What is the Top Speed of a Treadmill? +List of Popular Models


Are you wondering if you are faster than your treadmill? Or maybe you want to know if a treadmill is right for your training. I’ve done some research and here is the answer you’re looking for.

Most treadmills for home use have a top speed of 10 to 12 MPH. Commercial machines tend to reach higher top speeds of 12-14 MPH. The average human jogs at 4-6 MPH and runs a mile with an average speed of 7.5 MPH. So, a treadmill with 10 MPH speed is enough for most people .

What are the differences between models and how fast of a top speed do you need personally? Those are some of the things I’ll go into below.

Looking for a treadmill that is compact and has a good top speed? Click here to find my recommendation.


How fast can a treadmill go?

Ok, so it’s complicated. Is there any trend or pattern to be discovered in the top speed of treadmills and another of their characteristics? The top speed we’re talking about is how fast the belt can spin. If you were outside it would be how much pavement would pass under your feet in one hour.

First we need to distinguish between two different types of treadmills;

  • Motorized
  • Manual

The majority of treadmills is motorized and that is also the type the question is relevant for. More information about both types follows below.

Find the fastest treadmill for home use here.

Motorized treadmills

Motorized treadmills have a motor that moves the belt. Not all treadmills are the same and they have different top speeds. We can roughly separate them into two different categories;

  • Home treadmills
  • Commercial treadmills

The versions for home use are in general built lighter, simpler and cheaper. The commercial models are made for continuous use day in day out. They are heavier, built stronger and for more demanding athletes. Of course there are exceptions that don’t adhere to the description of those categories.

There are models for home use that are faster, better and have more features than the models you can find in the average gym. Those are also really expensive so you’re basically getting what you pay for.

For the purpose of this post I’ve looked at quite a few treadmills and what their top speed is. I’ve split them up in home use and commercial models. I’ve gone by how the model is advertised by the manufacturer.

Home treadmills

BrandModelTop speed (MPH)Incline rangeUser weight limit (lbs)Motor (HP)
NordicTrackT6.5S100-103002.6
XterraTRX2500100-103002.25
XterraTRX3500120-123503
XterraTRX4500120-153503.25
SereneLifeSLFTRD186N/A2651
ProForm505 CST100-103252.5
ProForm705CST120-123252.75
ProForm800i12-2 to 123152.75
NautilusT614120-123002.75
NautilusT616120-153003
NautilusT618120-153503.5
HorizonT101100-102502.5
HorizonT202120-122502.75
Horizon T303120-152503
TechnoGymMyrun12.40-12308.63
Average11.09302.58

As you can see, the vast majority of treadmills for home use, have a top speed of 10 – 12 MPH There are a few exceptions but that seems to be the standard. It seems that you need a motor that produces at least 2.75 HP to be able to reach the 12MPH. You can also see that the treadmill with the weak motor (1HP) has a much lower top speed. While that’s not definitive proof that the horsepower figure directly translates into top speed, it’s a good indication.

Commercial treadmills

BrandModelTop speed (MPH)Incline rangeUser weight limit (lbs)Motor (HP)
NordicTrackCommercial 175012-3 to +153003.75
NordicTrackCommercial 245012-3 to +153004
NordicTrackCommercial 295012-3 to +153004.25
NordicTrackX11i12-6 to +403003.75
NordicTrackX22i12-6 to +403004
NordicTrackX33i12-6 to +403004.25
LifeFitnessActivate120-153253
LifeFitnessIntegrity Simple140-154004
LifeFitnessElevation140-154004
CybexR Series140-154004
CybexV Series120-154003
TechnogymJog Forma11.20-153616
TechnogymEXC Run 70014.20-154006
TechnogymEXC Run 90015.60-184006
Body-SolidT10HRC Endurance100-153503
BodyCraftT1000-10TS130-155005
BodyCraftT800-9LCD120-154254
Average12.59362.4

From this list it becomes clear that the treadmills that are advertised for commercial use, have a higher top speed than the ones marketed for home use. The vast majority of the treadmills for commercial use has a top speed of 12-14 MPH.

You can also see that the engine outputs are significantly higher than the ones for the home use. This further supports the theory that engine power is related to the top speed of a treadmill.

Looking for a treadmill that has a top speed of 12 MPH a strong motor and good features for a great price? Click here to find which one I recommend.

Manual treadmills

Manual treadmills are a bit different. This type doesn’t have a motor that moves the belt. The belt moves because you move it with your legs. That means it’s really up to you and your abilities how fast the belt can go.

