Running How and Why to Use a Running Pace Calculator Learn Your Pace, Distance, or Time By Wendy Bumgardner Wendy Bumgardner Facebook Twitter Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 11, 2022 Reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by nutrition and exercise professionals. Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by John Honerkamp Reviewed by John Honerkamp LinkedIn Twitter John Honerkamp is an RRCA and USATF-certified running coach, celebrity marathon pacer, and recognized leader in the New York City running community. Learn about our Review Board Print Verywell / Ryan Kelly Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Why Use a Pace Calculator? Pace Calculator Speed Calculator Distance Calculator Finish Time Calculator How to Improve Your Pace Frequently Asked Questions A running pace calculator is a tool that can provide helpful information to runners of any level. It can help determine your pace per mile for a given distance using known variables: distance or time. Use the pace calculator and learn more about running pace below. Why Use a Pace Calculator? A pace calculator can help you determine how long it will take to walk or run a certain distance. Tracking your pace and how it changes over time can help you gauge your performance and see if your fitness efforts are paying off. You may need to know your pace when registering for an event or race such as a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon. You can use our pace and distance calculator or do the math yourself. Running Pace Calculator Your pace is expressed in minutes per mile or minutes per kilometer. This is the time it would take you to walk or run 1 mile or 1 kilometer. Race organizers use your pace to assign you to a start corral with others racing at a similar pace. Note that many running races have a time limit equal to a 16-minute mile pace. To calculate your pace, you will need to know the distance you have walked or run, and the time it took you to do so. Pace = Time / Distance A pace may not be a round number of minutes, so you will need to convert fractions of a minute to seconds. Multiply the fraction of a minute by 60. For example, 0.5 minutes = 30 seconds. Running Speed Calculator Speed is the flip side of pace. It is the calculation of distance over time, expressed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour. To calculate your speed, you will need to know the distance you walked or ran and the time it took you to do so. Speed = Distance / Time Or, if you have your pace, you can convert it to speed. Simply divide 60 by your pace. Speed = 60 / Pace When you aren't using whole hours in the calculation, convert the number to minutes, then multiply the result by 60 minutes per hour to get miles per hour or kilometers per hour. Below are some sample speed calculations: Running 6 miles in 1 hour: 6 / 1 = 6 miles per hour (mph)Walking 6 miles in 2 hours: 6 / 2 = 3 mphRunning a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 1.5 hours (90 minutes): 13.1 / 90 = .1455 x 60 = 8.73 mph Run Pace for Common Distances This running pace chart for standard distances displays how long it would take to finish a given distance race depending on your pace, measured in pace (minutes per mile) and speed (miles per hour). For instance, running a 10-minute mile pace through an entire 5-kilometer race would take 31 minutes to complete. At the same pace, you could complete a marathon in 4 hours and 22 minutes (close to the global average time to complete a marathon). Pace(min./mile) Speed(MPH) 5KFinish 10KFinish Half-MarathonFinish MarathonFinish 6 10.0 0:19 0:37 1:19 2:37 7 8.6 0:22 0:43 1:32 3:03 8 7.5 0:25 0:50 1:45 3:30 9 6.7 0:28 0:56 1:58 3:56 10 6.0 0:31 1:02 2:11 4:22 11 5.5 0:34 1:08 2:24 4:48 12 5.0 0:37 1:14 2:37 5:14 13 4.6 0:40 1:21 2:50 5:41 14 4.3 0:43 1:27 3:03 6:07 15 4.0 0:47 1:33 3:17 6:33 16 3.8 0:50 1:39 3:30 6:59 17 3.5 0:53 1:45 3:43 7:25 18 3.3 0:56 1:52 3:56 7:52 19 3.2 0:59 1:58 4:09 8:28 20 3.0 1:02 2:04 4:22 8:44 25 2.4 1:18 2:35 5:28 10:55 Use Pace to Determine Exercise Intensity You can use speed or pace to gauge the intensity of your exercise. For example, walking intensity levels may look like this: Light intensity: Speed less than 3 mph; pace greater than 20 minutes per mileModerate intensity: Speed between 3 and 4 mph; pace between 16 and 20 minutes per mileMedium intensity: Speed 4 to 5 mph; pace between 12 and 15 minutes per mileVigorous intensity: Speed over 5 mph; pace over 12 minutes per mile The rated perceived exertion (RPE) scale is a more individualized measure of intensity. RPE uses a scale from 0 to 10, with lower numbers being less intense and higher numbers being very intense. For example, an RPE of 0 is akin to sitting in a chair, 1 is very light exercise, 2 is light, 3 is moderate, 4 is somewhat heavy, 5 is heavy, 7 is very heavy, and 10 is very, very heavy. A 10 is how you feel at the end of a stress test or very vigorous activity. When rating your exertion level, include feelings of shortness of breath and how tired you feel in your legs and overall. Most people aim to exercise at level 3 or 4. Use Pace With Apps and Fitness Wearables A pace calculator can be a good check on what your GPS app or GPS speedometer is showing as your speed or pace. These can be inaccurate, and you don't want to think you are faster than you are. A common factor contributing to inaccuracy is being in an area with buildings, trees, or hills that block the satellite signal used to measure your position. It's a good idea to check any device by measuring your walking or running speed over a known distance using a timer. We've tried, tested, and reviewed the best fitness trackers. If you're in the market for an activity tracker, explore which option may be best for you. Distance Calculator If you know your pace or speed and how much time you will be walking or running, you can calculate how far you should go. This can be useful if you have a set amount of time for a workout and want to see how far you could go. Sometimes you will need to convert distances, which is helpful to know that a kilometer is 0.62 miles and a mile is 1.61 kilometers. Distance = Time / PaceDistance = Speed x Time Finish Time Calculator Knowing how long it will take you