Couch to 5K
52,785 members84,884 posts

Treadmill speed

Hi all

I'm after a bit of advice please. 

I'm about to start W7 and going to try the treadmill (all previous runs have been outside). The average pace on my last run was 7:40 min/per kh. Previous runs have been an average of 8 something. What speed do you you think I should start at on the treadmill? 

I can't work it out as outside, the faster you go, your kh/per min goes down, but on a treadmill the faster you go, you put the speed up. I don't want to cause myself an injury by going to fast on the treadmill. 


5 Replies

I'm curious why you are switching from outside to the treadmill. Do you live somewhere hot? You do tend to run faster outside but speed is really irrelevant at this stage. On the treadmill start by walking, then walking briskly, then running very slowly.  Increase your speed until you find a pace you are comfortable with and can maintain. If it's too fast then it's easy to adjust.


I think you are mixing-up pace and speed; pace is min/km (how many minutes you need to run one kilometre), while speed is km/h (how many kilometres you can cover in one hour). When you go faster, your pace "decrease" (you need less time to run the distance) and you speed increase (you run a longer distance in a set time) regardless to whether you are running on the road or on a treadmill.


speed = 60 / pace

in your case

speed = 60 / 8 = 7.5km/h


My average pace (running only, not the warm up/cool down walks) on a treadmill is between 7 and 7:15 min/km, so just a little faster than you. I start running at a speed of 5.5 km/hr and then fluctuate between 5.5 and 6.5 depending on my breathing/legs/tiredness.

But...this is after working out what works for ME on longer runs because I used to run faster than this when running with breaks. Start at a walking speed of 4-4.5km/hr, then when it's time to run increase it slowly until you find a pace that's comfortable. You'll have to figure out what works for you. There's no magic number and you may need to go slower/faster during the run too.

Hope this helps.

1 like

Hi there,

I do a lot of running on a treadmill, so I know what you're talking about. secan is right though, you seem to be confusing pace and speed  - but yes, the numbers go in the opposite direction to each other.

Treadmills display 'speed' (like you car or bike) i.e. in units of km/h or mph (miles). Very simple controls - increase 'speed' to go faster

They very rarely display 'pace', expressed as minutes per kilometer or mile.

So to your question: "What speed do you think I should start at on the treadmill? "

ANSWER:  8.0 km/h

You state your recent outdoor pace is 7:40 min/km. That is equal to a speed of about 8.0 km/h - so I would choose that or something around that :-)

Good luck!


1 like

Thanks for all of your replies, and clearing up the pace/speed issue- I was definitely confused! 

I enjoy running outdoors and will keep that as my main running method. Sometimes I run from my works to the gym, and then will do a Legs, bums and tums class, so just thought it might be more convenient on that day to do the run on the treadmill followed by the class in the studio. 

It's only the one day that I do two forms of exercise, the other days I alternate between the gym and a run, or a run in the morning followed by a.class in the evening 


You may also like...