Calculate Pace, Running Speed & Target Times
The running speed is as a rule stated in minutes per kilometre and is generally known as pace or pace per kilometre. It is the inverse of speed and is used preferentially because it is easier to compare with the kilometres per hour. In the following section, we will take a closer look at why this is an important measurement for running and where our calculator hits its limits.
In road running the appeal is not always just to run a precise distance, but also to do this in a prescribed time. It is obviously important to know before you start what speed you have to run at, in order to be to achieve your self-defined goal time.
The pace per kilometre has been also been used in a historical context, because if you are running on the track the route can be very accurately reproduced and you can make the necessary adjustments if you notice after a kilometre that your pace per kilometre is too low. In large street runs and marathons there are often route markings which give exact information about the distance you have already run, and how far you have still to go.
So you don't need necessarily a running watch to accurately measure your speed, you can actually just calculate it using a normal wristwatch. If for example you run the first kilometre in 6 minutes you have a pace per kilometre of 6 min/km, this corresponds to a speed of 10km/h. The first calculation is obviously much simpler and also quick to calculate without much effort.
The goal is always to keep the pace per kilometre constant, which is obviously not that easy in practice because of various different factors (route profile, fitness condition, toilet breaks). So the values calculated here are of course all only averages. There are numerous running tactics, for example you can run the first kilometres defensively, that is with a slower average time per kilometre and the second half with a higher speed – or the other way around. In training this number also plays an important role. This can be used to make guidelines for interval running or tempo runs.
Of course it is not easy to maintain one pace over the entire distance. As a rule, the longer the route is, the slower the pace. This becomes clear, when we take a look at the world records for different distances: The pace for the 1000m world record is 2:12 min/km, while the world record for marathon running is a pace of 2:55 min/km.
The pace is only really a relevant value on relatively flat street runs, since as soon as higher altitudes and inclines come into play, all these number clearly go out the window. This makes it much harder to control your tempo in trail running competitions, for example, since you will be much slower uphill that on flat sections or downhill. The route conditions obviously play a role here.
Other calculators, like the walking time calculator for hikers, factor in descent and ascent, but are obviously based on a considerably smaller basic speed.
Those people who are somewhat more ambitious about running will sooner or later be confronted with pace values. Theses days running is no longer just "lace up your running shoes and go". It has turned into something of a science – and our calculator can help with this, because you can calculate your precise speed!