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How Fast Do Treadmills Go?

How Fast Do Treadmills Go

A treadmill represents a major investment in your fitness. Before you make that investment, though, you need to know whether it’s going to be fast enough for you.

The majority of home use treadmills max speeds are 10 km per hour, though some will have a top speed of up to 12 km per hour. In this article, I’ll break down the max speeds on different types of treadmills. I will also provide guidance on the optimal treadmill speed for beginners and by age. Then, I’ll show you how to read your treadmill speed and finally answer the most common questions about how fast treadmills go.

Table Of Contents

How Fast Can A Treadmill Go?

The actual top speed that you can achieve on a treadmill depends on a range of factors including your age, weight, gender and level of fitness.

Electric treadmills are sold with a stated top speed. These are determined by the horsepower of the treadmill motor. As a general guide, people who are only wanting to walk on a treadmill can get away with a 2.0 HP motor. However, if you are wanting to seriously run on your machine, you need a treadmill with a 3.0 HP motor or higher.

Treadmill Speed Chart

Treadmill Type
Top Speed
Motor HP
Electric: Budget Home Use (up to $1,000)
10 mph
2.0 – 2.5 HP
Electric: Premium Home Use (up to $3,000)
12 mph
2.5 – 3.0 HP
Electric: Commercial Use
16 mph
3.0 – 4.5 HP
Curved Treadmill
24 mph
Manual Treadmill
20 mph

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How Fast Can You Go On Different Types Of Treadmills?

Motorized Electric Treadmills

Motorized electric treadmills have pre-set maximum speeds that you cannot exceed. The maximum speed is determined by the horsepower of the machine. The higher the horsepower, the more expensive the machine will be.

Electric treadmills are categorized as being either home use or commercial. A home use treadmill is designed to be used by only a few people in a home gym setting. Prices range from several hundred up to around $3,000 dollars. The best cushioned treadmills are designed to be used by dozens of people every day in a commercial gym setting. They range in price from $3,000 to $10,000 or higher.

Home Treadmills

How Fast Can You Go On Home Treadmills

Home treadmills range in maximum speed from 8 miles per hour to 12 miles per hour, depending on the price of the machine. If you are after a budget priced machine costing less than a thousand dollars, it will usually have a top speed of 10 mph. 

Higher priced home treadmills will have an increased speed. Home treadmills priced between $1,000 and $2,500 will top out at 12 mph. If you are willing to spend as much as $3,000, you can find home treadmills that have a top speed up to 14 miles per hour.

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Commercial Treadmills

Commercial treadmills are much more sturdy than home models. They are designed for constant use in fitness clubs. Though most people tend to do steady state cardio on commercial treadmills, medium intensity training workouts at the gym, some want to sprint at max speed. Wondering if you need a treadmill mat? Click to get more information on the topic.

Commercial treadmills will have motors in the 3.0 to 4.5 HP range. This will allow for a max speed of between 14 and 16 miles per hour on commercial treadmills. Looking for the best treadmill mats for reducing noise? See more here.

Curved Treadmills

Curved treadmills are a relatively recent addition to the treadmill exercise market. Curved treadmills are manual, meaning that they do not have a motor. As a result, the speed you can run at is completely dependent on your own ability.

Curved treadmills are ergonomically and biomechanically designed to maximize your ability to generate speed. As the name implies, the running bed of the treadmill is curved. It has been designed to provide the ideal energy transfer between your foot and the surface of the running belt to optimize your running form and speed.

The max speed that has been recorded on a curved model is 24 mph. However, there is no limit as to the highest speed that you can achieve on one of these treadmills.

Manual Treadmills

Manual treadmills are also self-powered, as they do not have a motor. Unlike a curved treadmill, there is no design advantage that encourages a fast speed on a manual treadmill. 

If you have ever run on a manual treadmill, you will know that it is hard to create the initial speed as you have to overcome inertia. Because there is no motor on manual treadmills to drive the belt onwards, the running experience can also be quite stuttery. It is possible to go as fast as 16 miles per hour on manual treadmills but you will have to be very experienced and very fit to do so. 

