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How Fast Can You Run on A Treadmill?

One of the most popular exercise machines in the gym is the treadmill. Now that gyms have been forced to close down on occasion due to Coronavirus pandemic lockdown rules, home-based treadmills have become much more popular. If you don’t have a lot of experience using a treadmill you might wonder how effective they are as a workout machine. You may be asking, “How fast can you run on a treadmill?” To give you a better idea of the speeds that can be attained on a treadmill, we’ve put together this post.

Commercial Treadmills

Commercial treadmills are more expensive and built to be more durable than a home-based treadmill. They’re designed for near-constant use by people from a broad range of sizes and bodyweights. For most commercial treadmills, the highest speed available usually tops out at around 14 miles per hour (mph.) And while that might not sound very fast, especially if you compare that speed to driving a car, running at 14 mph will allow you to complete a mile run in four minutes and 17 seconds. When you consider that less than 1500 people have officially completed a mile in under four minutes, you can see that 14 mph is nothing to sniff at. It may be impossible for the average runner. To attain that speed even for a few seconds may be too much of a challenge for many runners.

Home Treadmills

The quality of home treadmills can vary greatly. Quite often you end up with what you’ve paid for. Cheaper models will generally be less durable, provide a less comfortable running experience, and have a lower top speed rating. However, there’s probably no need to fork out for a top-of-the-line commercial model either. The fact that it won’t get as much use as one found in a public gym, combined with the reduced number of users, means that a decent home treadmill should be sufficient for the average runner. The top speeds found on some of the better models range from 10 mph to 12 mph. And while not as fast as the top commercial models, running at 10 mph would give you a six-minute mile, while a speed of 12 mph would result in a five-minute mile. These are still more than respectable times for the average runner.

Curved/Manual Treadmills

Originally, manual treadmills were created to be the cheap, younger cousins of those that featured a powered running belt. The manual belt is put into motion by the act of walking or running rather than relying on an outside source of power. You can still get a cheap, manual treadmill for not much more than $100.

However, there’s been a recent innovation in manually powered treadmills and they’re generally more expensive than the average home treadmill. They’re often called curved treadmills due to the curved design of the running belt. Like the original manual treadmills, they’re still set into motion by the act of walking or running without an outside power source. However, they can reach much higher speeds than that even found on commercial treadmills. The top speed is generally limited only by the abilities of the runner.

The highest speed recorded on a curved treadmill is 24 mph. Of course, that didn’t last for a very long time. Running that fast for an extended length of time would result in a two and half-minute mile. The current world record for a mile run is three minutes and 43 seconds. That kind of speed hasn’t even been sustained for 100 metres. The world record for the 100 metre run, held by Usain Bolt, is 9.58 seconds. Running at 24 mph over 100 metres would result in a time of 9.25 seconds. Hence, if you can afford a curved treadmill you can rest assured you’ll never outrun it.

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