The distance is calculated by using a formula that incorporates RPM (speed) and stride length. A point of reference for Octane machines is that averaging between 50-60 RPMs will equate to roughly an 8-minute mile.
The Octane Fitness formula also accounts for a “glide factor.” During jogging or running, there is a moment when both feet are in the air and the person is traveling distance. This “glide factor” translates into further distance than what your leg’s stride would be. The “glide factor” is incorporated into the calculation as well. This is an industry standard with elliptical cross trainers; however, each manufacturer may incorporate the “glide factor” differently.