How to estimate how fast someone is running

This calculator is based on an idea from Daniels' Running Formula. The suggestion is that changes in weight following a break from running will result in changes in VO2 Max (or VDOT), which will affect training paces and race performance.

How to Estimate How Fast Someone is Running

Introduction

Many runners are intrigued by the idea that they can achieve faster times by simply losing weight. Losing any non-functional weight can help improve your performance. And conversely, adding non-functional weight can see times slow as a result. By non-functional weight we mean any weight that is not necessary for health, wellbeing and the various components of fitness.

This calculator works on the simplistic idea that, all other things being equal, changes in weight will cause changes in your VO2 Max, and therefore performance.

Coach Jack Daniels suggests that such a calculation can be useful for those returning to running after a break who may have gained weight due to decreased activity.

He also provides calculations to help determine how much fitness may have been lost due to inactivity.

The logic

Wikipedia has a good description of VO2 Max. Simplifying, it is a number that indicates the maximum amount of oxygen your muscles can make use of during exercise. If you have a higher VO2 Max then you can make better use of oxygen, so your muscles will work more effectively, so you'll be able to run more quickly.

VO2 Max is usually expressed as the rate of millilitres of oxygen used per minute for each kilogram of body mass:

VO2 Max = oxygen used per minute / body mass

If “body mass” is lower in the above equation, then VO2 Max will be higher. This suggests that losing weight will result in a higher VO2 Max. This conclusion comes with the rather large requirement that other things remain equal.

Difficulties

In reality, other things are rarely equal. For example, losing weight will mean you have less to carry around and therefore less work to do, but some of the loss will probably be muscle mass, so you could end up less able to transport that reduced weight. And if you're already underweight, then further weight loss will actually weaken performance.

There are also examples of functional weight that aren't directly linked to our body composition. For example, over the short term, weight can fluctuate because of hydration levels and energy stores.

One difficulty in determining the precise impact of weight gain or weight loss on running paces is that useful changes in body composition take time. And during that time various other things that directly contribute to fitness will also change. Bear in mind that training volume, frequency and intensity will generally have a far greater influence on fitness than body mass.

For example, a runner who gains 6 pounds when injured and unable to train, and who then notices a reduction in performance when returning to train, would struggle to determine how much of that reduction was due to extra mass and how much was due to lost training time. Each will have had an impact, but the precise contribution of each is very difficult to work out.

Some suggest that it's possible to gauge the effects of extra mass by running with a weighted backpack or weighted vest, but this ignores the distribution of mass that occurs in real-life and, again, the ratio of functional to non-functional mass.

How to Estimate How Fast Someone is Running

Potential uses

With that all said, it may seem that the calculator below is not particularly helpful. However, it does have some uses. For example:

  • A runner who is slightly above their ideal race weight, and planning to lose that weight between now and a race, could use the calculator to help predict their probable race time. They can then adjust training paces, perhaps incrementally as weight is lost, in line with this.
  • A runner who has gained some weight without any reduction in training could use the calculator to indicate how they should adjust their training paces or how to approach a race.

Beyond a few kilos or pounds in either direction, the predictions will become less and less reliable. If you need to lose a lot of weight, then it's important to continually reassess your performance and training and racing paces.

How to use the calculator

To use the calculator simply enter your weight, choose or enter a race distance, pick a time or pace and hit “Calculate”. The results table shows the predicted effects of weight loss/gain on times for your chosen distance.

Please note that the calculator doesn't make allowances for age, height and sex, so it's entirely possible that it will falsely suggest that faster times are possible at unachievable and unhealthy weights. It also assumes that you are above optimal race weight.

A final note

If you do need to lose weight, then the best approach is a sensible diet that sees gradual changes.

This will minimise the loss of lean body tissue and ensure you're meeting your nutritional requirements so that energy levels and running performance are not negatively affected.

Another benefit of gradual weight loss is that it is far easier to assess and monitor the impact of such loss and determine exactly what your ideal running weight actually is.

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Running Pace Calculator » Get Your Running Speed & Race Pace

Table of Contents

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.

The running pace per kilometre in practice

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.

How to Estimate How Fast Someone is Running

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.

Comparison of running times

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.

