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How Long Should You Run On The Treadmill?

How long should you run on the treadmill? That’s probably one of the first questions that you’ve asked yourself when you started running on a treadmill. And chances are, you’ve gotten dozens of different answers. And how are you supposed to know which answer to consider?

Well, the thing is, all those dozens of answers were probably true – at least to some extent. But, if you want a real, concise, and straight-up answer, then you might be disappointed. Because the answer is: “It depends.”

In this article, I’ll tackle the vague “It depends.” answer and dive into the duration times and factors to consider for both beginners and professionals, so there’s no excuse for you not to hop on that treadmill staring at you from the corner of your room (or gym!).

So get your running shoes ready and lace up.

Let’s run!

How long should you run on the treadmill? To determine how long you should run on the treadmill, you should consider your fitness level, goals, and training plan. Beginners should start with shorter times of around 15-30 minutes, while professionals can try to run for 1-2 hours.

How Long Should You Run On The Treadmill

5 Factors To Consider When Deciding On Treadmill Running Time

I wasn’t just showing off when I stated I have all the answers you want on how long to run on a treadmill. The thing is, though, there is not one answer that’s right for everyone because we’re all starting from a different point.

Are you experienced or a beginner? Do you want to boost the results you already have or are you starting from scratch and have just learned how to adjust the settings on your treadmill?

I know it sounds like a lot and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. But I really don’t want you to give up because running is an incredibly healthy exercise, especially if you do it right and if you know what to do to get the most out of it.

That’s why I have prepared a list of factors to consider before deciding on how long your next (or your first) session should last.

athlete in blue running right on treadmill

1. Fitness Level

This is an absolute must! If you’re a beginner, do not overestimate your capabilities. Be honest with yourself about your fitness level and start with shorter periods. Of course, if you’re already experienced, you’ll be able to handle longer sessions.

2. Goals

How long to run on a treadmill to lose weight? What I mean by this is, what exactly do you want to get out of running? Are you trying to lose weightget healthier or are you training for a race perhaps? All of the things I just mentioned need different duration periods, so get clear about what it is you’re trying to achieve. 

3. Time Availability

This is a big one because we’re all leading busy lives these days and having enough time for a workout is a luxury. But don’t worry if you don’t have hours available to spend on running; even short workouts can be super beneficial.

4. Physical Limitations

I’ll mention this one just in case some of you get crazy brave and decide to disregard any health issues you may have. It’s absolutely vital to respect your health limitations and to adjust the longevity of your sessions accordingly. 

5. Intensity

If you’re doing HIIT or interval training, you’ll want to shorten your running time because these workouts are very intense. But if your workout is not that intense, you’ll be able to run longer.

athlete running on treadmill

How Long Should You Run On The Treadmill?

How long should you run on a treadmill? Now we’ll really get into what you’re here for – the time! I have the exact time you’ll want to invest in your workouts based on your fitness level and your goals, so let’s get right into it.

1. Beginner

If you’re a beginner and you’re asking yourself, how long should I be on the treadmill? The simple and short answer is – start nice and slow. It’s great to be ambitious, but don’t go crazy and exhaust yourself right away.

The goal duration is here to help you decide what your maximum should be and, once you’re able to run comfortably for 30 minutes non-stop, get on to the next level! If you feel like constant running is too much for you, that’s okay – you can try to walk a bit. How long should you walk on a treadmill?

That’s up to you, though. If you can, try running for 1 minute, and then walk for about 1-2 minutes. 


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2. Intermediate

If you’re not quite a beginner, but not quite advanced either, your fitness level is intermediate. And you’re looking at a goal from 45 minutes up to 1 hour. I’m sure you want to progress to the next level and to do that, I would advise you to try running as much as you can without taking any breaks. If you’re really anxious to progress ASAP, include some interval training in your workouts.

3. Advanced

I’m sure you want to improve your aerobic capacity; to do that, try to run for 1 hour, or even more (always respect your limits!). But if you go above 2 hours, then you’re probably at the pro level. You can also do tempo runs or hill repeats – they really boost your progress. 

4. Professional

If you’re a pro, decide on your duration time based on what you’re training for. Generally, 2-3 hours is a great goal to set; especially if you’re a marathon runner. But if you’re running half-marathons, you’ll want to combine your runs with interval training and tempo runs. But if that’s the case, then it’s certainly better to run outside, not on a treadmill.

If you’re a 10K or 5K runner, I advise you to focus on interval training, tempo runs, and speed workouts (these ideally last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes).

Tempo And Speed Running Program Based On Fitness Level

Fitness LevelInitial TargetGoal
Beginner10-15 mins30 mins
Intermediate (Moderate Fitness Level)20-30 mins45 mins-1 hr.
Advanced (High Fitness Level)30-45 mins1 hr. or more
Professional1.5 hrs.-2 hrs.2-3 hrs.

If you’re aware of your fitness levels and want to set specific goals, I have something for you as well. The great news is that, if you just want to maintain good health or lose weight, 1 hour of running is enough and you don’t need to go over it.

If you’re trying to train for a race or want to improve your endurance, you’ll have to set aside up to 2 hours of training.