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How Fast Should You Go On A Treadmill?

How Fast Should You Go On A Treadmill

The speed that you go on a treadmill will depend on your fitness goal, the type of training you are doing and your individual fitness level. 

Many trainers advocate longer slower intensity training for weight loss, especially if you are overweight. This puts less strain on the joints as you are exercising. However, there is a significant body of research that shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves high speed sprinting for short intervals, produces greater calorie burning to lose weight.

For steady state training, the average person will max their speed at 8 – 9 miles per hour. For HIIT workouts, the top sprinting speed for the average person should be 10 – 12 miles per hour.

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Optimal Treadmill Speeds For Beginners


Treadmill walking speeds start at zero, as even the slowest forward movement is counted as walking. The faster you walk, the closer you come to what is called speed or power walking. For most people, the top power walking speed is 4 miles per hour.

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Jogging provides the transition between walking and running. Your feet are lifting higher than a walk and you are beginning to pump your arms. You will, however, be able to maintain a normal conversation with someone jogging alongside you. For most people, jogging speed is between 4 and 6 miles per hour.


Running On A Treadmill

Running speeds differ from one person to another depending on their fitness levels, leg length and body shape. It is distinguished from jogging by a longer, smoother stride and more pumping of the arms. When running, you will not be able to hold a conversation with someone alongside you.

The average standard treadmill running speed is between 6 and 10 miles per hour.

Check out this tutorial on how to run on a treadmill.


Sprinting is the most intense form of treadmill training. It is when you are running with everything you’ve got. Imagine how fast you would be running if you were being chased by a large, hungry dog – that is sprinting.

By its very nature, sprinting cannot be maintained for very long. Most people’s sprinting peak speed range is between 10 and 16 miles per hour.

How To Read Your Speed On A Treadmill

The console of a treadmill can be quite confusing with all of its buttons and lights. To read your speed, locate the speed button. On most treadmills, you will have the option of getting your speed in either miles or kilometers. The treadmill will then give you a real time reading of your current speed.

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Average Treadmill Speed By Age

As we get older, our average walking, jogging and running speed slows down. Here are the average walking speeds by age.

Average Walking Speed
3.5 – 4.0 mph
3.25 – 3.75 mph
3.0 – 3.5 mph
2.75 – 3.0 mph
2.25 – 2.5 mph
1.75 – 2.0 mph
1.5 – 1.75 mph

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast you should go on a treadmill depends on your fitness goals and your physical condition. For stomach fat loss and overall fitness, keep your speed between 6 and 10 miles per hour. If you are doing HIIT workouts on a treadmill, you should maintain 10 – 12 miles per hour during the sprint part of the workout.

20 on a treadmill indicates that you are running at 20 kilometers per hour. This equates to 12.4 miles per hour, which is a reasonably fast sprinting speed. You would only run at that speed when doing sprint interval work on the treadmill and only for a short time.

The pace at which a person is running vs jogging depends on their age, fitness levels and leg length. For most people, however, jogging pace is between 4 and 6 miles per hour. Running is between six and ten miles per hour. Once the speed climbs over 10 miles per hour, most people will be sprinting.

30 minutes on a treadmill will be long enough if your goal is to perform a steady state workout for weight loss and general fitness. However, if you are performing interval training for advanced fat loss, your workouts can be shorter. For losing weight, 30 minutes is a good exercise amount.

It is harder to run outside than on a treadmill. That is because when you run outside, you have to use the backs of your legs to keep propelling your body forward. On the treadmill, however, the motorized running belt does that job for you. Outside, you also have to account for weather conditions.


Treadmills are mostly designed to provide a walking, jogging and running workout rather than a sprint one. So, how fast do treadmills go? Well, a good quality treadmill should allow you to sprint out to a top speed of about 12 miles per hour. That should be plenty for most people to get in an effective workout.