If you’re in better shape and/or have stronger legs, it’s possible to move the belt faster than if you’re out of shape and weak. On a manual treadmill it’s all about overcoming the resistance. The faster you try to move the belt, the higher the resistance gets. So the top speed of a manual treadmill is the speed where the resistance is the same as the power your legs can develop.

Is 30 minutes on a treadmill enough to see results?


How fast should a treadmill be?

How fast should a treadmill be able to go to get a good workout? That depends on a few different factors.

Not only the top speed is important for a good treadmill workout. Belt length and and features are important as well.

Training level

Obviously, if you’re well trained, you can run faster than if you’re just running for the first time in 10 years. How fast can people run? Let’s take a look;

Top speeds related to time/distance

  • A sub-10 second 100m sprinter has a top speed of about 27MPH.
  • The average high school football player has a 12-13 second 100 meter which gives a top speed of 19 MPH
  • According to the National Council on Strength and Fitness, the average human can run at the speed of 15 miles per hour for short periods of time.
  • A two hour marathon runner has an average speed of 13 MPH
  • A three hour marathon runner has an average speed of 8.67 MPH.
  • A Four hour marathon runner has an average speed of 6.5 MPH.
  • The average man jogs at 8.3 MPH
  • The average woman jogs at 6.5 MPH
  • A 5 minute mile runner has an average speed of 12 MPH
  • A 6 minute mile runner has an average speed of 10 MPH
  • An 8 minute mile runner has an average speed of 7.5 MPH

Most treadmills, even the commercial ones are not really suited towards highly trained sprinters. I’m sure there are specialized machines that can satisfy the needs of people like that but the average gym treadmill doesn’t have a top speed that high enough.

Worried about moving your treadmill around? Find out here how heavy an average treadmill is.

Treadmills are often used for steady state cardio however. If you’re running longer distances, your speed will be a lot lower than if you’re sprinting. Even a two hour marathon runner has an average speed of ‘only’ 13MPH although their top speed is probably a bit higher. A two hour marathon is exceedingly rare since there’s only one person in the world who has done this. Four hours is a much more common time even for trained people who can finish a marathon.

Even on shorter distances, the speeds you’ll run at don’t come anywhere close the highly trained sprinters. A five minute mile is much faster than the vast majority of people on this earth can run. The average person can run a mile in roughly 9 to 13 minutes (average from wide range of people). A five minute mile gives you an average speed of 12MPH which is within reach of many treadmills for home use.

The majority of people (except fast sprinters) will be satisfied with a treadmill that has a top speed of 12MPH. If you’re a good but not top level sprinter and you want to be able to do that on your treadmill, it can be worth it to look for a treadmill that has a top speed of 14 MPH.

Looking for a treadmill that has a top speed of 12 MPH a strong motor and good features for a great price? Click here to find which one I recommend.


Related questions

How many MPH is a 6 minute mile? The average speed for a six minute mile is 10 MPH. The top speed of that runner during that mile is probably higher since you have to accelerate and have to compensate for that lost time later on. The average speed for a 7 minute mile is 8.57 MPH.

How fast should I run a mile at 30 years old? A moderately fit man that’s 30 years old can run a mile in around 9 minutes while a similar moderately fit woman can run a mile in about 10:30. This means an average speed for 6.67 MPH for men and 5.71 MPH for women.

How fast should I run a mile at 40 years old? A moderately fit man that’s 40 years old can run a mile in around 9:45 minutes while a similar moderately fit woman can run a mile in about 12:00. This means an average speed for 6.15 MPH for men and 5 MPH for women.

Favorite Cardio Machine Accessories

Check out these accessories that improve a home cardio workout:

  • Equipment mat: All cardio equipment should be put on an equipment mat. The Rubber-Cal mat (Amazon) is an affordable yet very high quality choice.
  • Tablet holder: Cardio can be boring. With this tablet holder (Amazon) you can follow along with on-demand workouts or just watch a movie on any cardio machine.
  • Heart rate monitor: Monitoring your heart rate is very important while doing cardio. The Polar H10 (Amazon) connects to almost anything you can imagine and is very accurate.

To find which cardio machines I recommend for home gyms, click here.

Matt

Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. I've been going to the gym for about 15 years and am now looking to build my own. In the process I've learned many things I'd like to share with you.

Recent Posts

Home Gym Resource