Treadmill Pace Conversion Chart

Running hasn’t been going all that smoothly for me of late and, in all honesty, I think completing 7 ultras in a relatively short period of time (March to August) has taken a toll on both the body and the running mojo. In some respects, seeing the mileage slipping these past few months has been quite depressing and it feels like each and every run has involved a degree of toiling that just wasn’t evident earlier in the year.

I do an element of treadmill training and this has proven to be a bit of a lifeline, especially for shorter runs. However, even these have been beset with issues from general fatigue to overly tight calf muscles and even, on occasion, numbness in the feet!

The other week I just accepted that the run was going to involve a degree of pain and even went so far as to embrace and invite the pain, ramping the incline up to 10%. As mad as it sounds, I had the best run that I have had in a long time. By the end of it, I looked like I had been for a dip in the pool and, stopping to catch my breath, I could hear the drops of sweat as they landed around me on the floor (nice!).

Since that day, I can’t recall actually doing a ‘normal’ treadmill run. It has either been an interval session or a hills session, and my running has benefited as a result.

While out running this weekend I had a terrible start to the run, until a playlist selection left me feeling considerably more energised, and I actually found myself running an average of approx. 1 minute quicker than my normal mile pace.

I hadn’t done THAT many interval sessions. And then it dawned on me. I recalled seeing a treadmill pace conversion chart and, after a quick Google, it shed some light on my new found speed. Whilst my running speed on the treadmill was far from fast, the 10% equivalent pace by incline was actually a good bit faster than my normal mile pace.

So, looks like I will be continuing to up the incline for treadmill sessions. Given that there are no great hill training opportunities in close proximity, this might just have a doubly positive effect!

“Because of lack of wind resistance while running on a treadmill, the effort of running on a treadmill at 0% incline is less than that of running on a level road at the same pace. Below is a chart that you can use to get approximate equivalent efforts between running on a treadmill at different paces and inclines and running outdoors on a level surface.”

