Can I do a 7-Minute Mile on the Treadmill?
Yes! You absolutely can…if you can maintain the speed required to cover one mile within the seven-minute deadline.
However, if you are new to running, you may need to work up to this goal by conditioning your body to avoid injury.
What's the Speed Limit for a Goal like this?
In order to cross the finish line in 7 minutes, you must first determine your speed. Running on a treadmill helps you figure it out quickly. Most treadmills have indicators on the display that tell you how long it should take you to run one mile based on the speed you select.
For instance, mine likes to tell me that I won't hit the finish line for roughly 20 minutes if I stay at a walking speed of 3, but if I pick up the pace, I'll hit my one mile in 7 minutes at a speed of 8.5 mph.
If you don't use a treadmill, you have to rely on your phone to tell you how far your mile is or use a track and a timer. Running this way can lead to speed variations, but you'll have met your goal as long as you finish a mile in 7 minutes.
What do I need to Prep Myself for a 7-Minute Mile?
Even if you have already run, say, a 9-minute mile, you still need to prepare your body for the exertion you're about to put it through. Make a plan, get the right gear, and follow these tips before ramping the treadmill up to 8 mph or more.
- Warm-up. Loosen your muscles before running full tilt to avoid pulling or straining muscles. Walking at about 3 mph on the treadmill is a good warm-up speed.
- Be and stay hydrated. Too many people work out or run and don't drink enough water. This is how you get cramps, shin splints, or pass out during your run. No one wants to wake up with a treadmill burn on their face.
- Wear the right shoes. There are so many styles to choose from, so pick the one that works best for running on the treadmill. (flexible, breathable, comfortable)
- Find a motivator. Crank up the music or podcast that gets you energized and focused for the run. Or grab an accountability partner and set a challenge to keep it exciting and motivating.
Is this a Safe Goal for Beginners?
Can you jump off the couch, run at an average speed of 8.5 mph, and make a 7-minute mile? Sure! But you might very well cross the mile marker with an injury.
The average one-mile time for men is 9 minutes and just over 10 for women. Gender isn't the only factor to consider; age, fitness level, and body composition also come into play. But, as you can see, 7 minutes for a completed mile isn't even average, so it is a precarious feat for a beginner to try.
There are great ways to reach a 7-minute mile if you are just getting started and have never run before, but you have to do it safely. It may seem slow to some, but you can start wherever your current experience leads you.
You should first be able to walk a mile without stopping or feeling deep pain at the end. Once you can do that, you can add in short run times. This is called interval training. For instance, walk for 5 minutes, run for 1, and repeat.
Continue this training until you can run the entire mile at a slower pace and not stop until the one-mile mark. Keep maintaining this speed for a couple of weeks until your body becomes comfortable with the workout, and your muscles create that memory.
Then you can push yourself a little faster for a few minutes. Basically, you are doing the same interval training but with various run speeds instead of walking.
Benefits of Running your Mile in 7 minutes
Success! Once you've mastered the miraculous 7-minute mile, you can celebrate accomplishing your goal. Not only can you celebrate, but I bet you feel different than you did weeks ago before you started your journey to the 7-minute mile. That is because your body has changed and adapted to the healthy stressors you've been applying.
Check out all the incredible benefits you can brag about when you tell people about your accomplishment.
- Improved breathing and lung capacity for other activities
- Increased muscle mass - especially in the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves
- P.S. Muscle burns more fat!
- Running burns calories - burning calories help increase fat loss.
- Improved cardiovascular health, which reduces the risk of heart diseases
- Runner's High is a real thing, and it feels soo good!
- Helps your brain focus and retain information- aka the memory jogger
- It's a fantastic stress reliever- zone out and run your frustrations away.
- Mental Health improvements - feel the natural mood booster begin!
Running is one of the easiest forms of exercise to perform. We've all been running since we learned how to walk, and it only continues to benefit us from there. As children, it keeps us moving. As adults, we tend to lean more towards the mental stress relief running brings. As elders, we rely on running or walking to keep our hearts and minds fit for as long as possible.
Can you do a 7-minute mile on a treadmill? Absolutely, and you'll get nothing but encouragement from me! Oh, and of course, some sage advice about how to do it safely.
(See above if you skipped to the bottom of this article- shame on you! That's another lap on the track.)
This goal is one that requires patience and practice in order to accomplish it without injury. Don't run headlong at 8.5 mph without stopping if you're still new to running. Prep your body, read up on interval running on a treadmill and be patient but consistent.
Small successes are the cornerstone for long-term goals and accomplishments. You got this!
Hey, I'm Michael Jones and I support this blog with a group of authors consisting of Personal Trainers, Physiotherapist and sellers of fitness equipment.