2 Great 'Pace Calculators'

>> Thursday, December 01, 2011

So I'm gearing up for my indoor 5000 meters on Sunday. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for 25 laps on a 200 meter track. The first (and only) time I did an indoor 5000, the monotony of 25 laps actually did NOT get to me - I was surprised I didn't get bored / depressed / sad during the race. But I think I really "psyched myself up" for having to do 25 laps and then while I was doing it, it didn't seem so bad.

Here are 3 quick photos from last year's indoor 5000:

Starting just under the starter's armpit.
(You can see smoke from his gun!)

Going out WAY to hard: I ran my first 1600 in 5:20!

Swinging wide on the final lap, about to hit the line and my watch.
Totally Hashed.

Well, I'm NOT in PR shape, but I still want to be ready to push myself, so I went online to my "go to" pace calculator to figure out what my splits MIGHT be. HERE'S A LINK to a good pace calculator. It looks like this:

You enter 2 of the 3 variables, and it gives you the missing piece. For example, I entered 17:30 for the time, and 5 Kilometers for the distance, and clicked "Calculate Splits" so it would give me my mile pace. It came back with this:

So to do a 17:30 5K, I'd need to run 5:37.96 miles.

As another example, if you wanted to run a 10K at 6:00 / mile, you could enter those, and it would then tell you your total finishing time (37:16).

My one problem with this calculator is that I'm running on a track. I can easily take my 1600 meter splits, but that's a little short of a mile. That brings me to a second calculator called the "Race Planner." HERE'S A LINK TO THE RACE PLANNER. At the Race Planner, I enter my variables, and it gives me my desired splits:

Overall splits for a 17:30 5K.

But, here's where this calculator ROCKS. I can choose something other than "mile splits." I can type in "1600 meter splits" to get a more accurate race plan for my 5K on the track. That looks like this:

Notice there's not a big difference, but 4800 meters vs 3 miles is the difference of 6 seconds. If I were running for a PR, those 6 seconds would make or break my race!

At the Race Planner, I could even type in "800 meters" for my splits. That gives me a race plan of this:

And (this is getting a little excessive) if I WERE shooting for a PR, I could print out my 200 meter lap splits:

So here's my "Tip of the Week:" Use this Pace Calculator to help determine your desired pace for a race, and use this Race Planner to get your desired splits throughout your race.

And FYI: last time I ran my 5000 in 17:17.3. This time, if I'd LOVE to be able to do a 17:30 (as I've been using in my examples here). As seen here, that would be a 5:38 / mile pace, or a 5:36 / 1600 pace. I'm shooting to keep my 1600s in the 5:30s, so I'd run something between 17:15 (5:31 / 1600 - yeah right) and 17:45 (5:41 / 1600) for my 5000. We'll see what I can do! I'm just hoping to really make myself suffer, especially from about mile 1.5 - 2.5 where I tend to ease up too much.

Check back for a race report on Monday!!


Carolina John 7:36 AM, December 01, 2011  

As a numbers geek I can totally get behind this.

Kim 8:15 AM, December 01, 2011  

steve, although awesome calculator (i really only use the triathlon calculator) is one that my former coaches put together...


good luck!

Anonymous,  10:16 AM, December 01, 2011  

Good luck!!!

Steve Stenzel 11:38 AM, December 01, 2011  

Carolina John: I know, right? This is TOTALLY for "numbers geeks."

Kim: I used that triathlon calculator a while back, but I got strange results. Being I don't train a whole lot, it gave me quite slow times based on my training totals, even though I can race faster than that. I have to try that again though and see if it's better. Thanks!

Rachel Elizabeth 8:38 PM, December 01, 2011  

I'm a numbers runner too. In high school track I would memorize "running splits" (like your race plan times) for each 200m up to a 3200m. It was intense! I love running calculators and I appreciate that you posted some good ones!

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