Monday, October 18, 2010

What pace should you run?

If you have a goal time in mind for your next race, you need a game plan going into it. Figuring out what pace to run for a given race distance can be tricky, but there are several ways to do it.

Generally speaking, the most accurate way to figure out a realistic pace for an upcoming race is to base it off of your most recent race time. If you've done a 5k and are getting ready for a 10k, work off the 5k time. If you're running a marathon, using your most recent 1/2 marathon time will be your best baseline for determining a realistic time. If you have a big gap in between an upcoming race and the last time you raced--six months or a year or so, for instance--then doing a time trial of two to three miles on a local track is going to be your better gauge.

Once you have a time to work from, there are a few different calculators you can plug the data into and come up with a number in the right ballpark. A few to try:
They will all probably give you different information because they use different formulas, but you can at least get a good feel for how hard you should/can go at your next race. Use the information to incorporate some training at that pace. For instance, if you have a 1/2 marathon coming up, spend some time once a week or every other week running some miles at that race pace goal. The more your body can get used to this pace, the easier it will be to tap into it during a race. 

Now go get that goal time!


  1. I am on the hunt for a sub 2 hours half! thanks!

  2. Thanks for this information, very helpful since I'm always at war with my pace it seems.