Whether you have recently purchased a treadmill or decided to befriend one at your local gym, you might find yourself asking, “How long should I run on a treadmill?” It’s a fantastic question to ask when incorporating this versatile and convenient piece of workout equipment into your healthy lifestyle. However, when it comes to optimal training duration, there isn’t actually a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, the best thing to do is examine your objectives and establish strategic workout goals from there.
Yes, it’s far easier to uncover an answer when asking how long should you run on a treadmill for weight loss, for your next half marathon, or for dramatically upping your fitness gains. Because ultimately, the why of your treadmill sessions will dictate your best approach to training. With that in mind, let’s take your potential goals step by step so that you can make steady progress toward them—even when you’re running on the spot!
How Long Should I Run on a Treadmill For Weight Loss?
A treadmill is a great piece of equipment to have at your disposal when aiming for weight loss. Depending on your current fitness levels, you can begin by walking or jogging on the treadmill and build up from there. A smart place to start for weight loss is with a 15-minute workout three to five times per week. Gradually, you can increase your speed, challenge yourself with incline, and add up to ten minutes per week to your workout duration.
If you find making the transition from walking to running tricky, try an interval training approach—running for a minute or two and then walking to get your breath before speeding up to a run again. Over time, you can make each stint at pace a little longer until you can jog continuously.
How Long Should I Run on the Treadmill For Fitness?
Rather than having a body recomposition goal per se, some of us simply want to maintain or increase our fitness, and a treadmill is an ideal ally for this endeavor. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide an idea of what to aim for. They recommend either 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intensive aerobic activity each week for enduring fitness. So, depending on the intensity and frequency of your average treadmill workouts, you can do the math to determine how long to pound that rotating track for.
What About HIIT On a Treadmill?
We can’t really attempt to answer the question of how long should you run on a treadmill without mentioning high-intensity interval training or HIIT. This distinctive approach to fitness can support both weight loss and fitness goals, and thanks to its structure, it can save you time by keeping your workouts short and sweet.
HIIT is defined as combining short bursts of very high-speed activity with intermittent rest periods that can be either active or static. On a treadmill, this translates as performing short and powerful high-speed sprints, either hopping off altogether or slowing the speed to briefly recover before going again. This style of interval training is ideal for burning a substantial number of calories in a shorter time frame, so it’s better to keep training sessions between 10 and 20 minutes in duration.
How Long Should You Run on a Treadmill For Strength?
While it is true that treadmill training tends to be classed as cardiovascular exercise, the right approach can facilitate excellent strength gains too. Running engages the whole body, working not only the leg muscles but also the glutes, core, and arms. To build strength, interval training using short 5-minute stints at a steep incline can help you develop power alongside stamina. Of course, gently jogging on the treadmill is also a savvy warm up exercise ahead of other forms of strength training—in which case, 5 or 10 minutes will do the job nicely.
Using a Treadmill to Train For a Race
While some people consider the kinds of distances covered in half-marathons and marathons a normal part of their regimen, for most of us, covering such mileage requires some preparation. If you’ve signed up for a charity race or city marathon, you might be concerned that the distance required feels out of reach, but a treadmill can help you attainably ace that race.
You’ll want to gradually build up towards your target distance, and ideally surpass it as running on a treadmill is somewhat less taxing than running on the road or trail. As you progress, you can introduce inclines to your sessions to make them more realistic, keeping your goal terrain in mind. Happily, most treadmills can tell you how far you’ve traveled as well as how long you’ve been running, making it easy to know that your aspirations are edging ever closer.
As you can see, in answering the question, “How long should I run on a treadmill?”, there are no hard and fast rules. What’s right for you will depend on your current fitness levels and long-term fitness dreams. The best tactic is to experiment with speed, incline, and styles of workout until you find the approach that serves you best.
Of course, a high-quality treadmill also helps, and in that area, Total Fitness Equipment has you covered. So why not explore our wide selection of treadmills, or reach out to our team to discuss your needs? This family-owned business is committed to becoming your “fitness partner,” so friendly advice is never far away!