How To Calculate Treadmill Miles To Actual Miles?

Treadmills are an excellent tool for both new and experienced runners. They can assist users in learning to choose their own pace and provide a simple approach for people to develop their strength and endurance gradually. 

They’re also quite effective at recording your fitness plan‘s tough training days; however, there is one issue: treadmill buttons are labeled with MPH, whereas workout sessions have speeds printed in minutes per mile. This is when you realize that you need to know how to calculate treadmill miles to actual miles! Scroll down to learn more!

How To Calculate Treadmill Miles To Actual Miles

How To Calculate Treadmill Miles To Actual Miles?

Take our easy-to-follow guide to get the measurement you want efficiently!

Step 1: Turn On The Treadmill’s Distance Counting Mode

Enable the distance tracking option on your treadmill to keep records of how much pavement you’ve covered. If you have a recent treadmill and have no clue about activating this function, review your owner’s handbook or ask the staff at your gym for assistance.

Step 2: Calculating 

Time your exercise and compare it to the speed you chose to determine how long you run. The pace settings on a treadmill generally come from six to twelve minutes per mile. Calculate the total length you went by increasing the number of minutes you run by the per-mile pace. Calculate 60 divided by 12 for a distance of 5 miles if you utilize the device in an hour at a rate of 12 mins per mile.

As previously said, what you have to do next is subtract 120 feet for each mile. Now, you have the right number of real miles that you ran.


Step 3: Put On An External Tracking Equipment

If your treadmill is outdated or doesn’t have reliable pace/distance data, use an additional monitoring device when running on this to record length automatically. Pedometers are little gadgets that connect to your ankle or waist, which can count how many steps you walk each day. 

By calculating your average step length by the number of strides you complete, you can calibrate any fitness trackers to compute distance. You might pick a walking speedometer that detects speed and distance immediately, utilizing a chip that fits into your trainers if you need a more precise result (of course, with some extra money to spend on!).

Why Is Running A Kilometre On The Treadmill Not Like That With Similar Distance On The Road?

Have you ever wondered what factors make the difference between two ways of exercising? If yes, read on and discover together!

Running on Side of Road


In fact, jogging on the street requires more work because the run is not as steady as on a treadmill. The treadmill does not abruptly alter incline, nor does it have a small hole in it at random locations.

Compared to running on the road, which is less reliable, the slope varies, and there are minor lumps and holes to avoid. As a result, your speed is continually changing. This requires more work, as you must decelerate and accelerate, which isn’t easy in a long distance.

Aerodynamic Drag

Aerodynamic drag is also a factor in the disparity between treadmill and open-road drag (Ad). The square of the pace through the air is equal to the ad. Since you’re not going through the air while on a treadmill, the ad is zero. 

The extra work necessary is entirely dependent on the speed you desire or are capable of maintaining. Because of the squared relationship, the quicker you run on the road, the more effort it will take to conquer the Ad (i. e., Ad = kv2, where v represents your speed through the wind and k is indeed an empirical constant based on several factors).

As a result, running faster on a treadmill is easier than going faster on the open road.  A significant difference is when you attempted a 100-meter sprint on a treadmill and came close to breaking the recordset.

Aerodynamic Drag


Furthermore, in comparison with a treadmill, which is meant to give whenever you stride, the road surface is quite hard. Hence, that’s why running on the road is more difficult. As most people will attest, pain is a major contributor to weariness.

In the actual world, running on the open road requires more work than running on a treadmill. It might be referred to as “negligible” in a physics lesson.

How Accurate Are Treadmills On Distance?

Most treadmills have automated distance monitoring functions that are accurate within 95 percent of the time. Still doubt? This section will clearly explain why!

How Is Distance Calculated?

On most treadmills, the count of rotations of the belt accomplished during an exercise is used to calculate distance. The treadmill monitors every time the band finalizes a full revolution since the belt is a set length. Moreover, the machine would always record one full rotation, no matter how quickly the belt spins. Despite the treadmill’s pace or slope, this computation procedure remains constant.

How Is Distance Calculated

Options For Measuring

Many treadmills may be set to work in either US units or metric. It can show distance in kilometers in the metric system or miles in the US system. Make sure your treadmill is configured to calculate the distance in the measurements you want.

Overall Precision

So, how effective are treadmills when it comes to measuring distance? It’s mostly quite precise, thanks to the computation approach. The number does not alter due to the customer’s weight, the volume of the training, or the treadmill’s incline.

Important Note

A significant issue to notice is that treadmills don’t always produce a precise distance measurement. A treadmill belt will show signs of decline over time. This can expand the belt somewhat, resulting in a somewhat erroneous distance readout from the treadmill

Moreover, the treadmill’s internal software or sensor might be less responsive as it gets older. Subsequently, it may be impossible to accurately determine the belt’s width and the number of spins. In some cases, the treadmill’s distance calculation may be off.

Important Note

Furthermore, as previously indicated, many treadmills analyze additional parameters such as speed, incline, and calories burned. These measures are more subjective that might not be as accurate as others. For example, the method for estimating calories burned frequently needs the user to provide their weight. 

Providing a wrong weight can significantly skew the computations, resulting in an inaccurate reading from the treadmill. Also, the calorie meter is designed to determine an average exerciser’s metabolism, not yours. The calorie info is an approximation and not as reliable as the distance data.


Hopefully, through our article, you now find a thorough answer to the question “how to calculate treadmill miles to actual miles?”. The formula is quite simple; just make sure that you take note of all the steps and remember the calculation precisely!

The bottom line is that when the treadmill is perfectly configured, a mile is still a mile, regardless of running on a belt or open roads, and unless you’re taking a hill exercise, you can keep the equipment grade at 0%.


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