Treadmill Programs For Various Goals

General Fitness and Weight Loss30-60 mins
Cardiovascular Health45-60 mins
Endurance Training45 mins – 2 hrs.
HIIT20-30 mins

Regardless of your fitness level or the goal you set for yourself, try to work out at least 3 times a week, but don’t go over 5 times. Rest is just as important for your results as the workout itself.

female athlete running on treadmill

6 Tips For Treadmill Runners

You’re caught up now and ready to start your workouts! But before you grab your sneakers and hop on the treadmill, I also have a few tips that I’m sure will come in handy.

1. Warm Up

You’ll need to prepare your muscles for running, and dynamic stretches are a super effective warm-up technique. Do some leg swings or arm circles. 

2. Proper Footwear

If you’re a beginner, it’s possible you don’t know the importance of appropriate footwear. Well, here it is… it’s REALLY important. You’ll need supportive, cushioned shoes that keep your feet stable; this will reduce the risk of any injuries. 

3. Posture And Form

Professionals always have great form and posture while they’re running, right? You don’t see them slouching or leaning. Keep your head up, relax your shoulders, and engage your core – that way, you’ll get the most out of your workout and also keep the risk of injury at a minimum. 

4. Use The Incline

The incline is one of the reasons I love treadmills so much; it adds so much variety to workouts. It also engages different muscle groups and makes your workout more challenging.

athlete in orange running left on treadmill

5. Mix Up Your Workouts

You never want your workouts to get boring so don’t be afraid to mix things up every once in a while. My favorites are tempo runs, but you could also do hill workouts or interval training.

6. Use Entertainment Or Music

You may think this is a silly thing and doesn’t make that much difference, but it really does! I prefer music to TV shows and podcasts, but you could do whatever you want to make your workouts more entertaining. Let’s be honest – who wants to run in dead silence, looking at the same spot the entire time?

Treadmill We Recommend: ProForm City L6

ProForm City L6

If you’re looking for a treadmill that will fit perfectly in your home gym, this is it. I’m not exaggerating – this treadmill is foldable, and you can just put it in whatever closet you have after you’re done running.

This one boasts a 1.6 CHP Mach Z motor that allows for speeds from 0-8 MPH with a very smooth and quite silent ride. The tread belt is 17.5 inches by 45 inches which is plenty without you feeling claustrophobic or having the notion that you’ll fall off.

The rollers move the belt 1.6 inches and are precision-balanced. You really do feel that since there’s no wobbling while you’re running.

The treadmill itself weighs 125 pounds (in the box) and can support a maximum weight of 250 pounds which is impressive for such a small footprint mill. Talking of footprints – we’re looking at 29’’ W x 70.25 L x 44.5 H. There’s no incline on this one, but that’s to be expected from such a small treadmill.

ProForm City L6 instagram
Photo by @bh_home_gym

Now, let’s talk about comfort. It has a special type of deck cushioning called ProShox, which means that the surface you’re running on is low impact. This is a great thing because your joints won’t get mad at you for running (and you won’t feel them being mad at you the next day if you know what I mean).

I have to be fair and mention that this is almost perfect, but not quite. The screen size is a tiny bit too small for my taste, and it would be great if it was bigger. But to compensate, you’ll get an amazing warranty package – 10 years for the frame, and 1 year for parts and labor.

So if anything breaks, ProForm’s got you covered. But apart from the minor inconvenience mentioned earlier, this treadmill is a 10/10!


Could be better:

  • The 5’’ screen is a bit small


How Long Should You Run On A Treadmill To Lose Belly Fat?

To burn belly fat, try running 3-5 days a week, for at least 30 minutes. This is generally the rule of thumb when it comes to how long to run on a treadmill to lose weight. Belly fat is stubborn, so you need to attack it on both fronts – workout and a healthy diet.

Is 20 Minutes On The Treadmill Enough?

If you want to improve cardiovascular health and torch some calories, 20 minutes is perfectly fine. If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to set aside a bit more time and also watch what you eat.

How Often Should You Run On A Treadmill?

Depends on you, really. I always recommend running at least 3 times a week, but no more than 5. If you’re a beginner, start with 3 days. This will let your body get used to running comfortably. As you get more experienced (and as you build endurance), bump your workouts to 5 days a week.


So, How often should you walk on a treadmill? Or run. We’ve covered everything treadmill-related. We’ve gone over different fitness levels, time to set aside for workouts, and I also included some nifty tips for you to keep in mind to make running an even better workout than it already is.

But the main thing that we’ve tackled, what this article is all about, is the suggested time you should spend running on a treadmill.

Now it’s your turn to speak! What do you think of running on treadmills and what results have you seen from it? Do you have a treadmill to recommend, or are you perhaps using the one I’ve suggested?

Why did you start running on a treadmill in the first place, instead of running outside? I would love to know all those things and more. Anything you’ve thought of while reading this article, you can ask/say in the comments below!

Also read:


  1. What to Know About Running to Lose Weight // WebMD:
  2. Even a little bit is good, but a little more is probably better // Harvard Health:
  3. Can short bouts of running lengthen lives? // Harvard Health:
  4. A beginner’s guide to interval training // RunnersWorld:
  5. Effects of Aerobic Training // ScienceDirect:

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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