Treadmill: how fast to run and walk?  Differences with outdoor running

Treadmill: how fast to run and walk? Differences with outdoor running

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How to properly use a treadmill? Their biggest advantage is indeed far too little used, or even understood, by users…

All gyms have them and they have become the darling of all fitness coaches: cardio machines, especially treadmills but also bicycles, are everywhere. Are they really recommended for you though… That’s another question. Here’s how to use them well, why to use them, and what differences they have with their classic outdoor practice.

Treadmill, bike or elliptical trainer: how to include them in your program?

It’s all about the goal. Understand that the cardio machines mentioned throughout this article do not have only one goal, but that all fit into a logic ofcardiovascular improvement. So it’s for cardio gain, fat loss and intense development (the HIIT) that we mainly use these accessories, in addition to the possible warm-up or a small finisher here and there.

Using these devices well therefore implies that your objectives are clear and that your program is centered around them. Do you want to gain muscle mass? Might as well forget them, sincethey don’t bring not much muscle hypertrophy. Conversely, would you like to lose weight and firm up? Treadmills, bikes and ellipticals are perfect!

As a general rule, the average time required on one of these cardio machines is 1h to 3h per week maximum. Beyond that, there are other means and exercises to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.


Treadmill or jogging outside? Bike indoors or in the forest? What are the real differences?

We talked about the differences in the preamble, and they are significant. Except that most athletes are unaware that in the end, everything is not based on “outside I take the sun, I oxygenate myself better and I breathe fresh air“. This is certainly an important point… but from a sporting point of view, another argument should be raised:

  • The big advantage of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals or rowing machines, for example, is that everything is measured.
  • In order to optimize the program, these devices are full of different sensors and measurements : sports time, distance covered, average effort, speed, heart rate, etc.
  • Outdoors, even athletes equipped with connected watches do not have all this data and therefore cannot optimize their outings as much as possible.
  • Indoors, it is therefore easier to do splits, fartlek or other disciplines.

Although this is mainly intended for high-level athletes who need a mathematical setting of their sessions, everyone can greatly benefit from these benefits too! And progressing 10% faster is worth it, if it only comes at the cost of arguments “but the pure oxygen of the forest…?“!

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How fast can you walk, or run, on a treadmill?

Now is the time to include these exercises in your sports or bodybuilding routine. Far from you a long class on cardio and them exercises to lose weighthere are the big points to remember and understand.


The important thing is to always have the intensity that your goal calls for. Losing weight, toning up or strengthening require different running rhythms. And these rhythms, whether brought by running or other movements, will affect heart rate (the speed at which your heart beats). Depending on this heart rate, your body will react differently. BPM (beats per minute) is therefore a very important metric that treadmills and cardio machines measure very precisely.


Weight loss is mainly done through long or intensive sessions. It is “enough” to have a high heart rate, without being at its maximum (between 105 and 130 bpm, depending on your level). The duration of the effort will force the body to adapt, while the intensity will draw on immediate resources… and not stored fat. That’s why you can’t run fast for more than a few minutes! Slow, long runs draw on fat, fast runs don’t. Alternate the 2 types, however, brought all the benefits.


The second objective of many athletes is that of a significant gain in endurance. Beyond improving one’s racing sessions for weight loss, and therefore initiating a virtuous cycle, the gain in real endurance brings many benefits such as better resistance to heat, healthier sweating, detoxification of the faster blood… In short, significant bonuses. They are up for grabs (slowly but surely) by doing longer races, with many changes of pace. In addition to taking longer strides, you also need to many daily jogging and vary your heart rate!


Treadmill: incline and stability, the best tools for cardio

In addition to the differences already noted above, treadmills and other cardio equipment also have very important bonuses for full cardiovascular developmentincluding elevation options.

Generally, we prefer to use these options for muscle gain since fatigue will be more rapid and lasting, forcing the body to adapt beyond the simple breath. To strengthen the quadriceps, therefore, add a few levels to its tread mill can be very useful!

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