Limitations of pace

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.

Learn Your Pace With Our Running Pace Calculator

How to Estimate How Fast Someone is Running

 Verywell

Using a pace calculator can help you determine how long it will take you to walk or run a certain distance. Comparing this number over time can help you track your performance and see if your fitness efforts are paying off.

You may also 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.

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 who will be racing at a similar pace. Note that many running races have a time limit equal to a 16-minutes-per-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.

A pace may not be a round number of minutes, in which case 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.

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.

Or, if you have your pace, you can convert it to speed. Simply divide 60 by your 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 mph
  • Running a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 1.5 hours (90 minutes): 13.1 / 90 = .1455 x 60 = 8.73 mph
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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

How to Measure Speed

  1. 1

    Obtain an anemometer. An anemometer is a device that measures wind speed.[7] It consists of 3 or 4 cups mounted on wires attached to a central rotating shaft. Wind catches the cups and makes them spin. The faster the wind blows, the faster the cups spin around their axis.

    • You can either buy an anemometer or make your own.
    • To make your own, get five three-ounce paper cups, two straws, a sharpened pencil with an eraser, a stapler, a small sharp pin, and a ruler.[8] Color the sides of one of the cups to make it distinct from the others.
    • Punch a hole in the side of four of the cups about 1 inch from the rim. In the fifth cup, punch four holes equally spaced around the cup about 1 inch from the rim. Also, punch one hole in the bottom of this cup.
    • Push one straw through the side of one of the cups leaving about 1 inch of straw inside the cup. Staple the straw to the side of the cup. Feed the rest of the straw through the fifth cup with 4 holes in one side and out the other. Place a second cup on the end of this straw and staple it in place. Make sure all of the cups face the same direction.
    • Repeat the above step with the other two cups, feeding the straw through the remaining two holes in the middle cup. Again, make sure all cups are facing the same direction.
    • Carefully, place a pin through the intersection point of the straws in the middle cup.
    • Feed the pencil through the bottom hole of the fifth cup and push the pin through the eraser. Make sure your anemometer can spin freely. If so, it is now ready to use. If not, adjust the pencil so the eraser is not directly up against the straws.
  2. 2

    Calculate the circumference of the anemometer. When one of the cups completes a full rotation, the distance it travels is the circumference of the circle. To calculate the circumference you need to measure the diameter of the circle.

    • Measure the distance from the center of the anemometer to the center of one of the cups. This is the radius of the anemometer. Doubling this distance is the diameter.
    • The circumference of a circle is equal to the diameter times the constant pi or 2 times the radius times pi.
    • For example, if the distance between the center of the cup and the center of the anemometer is 30 cm (1 foot), the distance the cup travels in a single rotation is 2 x 30 x 3.14 (rounding pi to 2 decimal places), or 188.4 cm (74.2 inches).
  3. 3

    Place the anemometer where the wind will catch its cups. You want enough wind to spin the anemometer, but not blow it over. You may need to anchor it to the ground or a post to keep it upright.

  4. 4

    Count the number of times the anemometer spins for a fixed length of time. Stand at a fixed point and count the number of times the colored cup rotates around the circle. Possible intervals are 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 seconds, or even a full minute. Set a timer to go off at your specific time interval to ensure accuracy in the count.

    • If you don’t have a timer, have a friend watch the clock, while you count the rotations.
    • If you purchased an anemometer, mark one of the cups in some way to allow you count properly.
  5. 5

    Multiply the number of rotations by the distance the anemometer travels in a single rotation. This will give you the total distance the anemometer traveled in the time you were watching it.

    • For example, your anemometer has a radius of 30 cm (.98 ft), therefore it travels 188.4 cm (6.18 ft) in a single rotation. If it rotated 50 times during your count, then the total distance is 50 x 188.4 = 9420 cm.
  6. 6

    Divide the total distance over the elapsed time. The equation for speed is total distance divided by the amount of time it takes to travel that distance. Taking the total distance the anemometer spun and dividing it by the amount of time you counted for will give you the current wind speed.

