The console of a treadmill displays immediate feedback about your current workout, including distance, time, grade, calories burned and speed. If the console displays that your current speed is 10, this could mean 10 mph or 10 kph, depending on your treadmill make and model and how you set up your machine.
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A treadmill calculates speed with either one of two measurements: miles per hour or kilometers per hour. The miles per hour measurement is predominantly used in the U.S. Most other countries, including Canada, use kilometers per hour as the speed measurement. Treadmills typically default to the standard measurement for the country in which it is sold. Some treadmills can display both measurements. Follow the directions in your user's manual to select the measurement you want to display.
The speed range of a treadmill varies by brand and model. Lower-end, less expensive treadmills can top out at 8 mph or 10 mph, which is 12.9 kph and 16.1 kph, respectively. Mid-range and higher-end treadmills typically have maximum speeds of 12 mph, or 19.3 kph. A handful of models max out at 15 mph or 24.1 kph. One mph equals 1.6 kph.
If your treadmill is set to English miles, a 10 on the speed screen represents 10 mph, which is 16.1 kph. If your treadmill is set to metric kilometers, a 10 in the speed screen represents 10 kph, which is 6.2 mph. Treadmills usually allow you to adjust the speed in 0.1 increments. If the treadmill displays three digits for the speed, it is displaying the speed down to 1/10 of a mph or a kph.
Speed is only one intensity setting on a treadmill. Most treadmills also offer an incline ramp that increases the difficulty of your workout. Depending on the model, treadmills typically have an incline range of 0 to 10, or 12 or 15 percent. The higher you incline the ramp, the more difficult it will be for you to run at any given speed. Check not only the speed setting, but also the incline setting, to gauge the intensity of your workout.