Image from Pexels

Treadmill workouts are one of the best cardio for your health goals. Owning the best treadmills, you can control your programs to fit your needs! It provides moderate and high-impact cardio to strengthen muscle groups and burn calories all over your body.

When thinking “how long should I run on the treadmill”, it all comes down to knowing your fitness level and goals first. It’s not one size fits all; we all aim for different things and have our own needs. Figuring this out is more situational.

Workouts become more specific as you jot down your goal and limits. But the priority is to keep a proper form through it all while challenging yourself. Luckily, we’ll guide you through the usual goals for how long you should run on a treadmill!

General Health

Image from Unsplash

Knowing where you are in your fitness journey is a huge factor. For beginners, the best thing is to start slow with 10 minutes of running at 3 miles per hour and increase your way from there. The University of Utah Health notes that you should build your jogging sessions over time. Start with a 20 to 30-minute workout alternating between walking and jogging, but never forget to warm up to raise your heart rate. 

Improving your fitness journey for general health also means improving your workouts. You can do so by increasing the intensity each week. Add 30 to 60 seconds in each jogging interval or cut 30 to 60 seconds of your walking intervals; why not both?

Your body’s stamina will grow, demanding you to challenge yourself to stay healthy. You can also use your incline by adding 1% to 2% during your intervals. Slightly increase the incline or time spent exercising with it. Challenging yourself can build your immune system, burn more calories, and strengthen your muscles. 

To keep fit

Image from Pexels

Treadmills are popular for helping you achieve overall fitness. If you’re looking to stay fit, going for a walk or light jog for a warm-up and cool-down is a must in your treadmill workout. It should be the start and end of every training. Then, you can go for a jog or brisk walk on the treadmill for 30 to 40 minutes 3 to 4 times a week to maintain your current weight.

For starters who’ve just begun their fitness journey, you can start by jogging slowly at a comfortable pace while alternating it with a walk interval for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a week to prevent burnout.

If you want to ramp up your exercise with a longer time and higher intensity, a steady-state run or an incline walk can help. You can jog or incline walk for 30 minutes for moderate-intensity workouts or do a low-intensity walk for 40 minutes.

Aim to achieve 150 minutes of moderate training or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity each week to keep fit.

Race training

Image from Pexels

If you’re preparing for an upcoming half marathon, start with a moderate-pace jog for 45 minutes and increase your workout’s time length over time as your stamina increases, says Regained Wellness. But according to Lifespan Fitness, you should make yourself used to running for at least the same distance as the race. 

Challenge yourself by treadmill running beyond the distance of your upcoming race. Increasing your treadmill run will make it easier on the race itself. If the race’s distance is 10km, aim to run for 12km once your body has built more endurance. 

On the other hand, running on a treadmill is a little easier than outdoor running due to its smoother surface. You can mimic this by adding an incline or increasing the running distance to build stamina, especially if your race is also uphill.

Over time, your running endurance will be higher. Make sure to rest in between, stay hydrated while exercising, and let your stamina build up to let your body recover! 

Weight Loss

Image from Pexels

Losing weight calls for high-intense exercise if you want to burn more calories. But if you opt for a moderate-intensity workout, do 30 minutes of treadmill running. If this may seem time-consuming, you can divide this into three 10-minute sessions or two 15-minute sessions per day. 

Once you’ve built your stamina, you can try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to burn calories faster. Interval training can burn more calories in a shorter period because of its intense workouts. An interval consists of a cycle of the two: 

  • Run at a high speed for 2 minutes 
  • Slow down to walk for 1 minute 
  • Repeat

 If this may feel too difficult, you can do a 30-second run and a 2-minute walk to avoid burnout. Once you have improved your stamina, you can slowly run for longer periods to burn more calories.

You can start with a 10-minute HIIT workout if you’re new. But once your body gets used to it and you feel more confident, increase the time to 15 to 20 minutes. Since HIIT will push you to work harder, it’s best to keep these workouts to a maximum of 20 minutes. 

The best way to improve your HIIT workouts is by increasing your running time. Repeat this 3 to 4 times weekly to get better weight loss and prevent your body from aching.

Strength training

Image from Pexels

Aside from its weight loss benefits, treadmills can also help increase your core strength. You can strengthen your muscle groups by adding resistance to your treadmill workouts with an incline. Running with it at a moderate to vigorous pace will build your muscles.

If it’s your first time using one, you can walk briskly for 4 km/h to 5 km/h and increase the resistance level to 5% to 7%. Aim to do this for at least 5 minutes and lower your incline to cool down. Gradually increase the incline level after each interval. This exercise can be 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your incline level.

You can turn brisk walking into running once you become more comfortable with an incline! Other experienced runners use it for the entire exercise.

How much distance should you cover?

Image from Pexels

If you are a starter or warming up, running on the treadmill for 10 minutes is fine. Once you get comfortable, you will need to increase your speed. For example, you should for at least 30 minutes at 3 mph if you are preparing for a 5k race. You should level up the intensity of your workouts if you aim to lose weight or train for a race.

FAQs

Here are other questions you may be pondering to improve your workout sessions!

How fast should you run on a treadmill?

If you are a starter or warming up, running on a treadmill for 10 minutes is fine. Once you get comfortable, you will need to increase your speed during treadmill workouts. For example, you should for at least 30 minutes at 3 mph if you are preparing for a 5k race. You should level up the intensity of your workouts if you aim to lose weight or train for a marathon.

Are 20 minutes on a treadmill enough?

Knowing if 20 minutes is enough on the treadmill depends on your fitness goals. Running for 20 minutes on HIIT training may feel intimidating but may not be enough for weight loss or endurance building for a marathon. Your running time on a treadmill will depend on your fitness level.

If you struggle to keep a good running form or feel burnt out by 20 minutes, you should start with a 15-minute walk or light jog.

Wrap up

In all treadmill workouts, you should feel challenged. Not only does it help with our physical health such as weight loss and strength, but it also has many benefits for our mental health!

Running on a treadmill can be meditative and put us in focus. In answering “how long should I run on the treadmill”, it depends on what you’re striving for! The overall key is to gradually build your workouts and know your current fitness level so you know where to start and how you should finish!

References

“How Long Should I Run on the Treadmill for?” Lifespan Fitness, 25 May 2022, https://www.lifespanfitness.com.au/blogs/fitness-blogs/how-long-should-i-run-for#:~:text=Going%20for%20a%20brisk%20walk,a%20few%20times%20a%20week.

Regained Wellness. “How Long Should I Run on the Treadmill?” Regained Wellness, 20 June 2022, https://www.regainedwellness.com/how-long-should-i-run-on-the-treadmill/.

“Treadmill Workouts: How to Get Started, How Long to Run.” University of Utah Health, 20 June 2015, https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2015/01/012015_cvarticle-treadmill-workout.php.