Treadmill MPH setting Pace per mile Equivalent paces by incline (%)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5.0 12:00 12:31 11:44 11:05 10:32 10:03 9:38 9:16 8:56 8:38 8:22 8:07
5.2 11:32 12:02 11:18 10:42 10:11 9:44 9:20 8:59 8:40 8:23 8:08 7:54
5.4 11:07 11:35 10:55 10:20 9:51 9:26 9:03 8:43 8:25 8:09 7:55 7:41
5.6 10:43 11:10 10:32 10:00 9:33 9:09 8:48 8:29 8:12 7:56 7:42 7:29
5.8 10:21 10:47 10:12 9:42 9:16 8:53 8:33 8:15 7:58 7:44 7:30 7:18
6.0 10:00 10:26 9:52 9:24 9:00 8:38 8:19 8:02 7:46 7:32 7:19 7:07
6.1 9:50 10:15 9:43 9:16 8:52 8:31 8:12 7:55 7:40 7:26 7:14 7:02
6.2 9:41 10:05 9:34 9:08 8:44 8:24 8:06 7:49 7:34 7:21 7:08 6:57
6.3 9:31 9:56 9:26 9:00 8:37 8:17 7:59 7:43 7:29 7:15 7:03 6:52
6.4 9:23 9:46 9:17 8:52 8:30 8:10 7:53 7:37 7:23 7:10 6:58 6:47
6.5 9:14 9:37 9:09 8:45 8:23 8:04 7:47 7:32 7:18 7:05 6:53 6:43
6.6 9:05 9:29 9:01 8:37 8:16 7:58 7:41 7:26 7:13 7:00 6:49 6:38
6.7 8:57 9:20 8:53 8:30 8:10 7:52 7:35 7:21 7:07 6:55 6:44 6:34
6.8 8:49 9:12 8:45 8:23 8:03 7:46 7:30 7:15 7:02 6:50 6:40 6:29
6.9 8:42 9:04 8:39 8:17 7:57 7:40 7:24 7:10 6:58 6:46 6:35 6:25
7.0 8:34 8:56 8:32 8:10 7:51 7:34 7:19 7:05 6:53 6:41 6:31 6:21
7.1 8:27 8:49 8:25 8:04 7:45 7:29 7:14 7:00 6:48 6:37 6:27 6:17
7.2 8:20 8:41 8:18 7:58 7:40 7:23 7:09 6:56 6:44 6:33 6:22 6:13
7.3 8:13 8:34 8:12 7:52 7:34 7:18 7:04 6:51 6:39 6:28 6:18 6:09
7.4 8:06 8:27 8:05 7:46 7:28 7:13 6:59 6:46 6:35 6:24 6:14 6:05
7.5 8:00 8:20 7:59 7:40 7:23 7:08 6:54 6:42 6:31 6:20 6:11 6:02
7.6 7:54 8:14 7:53 7:34 7:18 7:03 6:50 6:38 6:26 6:16 6:07 5:58
7.7 7:48 8:07 7:47 7:29 7:13 6:58 6:45 6:33 6:22 6:12 6:03 5:55
7.8 7:42 8:01 7:41 7:24 7:08 6:54 6:41 6:29 6:18 6:09 5:59 5:51
7.9 7:36 7:55 7:36 7:18 7:03 6:49 6:37 6:25 6:15 6:05 5:56 5:48
8.0 7:30 7:49 7:30 7:13 6:58 6:45 6:32 6:21 6:11 6:01 5:52 5:44
8.1 7:24 7:43 7:25 7:08 6:54 6:40 6:28 6:17 6:07 5:58 5:49 5:41
8.2 7:19 7:38 7:20 7:04 6:49 6:36 6:24 6:13 6:03 5:54 5:46 5:38
8.3 7:14 7:32 7:15 6:59 6:45 6:32 6:20 6:10 6:00 5:51 5:42 5:35
8.4 7:09 7:27 7:10 6:54 6:40 6:28 6:16 6:06 5:56 5:47 5:39 5:32
8.5 7:04 7:22 7:05 6:50 6:36 6:24 6:13 6:02 5:53 5:44 5:36 5:29
8.6 6:59 7:16 7:00 6:45 6:32 6:20 6:09 5:59 5:49 5:41 5:33 5:26
8.7 6:54 7:11 6:55 6:41 6:28 6:16 6:05 5:55 5:46 5:38 5:30 5:23
8.8 6:49 7:07 6:51 6:37 6:24 6:12 6:02 5:52 5:43 5:35 5:27 5:20
8.9 6:44 7:02 6:46 6:32 6:20 6:09 5:58 5:49 5:40 5:32 5:24 5:17
9.0 6:40 6:57 6:42 6:28 6:16 6:05 5:55 5:45 5:37 5:29 5:21 5:14
9.1 6:36 6:52 6:38 6:24 6:12 6:01 5:51 5:42 5:34 5:26 5:18 5:11
9.2 6:31 6:48 6:34 6:20 6:09 5:58 5:48 5:39 5:31 5:23 5:16 5:09
9.3 6:27 6:44 6:29 6:17 6:05 5:55 5:45 5:36 5:28 5:20 5:13 5:06
9.4 6:23 6:39 6:25 6:13 6:02 5:51 5:42 5:33 5:25 5:17 5:10 5:04
9.5 6:19 6:35 6:22 6:09 5:58 5:48 5:39 5:30 5:22 5:14 5:08 5:01
9.6 6:15 6:31 6:18 6:06 5:55 5:45 5:35 5:27 5:19 5:12 5:05 4:59
9.7 6:11 6:27 6:14 6:02 5:51 5:42 5:32 5:24 5:16 5:09 5:02 4:56
9.8 6:07 6:23 6:10 5:59 5:48 5:38 5:30 5:21 5:14 5:07 5:00 4:54
9.9 6:04 6:19 6:07 5:55 5:45 5:35 5:27 5:19 5:11 5:04 4:58 4:51
10.0 6:00 6:15 6:03 5:52 5:42 5:32 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:02 4:55 4:49
10.1 5:56 6:12 6:00 5:49 5:39 5:29 5:21 5:13 5:06 4:59 4:53 4:47
10.2 5:53 6:08 5:56 5:45 5:36 5:27 5:18 5:11 5:03 4:57 4:50 4:45
10.3 5:50 6:04 5:53 5:42 5:33 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:01 4:54 4:48 4:42
10.4 5:46 6:01 5:50 5:39 5:30 5:21 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:52 4:46 4:40
10.5 5:43 5:57 5:46 5:36 5:27 5:18 5:10 5:03 4:56 4:50 4:44 4:38
10.6 5:40 5:54 5:43 5:33 5:24 5:15 5:08 5:00 4:54 4:47 4:41 4:36
10.7 5:36 5:51 5:40 5:30 5:21 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:51 4:45 4:39 4:34
10.8 5:33 5:48 5:37 5:27 5:18 5:10 5:03 4:56 4:49 4:43 4:37 4:32
10.9 5:30 5:44 5:34 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:00 4:53 4:47 4:41 4:35 4:30
11.0 5:27 5:41 5:31 5:22 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:51 4:45 4:39 4:33 4:28
11.2 5:21 5:35 5:25 5:16 5:08 5:00 4:53 4:46 4:40 4:34 4:29 4:24
11.4 5:16 5:29 5:20 5:11 5:03 4:55 4:49 4:42 4:36 4:30 4:25 4:20
11.6 5:10 5:24 5:14 5:06 4:58 4:51 4:44 4:38 4:32 4:27 4:21 4:17
11.8 5:05 5:18 5:09 5:01 4:53 4:46 4:40 4:34 4:28 4:23 4:18 4:13
12.0 5:00 5:13 5:04 4:56 4:49 4:42 4:36 4:30 4:24 4:19 4:14 4:10