Treadmill speed settings - km or mph? - Couch to 5K

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Treadmill speed settings - km or mph?

PerkP14 profile image

Hi all,

I know at the end of a run it tells you that you've run 'x' kms but when the speed setting is 7.0 is that in km too?

Probably a very stupid question but thanks.

4 Replies
MarkyD profile image
MarkyDGraduate

Hi PP, there are no 'stupid questions' on this forum. We all started somewhere, and everyone is really helpful on here. So feel free to ask any questions you want. In my opinion, some answers are stupid, but never the question.

Speed setting of '7.0'??

I think that it will depend on the model of treadmill. I remember setting a treadmill in a US gym for some speed - I think it was '8' - and wondering why I was getting exhausted. That treadmill had speed set in miles/hour; I was accustomed to a treadmill here in the gym in UK set to kph.

Probably the easiest way to find out is to use the treadmill to tell you how far you've run, and how long it took. Then we can work out what speed it was.

I suspect some treadmills will have a speed number that isn't really a speed at all, just some relative number between 1 and 20. You know, 20 is very fast and 1 is slow walking pace.

And just to pre-empt the tone of any other replies: It does not matter how fast you run compared to other people. Run at the pace that is right for you.

rmnsuk profile image
rmnsukGraduate

I walked fast at 4.2 mph and ran slowly at 5.5 mph pre-graduation, now post graduation at 6.0 mph, but everyone is different and my speed may be very different to yours.

If it's telling you you've done x kms it very likely that the other settings will be kilometers. Gadgets rarely if ever mix miles and kilometers (I think I'm gonna regret writing that:) ).

I see 7 mph is about 11 kmh.

Now if you did 5 km at 10 kmh, you'd be done in 30 minutes (because you're doing half of 10 km). That gives me some idea of what the numbers mean, then.

Most of us are not managing the combination of 5km AND 30 min at or near the end. We can maybe already run 5km, but then we do it in more than 30 min. So this would mean that 10kmh is a faster speed than most people are managing to sustain for a longer run at the end of the programme.

So how would that apply to you? I would guess the following would be a good test: Keep running for 30 minutes at 7¿ph, and see how you feel. If you die about a quarter of the way there, the speed is probably in mph. If you're just wheezing heavily, it's in km, and you're in the early part of the programme. If you make it, and you're anything short of a recent graduate, there's a very good chance that it's 7 kmh, but if you're somewhere beyond exhausted, maybe it's in mph.

In less silly terms, 7kmh is the speed where I would really struggle to walk on a treadmill, even for a few steps, and 10kmh is the speed at which I have to run my heart out. 11kmh would clobber me quite badly after a very short time. But you are you, so that's not really much help, is it?

Coddfish profile image
CoddfishGraduate

If it tells you you have run x kilometres, the speed will be km/hr. They are never mixed, in my experience. 7k / hr is quite a plausible speed for a new runner. Few of us graduate being able to run 5k in 30 mins (or averaging 10k/hr)

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