to finish is essential before registering for a race. Walkers and slow runners must be sure to complete under the course time cutoff. You may also want to compare your finish time with lists of winners to see if you might qualify for a trophy for your age group. To calculate your finish time, you will need to know your pace in minutes per mile or minutes per kilometer (or your speed in miles per hour or kilometers per hour) and the distance of the course. Finish Time = Distance x PaceFinish Time = Distance / Speed Check your pace in more than one way, as a GPS-based speed may be inaccurate. Doing a timed mile or a timed kilometer can be a better way to find an accurate pace. Otherwise, your finish time will also be incorrect. Predict Finish Time for Longer Races While you may be able to time yourself over a mile or kilometer and use that to predict your time for a 5K or 10K race, you probably won't be able to maintain the same speed over a half marathon or marathon. Ways to predict your finish time vary. Some runners add 20 seconds per mile each time you double your distance. For example, if you've run a half marathon (13.1 miles), find your average minutes per mile, add 20 seconds, and multiply by 26.2 miles. Marathon coach Hal Higdon suggests multiplying your 10-kilometer finish time by 5 to find your marathon finish time. How to Improve Your Pace If you aren't happy with the results of the pace calculator, you can make improving your pace a goal. To increase your walking speed, take a look at your technique. Working on perfecting your form with posture adjustments and stepping techniques will help. Making adjustments may help you boost your pace. Tips for Improving Walking Pace Improve your posture: Proper walking posture will improve breathing, making it easier to walk faster and farther. Bend your arms: Adding proper arm motion during walks can significantly speed up your brisk walking pace. Use proper stepping technique: Step from heel to toe with a strong push-off, or race-walking technique using straighter legs can help increase your pace. Try a run/walk technique: If you cannot run the entire distance or want to increase your pace while covering more distance, try running interspersed with walking. Improve Your Running Pace If you are a runner, you can learn to run faster too. You'll want to work on specific techniques and training strategies, Tips to Improve Your Running Pace Work on your stride turnover: Increase how many steps per minute you take to improve your running pace. Use short, quick steps to increase your stride turnover and run more efficiently. Add interval training: Improve your cardiovascular health and capacity by including interval training in your routine. Plan weekly tempo runs: Running at a sustained, steady effort pace can help improve your running pace by helping you develop your anaerobic or lactate threshold (LT), a critical aspect of running faster. Start hill training: Hill repeats are excellent for building strength, speed, increasing mental strength, and confidence in tackling hills. Rest and recover: Rest and recovery can help improve subsequent performance since your body has had time to repair. A Word From Verywell You can increase your walking or running pace with proper technique and training. A pace calculator can provide you with reasonable estimates of your overall performance. Remember that these are just best guesses, and you may not perform at the same pace over all distances or at different training sessions or races. Other factors will influence your pace on a given day. Frequently Asked Questions What is a good running pace? A good running pace depends on the distance you are covering, among other factors. Longer distances require you to pace yourself more slowly to conserve energy over the long term. A review of over 10,000 5k runners found that the average person ran a mile in 11:47. Learn More: What Is a Good Time for Running a Mile? How can you increase your running pace? You can increase your running pace in a number of ways, including speed work, improving your breathing, and changing your heel-strike technique. You can also increase your training days, running more often. Remember to leave room for recovery as well. Learn More: How to Run Faster and Improve Race Times How is running pace different from running speed? Running pace is the average time in minutes it takes you to run a mile. Your minute per mile pace will change depending on how long or how far you run. Pacing yourself means controlling your minute per mile pace according to how long you will run as a way to conserve energy. Running speed is measured in miles per hour and is how fast you are running. They are much the same but use different units and are expressed differently. Learn More: Improving Pace and Speed How do you pace yourself when running? You can pace yourself when running by sticking to a pre-determined speed during your run or for certain parts of your run. For instance, you may wish to start out a bit slower and then pick up your speed as you go. You can use a variety of methods for determining your ideal pace during a certain distance. Learn More: How Can I Predict My Race Times? 7 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. International Institute for Race Medicine. The State of Running 2019. Cleveland Clinic. Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. Schubert AG, Kempf J, Heiderscheit BC. Influence of stride frequency and length on running mechanics: a systematic review. Sports Health. 2014;6(3):210-217. doi:10.1177/1941738113508544 Foster C, Farland CV, Guidotti F, et al. The effects of high intensity interval training vs steady state training on aerobic and anaerobic capacity. J Sports Sci Med. 2015;14(4):747-755. Folland JP, Allen SJ, Black MI, Handsaker JC, Forrester SE. Running technique is an important component of running economy and performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017;49(7):1412-1423. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001245 American Council on Exercise. 8 reasons to take a rest day. Pacecalculator.com. How does my 5k pace compare to others?. By Wendy Bumgardner Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events. 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