    • For example, if you counted the number of rotations in 10 seconds you would divide the distance traveled by 10 seconds. Speed = (9420 cm/10 sec) = 942 cm/sec (30.9 ft/sec).
    • Multiplying 942 cm/sec by 3600 gives 3,391,200 cm/hr, divided by 100,000 (the number of centimeters in a kilometer) or 33.9 km/hr.
    • Multiplying 30.9 feet per second by 3,600 gives 111,240 feet per hour, divided by 5,280 gives 21.1 miles per hour.
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Pace Calculator

The pace calculator is a tool which counts your pace and speed on the basis of the distance you've done and the time you've done it in. It is particularly useful for people who exercise regularly. You can use the running pace calculator not only when you jog but also when you cycle, skate or do any other sport which requires covering some specific distance.

All you need to do is type:

  • how many kilometers you moved
  • how many minutes it took

The calculator will automatically estimate your average speed (km/h) and pace in a variety of units. Thanks to it you don't have to convert the units in order to find out how much time you need to cover a kilometer, meter, mile or yard.

The calculator will also use this information to estimate what your race time and compare it to other runners. The race time is an adjusted estimation that takes into account that faster paces cannot be maintained for longer that slower paces. The comparisons can be done in terms of pace (in a table) or speed (as a chart) and you can even select your units (using Advanced mode).

If you only need to measure your velocity and you are not interested in your pace, you can use a more simplified calculator. The velocity calculator is a tool which needs only distance and time to estimate your speed in meters per second.

If you have your speed already calculated but you need it in another unit of measurement, you can use our speed conversion calculator. This tool enables you to convert between 5 different units of speed.

Running pace calculator

The running pace calculator helps you to calculate the time, distance or pace of your run. Calculating your pace is not only interesting, but also useful, as it helps you to run and train better.

Want to know what your pace was on your 10K, 50-minute run? Or calculate what your running pace has to be for a sub 2:00 half marathon? Find out with our running pace calculator.

  • Enter any two values to calculate the third:
  • You can calculate your running pace for kilometers or miles by choosing the unit in the ‘Unit of measurement’ menu.
  • To calculate your running pace, divide the distance you ran with your running time.
  • If you want to run a half marathon under two hours:
  • Enter 2 hours and 0 minutes to Time
  • Choose half marathon for Distance.

When you click Calculate pace, you’ll get an estimation of your Pace per kilometer/mile: to run a sub-2 half marathon, you’d need to run faster than 5:41 per kilometer or 9:09 per mile.

Enter any two values to calculate the third: time, distance or pace.

Example: calculate Your finish time

Calculate your running time. Multiply your running pace with the distance you ran.

Let’s say you know you can run comfortably at 7 minutes per kilometer and you want to know how long a 10K run would take at that pace:

  • Enter 7 minutes per kilometer to Pace
  • Enter 10 kilometers to Distance or choose 10K from the ‘Select an event’ drop-down menu.

When you click Calculate time, the calculator will show you your finish time. Ten kilometers at a 7 min/km pace would take you 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Real life vs. the running pace calculator

When using the running pace calculator, keep in mind that running isn’t mathematics.

Elite runners may be able to maintain their pace for several hours, but if you’re a less experienced runner, running at a pre-specified pace will get harder as you get tired.

Calculate Average Speed from Distance & Time Taken

Related Tools

User Guide

Calculate average speed of a moving object from the total distance travelled and the time taken from start to finish.

Once you have entered a distance and a time period the average speed will appear in the answer box and two conversion scale will also show a range of values for distance versus speed and time versus speed.

Formula

This tool calculates average speed using the following formula:

v = d / t

Symbols

  • v = Speed
  • d = Distance
  • t = Time

Distance Travelled

Enter the actual distance that is travelled by a moving object in any unit of distance measurement.

Time Taken

Enter the time taken to complete the distance travelled in any measurement unit of time.

Average Speed

This is the speed that a moving object would need to maintain without variation, in order to complete the distance travelled in the same period of time.

Applications

Examples of types of average speed calculations:

  • Convert a journey distance in kilometres and the time taken in hours, to an average speed in mph.
  • Determine the average speed of a runner in mph, from a track run distance in metres, and the stopwatch time in minutes or seconds.
  • Calculate a training speed to complete a cycling route within a target period of time.

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