Run Faster with Understanding Your Pace

As a runner, I’m always looking at ways to improve my speed.

Speed comes in many different forms, the three main beings:

  • Intervals
  • Hills
  • Fartlek

In this new Run Faster series, I will give you tips and tricks to introduce speed into your running workouts without being too scary or overwhelming.


Why should I understand my running pace?

Understanding your pace will help you determine how fast you need to be to finish at a certain time.

To calculate your running pace, you simply divide the distance you ran with your running time.

For example Paige runs 5km in 28:18 = 5:39 pace.

Paige’s goal is to run a sub 25 minute 5km.  To do that, she needs to run a 5 minute (or better) pace.

Now that Paige knows her goal pace, she can work on this during training.

By understanding your pace you will not improve your running speed, but it will help you break through plateau’s and gain the elusive PB’s in the distances you so desire.

There are many running pace calculators online.

I’m not sponsored by McMillian Running, but their McRun app (Apple only) is worth every penny.  I use this app frequently to help me determine if I’m hitting my targets during training.

Using a pace calculator will also help you determine your pacing zones.

Pacing zones are the different speed levels that you cover during your training, from easy runs to tempo runs and so on.

Training at different speeds and tempo adds variety and keeps your training interesting.  It will also help you become a better runner.

Let’s go back to Paige’s current 5km time of 28:18 and determine the following:

  • Recovery Run – from 7:00/km
  • Long Run – from 6:30/km
  • Steady State – from 6:00/km
  • Tempo – from 5:45/km

If Paige wants to run a sub 25 minute 5k, those paces would change to this:

  • Recovery Run – from 6:20/km
  • Long Run – from 5:45/km
  • Steady State – from 5:25/km
  • Tempo – from 5:10/km

Knowing the change in pace, Paige can now build towards her goal and train better and smarter.


Next week we are going to cover intervals.