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How to Run a Mile on a Treadmill

author image Shannon Sukovaty
Based in Malibu, Calif., Shannon Sukovaty has been writing health-related articles since 1992. Her work has appeared in “Colorado Health” magazine, “Health and Fitness Journal” magazine and on various websites. Sukovaty is a certified personal trainer with undergraduate studies in exercise physiology and credentials from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and the American College of Sports Medicine.
How to Run a Mile on a Treadmill
Build up to a one mile treadmill run by using walking intervals.

Running is a cardiovascular fat-burning exercise that can burn up to 500 calories in one hour, notes Running on a treadmill is convenient and offers controlled variation–which outdoor running lacks. You should always start with a pace that is comfortable for you. If you've never run on a treadmill, begin with a walk and work up to a full one mile run. Walking mixed with running intervals is an effective way to build up to running a mile on the treadmill. Whatever your level, always begin your run with a five minute walking warm-up and end with a five minute walking cool-down.

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Step 1

Set treadmill to zero incline and begin with walk-running intervals. Start your pace at a comfortable stride for you–this is usually around a three speed for most. Once you're comfortable walking on the treadmill take the speed up one level at a time to increase your pace until you're running at a comfortable pace. Hold your running pace for one minute, usually around a five or six, and then bring it back down to your walking pace for four to five minutes. Keep this interval pace up until you reach the one mile mark on the treadmill face. As you get more comfortable with running, lower the amount of time you walk, until you are running for the entire mile.

Step 2

Pace your run so you can build up to one mile. To run one mile on the treadmill begin with a shorter distance at your desired pace and add more distance each week. One formula for distance training is to add 1/4 of a mile each week to your run. Begin with a basic 1/4 mile on week one, add a 1/4 mile so you're running a 1/2 mile on week two, add another 1/4 mile on week three for a total of a 3/4 mile. And week four add a 1/4 mile to complete your full mile run. Your pace should stay the same through the duration of your training.

Step 3

Train with hill intervals to build up to a flat mile. Using the hill feature on the treadmill–often referred to as incline–will increase the intensity of your workout and is an effective tool for building up to a one mile run at a walking pace. Walking hills increase your fitness level quicker than walking flat land because it requires a greater amount of exertion. Run for 15 minutes or more, alternate walking on the incline for five minutes with running on zero incline for one minute the first week. The second week decrease your incline walk time to three minutes and run on zero incline for two minutes. Week three decrease your walk on the incline to one minute and run on zero incline for four minutes. On week four keep your incline walk at one minute and increase your flat run to five minutes. The final week run the entire 15 minutes–or one mile.

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