Wondering how fast you can run on the average treadmill and how much you actually need when buying your own? Here’s what you need to know.
In general, treadmills for home use have a top speed of 10 to 12 MPH. This is fast enough for the majority of people that’s training for health and fat loss. Most commercial treadmills have a top speed of 12 to 14 MPH although there are treadmills with a top speed of up to 28 MPH
Below is a lot more information about the top speeds of treadmills and you can find a list of the best treadmills with a higher than average top speed.
How fast can treadmills go?
Let’s take a look at the specs of many popular home gym treadmills and their top speed.
|Brand||Model||Top speed (MPH)||Top Speed (KPH)|
|True Fitness||Performance 100||12||19.2|
|True Fitness||Performance 300||12||19.2|
|True Fitness||Performance 800||12||19.2|
|True Fitness||Excel 900||12||19.2|
There is a difference between treadmills that are built for home gyms and for commercial gyms. The commercial models tend to have higher top speeds. The list above consists of models for residential use.
You can see that there the majority of treadmills has a top speed of 10 or 12 mph. However, there are some exceptions that can go significantly faster with some models being able to go up to 16 mph.
Need for speed?
How much speed do you actually need? There is a reason most treadmills top out at 12 MPH and that’s because the average person really doesn’t need a higher top speed than that. If you can keep up running at that speed that translates into a 5 minute mile. Not 5:59 but 5:00. That’s pretty fast and requires quite a bit of training to reach that speed.
For interval training you might be able to sustain a speed of 12 mph for shorter periods of time but that’s still pretty fast. It will require some serious training for an extended period of time to be able to reach this level of speed.
Most people are training at constant speeds for longer periods of time because their goals don’t involve running as fast as possible. Most people have a treadmill to lose weight, improve their health or increase their endurance. For those purposes extended low to medium intensity cardio exercise is more suitable.
If you’re an (aspiring) athlete that cares about burst speed or just running as fast as possible, it’s a good idea to look for a treadmill that has a bit more to offer than 12 mph.
Does motor power impact treadmill top speed?
The motor in a treadmill is the part that moves the belt. If you want to spin the belt faster, you need more power. Treadmills with low powered motors will often have a top speed of about 10 mph. You’ll notice that treadmills on the higher end of the scale have more HP.
To spin the belt itself you don’t need all that much power. A moped with 4 HP can get up to 40 mph or so and a treadmill belt is a lot lighter than that. However, you want the treadmill to keep that speed stable with impacts and not overheat.
Running on a treadmill creates constant impacts that slow down the belt of the treadmill. If a motor is maxed out, you’ll notice a drop in speed on every footfall. What you want is for the treadmill to keep that speed to exactly what you set it at, even during the footfall. That costs a lot more power than just spinning the belt by itself. To accomplish that, a treadmill motor needs quite a bit of reserves to be able to add extra power at any moment.
Most treadmill motors would be able to spin the belt much faster than they are limited to. But they are limited to be able to provide a consistent speed and to protect the motor and other components. The motor is not the only moving part on a treadmill. Rollers, bearings and the belt will all wear faster with higher speeds.
Best treadmills with a top speed over 12 MPH
There are treadmills with a top speed over 12 mph. Here you can find some of the best. Be prepared for a hefty price tag though. The faster treadmills are often the highest end machines these companies have to offer.
Cybex R series
The Cybex R Series is a very complete treadmill with a solid 14 MPH top speed. You can choose between two consoles of which one is a relatively simple LED display while the other is a large touchscreen that can be used to watch TV, stream movies or follow along with on-demand workouts. To be able to utilize that 14 MPH top speed there is a separate control panel for interval training.
The Belt is 21” by 60” which is comfortable to run on for most people. This combined with a 400 lbs. load limit means that the vast majority of people can get a good workout on this treadmill.
The top speed is backed up by a strong 4 CHP motor that can deliver up to 8 HP for short peaks.
Life Fitness Elevation/Integrity
The Life Fitness Elevation and Integrity both have a 14 MPH top speed. They differ quite a bit in some other aspects but the top speed is the same on both.
Life fitness is one of the biggest brands in the fitness industry. They provide a lot of equipment to commercial gym but also have a home gym line. Their nametag comes with a matching price tag though.
Precor TRM800 series
The Precor TRM800 series steps it up another notch and offers a top speed of 16 mph. This is the top of the line model from Precor, a company which is known for building high quality fitness equipment.
Most of their range has the standard 12 MPH top speed so if you need more than that, this top model is the only choice. The price is also top of the line. You won’t have a lot of change left over from $10k.
Athletic Republic Super Runner
Is that not enough? Ok, here is the one that will be enough unless you’re a cheetah (in which case, good job learning to read). The Athletic Republic treadmill reaches a top speed of a whopping 28 miles per hour making it the fastest treadmill in the world.
For reference, Usain Bolt reached a top speed of 27.65 miles per hour on his world record 100 meter sprint. So if you can top out this treadmill, you’ve got a few records to break. Looking forward to it!
The downside is that these treadmills aren’t for sale everywhere so you’ll have to contact them directly
This is a very interesting treadmill. It doesn’t have a motor. That is not too uncommon but most treadmills without a motor are pretty low end pieces of equipment that isn’t all that good. The Assault runner is in a whole different league (and price range). It’s unique curved shape makes running on it feel more natural than other manual treadmills and because there is nothing that has to spin up the belt, you can push it as fast as you can.
It’s only one example of this type of curved treadmills. There are more brands and models available but most of them are even more expensive than the Assault version.