How to Calculate My Running Pace

Whether you are an experienced runner trying to hit a prescribed effort for your daily run, a new runner trying to get an idea of your current fitness or you simply want to be able to quantify your daily runs — you need to know how to calculate your running pace.

You can figure out your running pace once you know your distance and time. (Image: Peathegee Inc/DigitalVision/GettyImages)

The formula for figuring out your running pace is easy, and you only need to know your time and your distance.

How Far Are You Going?

You need to know how far your running route is if you want to calculate your running pace. You can measure the route by using various online — or on your wearable — mapping tools where you input your starting address and your final destination. Or if your have a car you can drive the route and get an estimate of how far you will run.

If your fitness level is ready for the challenge, run a local certified race course. The distance will already be mapped out for you. The USA Track and Field site has a nifty little running route database if you want to try different routes or if you're traveling in the U.S. and need to know where to run and what type of course it is.

How Long Will It Take?

Time your run. If you want an accurate pace for your run, you need to time yourself. Fitness is more than lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road. Sometimes you have to use tools, says Mayo Clinic. You can use a standard wristwatch, the stopwatch function on your phone or wearable or set a timer and leave it at your starting and finishing spot.

Don't exaggerate your speed. It will only put the numbers you're trying to calculate off and set you up for frustration. Run at your normal speed and don't forget to turn the timer off when you do your cool down walk at the end of your run.

It's Time for Some Math

Calculate your pace. Take the distance you ran and divide it by your running time. For example, if you covered 5 miles in 40 minutes, divide 40 minutes by 5 miles and get your pace of eight minutes per mile.

A Few Things to Know

You can avoid having to calculate your pace by hand with the use of a GPS watch or speed and distance monitor. These will also provide you with your current pace throughout your run.

If you want to know if you speed up or slow down throughout your run, you can measure your run in segments and calculate your pace at those points. Use 10 minutes as your segment.

Online mapping tools provide the best way to measure your running route easily and accurately.

Things to Consider

Calculating your running pace based on your running time and distance provides you with your average pace for the entire run and does not tell you if you ran faster or slower at any portion in the run.

If you calculate by hand and get a pace with a decimal value, you need to convert that to seconds. For example, 8.5 minutes per mile is eight minutes and 30 seconds. To convert to seconds, multiply 8.5 by 60 to get 510 seconds.

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