Elliptical trainers don't measure distance in miles; they measure distance as total revolutions. Revolutions refers to the number of turns the flywheel makes as you pedal. Your speed on an elliptical machine is measured in revolutions per minute. A revolution is equal to two strides. Some advanced elliptical models will convert the revolutions to miles and display it on the console. If your elliptical does not provide this information, you can calculate it yourself.
Consult your owner's manual to find out the stride length of your elliptical machine. The stride length is the farthest distance achievable between the two foot pedals.
Measure the stride length yourself. If you cannot find the information, use a tape measure to figure the stride length. Measure the distance, in inches, from the toe of the front pedal to the heel of the back pedal.
Divide 63,360 by the stride length. This will tell you how many strides are in one mile. There are 63,360 inches in 1 mile. If your stride length is 20 inches, you need to complete 3,168 strides to equal one mile.
Divide the number of strides by two to calculate how many revolutions equal one mile. Continuing the example above, dividing 3,168 by 2 equals 1584. One mile equals 1,584 revolutions or 3,168 strides.