slowly to avoid accidents and get the most from your workout.

In general, whatever decision we make in life, there will always be a sacrifice. Once you decide to keep track of your health and be physically fit, you should do it religiously. Commitment and dedication are the things that you should always keep in mind.

Related Articles: