pace for speedwork sessions

help needed to calculate pace

1 to 20 of 27 messages
18/08/2013 at 14:05

 I’ve downloaded a customised training program from this site for a 10k run but I’m struggling to work out what pace I need to run at for the 800m repeats in the speedwork sessions. This will be my first structured plan for running on a treadmill  The plan states “800m @ 5:20” Can anyone tell me what speed I need to run each 800m at (in either miles or km per hour) ?

18/08/2013 at 17:54

here is a good conversion site I use:

5:20  (per mile) would equate to 11.25mph / 18.1kph

18/08/2013 at 17:58
5.20 per mile seems very fast for a beginner.
18/08/2013 at 19:09

I'd struggle to hit 800m at that pace for sure!  I guess it could be metric?

7 miles an hour/11.25 kmph

Unless it means 800m in 5 minutes 20 seconds?

Edited: 18/08/2013 at 19:12
18/08/2013 at 21:11

Thanks for your comments all, it seemed a bit fast to me too. The key doesn't say it's in metric and all the other speeds are in mph but it could be 800m in 5mins 20 secs. I think I'll start at 11.25kmph and build on that.

18/08/2013 at 21:36
Do you have a 10k or 5k PB? We may be able to give you some guidance if we have an idea of your ability.
18/08/2013 at 21:52

If it is in metric perhaps it is 5:20 per km?

Edit: oops, Daeve's already said that. Seems the most likely to me though. What's your target for the 10k?

Edited: 18/08/2013 at 21:53
19/08/2013 at 18:31

I ran a steady 5k in 34 min 54 sec on the treadmill. I don't really have a target for 10k but I downloaded  an 8wk Runners World plan for 10k primarily to lose weight and improve my running endurance.

19/08/2013 at 18:47

Okay, I've had a look at the smartcoach (if that's where you got it from?) and it seems that the paces for the normal runs are in minutes per mile (so use the calculator stujones links to above). The paces for speedwork are ambiguous - it doesn't explain that they aren't in minutes per mile, but 5:20min/mi pace would be bonkers and way too fast. I tried asking for the same schedule with my race paces, and it seems to be the total amount of time you are supposed to take to run the 800m, not the pace you are supposed to do it at.

I make it 6:40 per km, which would be 9kmh. Does that sound sensible?

20/08/2013 at 11:01

I thought it seemed crazy fast too, hence why I underlined / bolded!

Either way that site is pretty good.

Another one that is touted around here is McMillan Running ( ) that will give you a host of training paces and best guess times for other distances.

20/08/2013 at 15:29

Thankyou so much for taking the trouble to work it out and yes, I did use smartcoach. No way I could get anywhere near those first speeds . I'd say 9 -10 kmh is much more sensible for me. I will also check out the macmillan site .

Thanks again guys for your help

20/08/2013 at 15:38

You're welcome, sh33pster - if you look at the training paces McMillan recommends the 800m rep time seems to more or less match what the smartcoach is suggesting too.

28/08/2013 at 17:48

@ sh33pster. I use the same tool and have the same confusion. All other sessions are in miles except the speedwork which seems to be in metric. I just assume that it is in per km's, the pace always feels about right for the targets I have put in


28/08/2013 at 18:48

 The times must be total times - On mcmillan the times for 400m, 500m, 600m....800m remain the same when you change between km and mile format (option at top if page).

28/08/2013 at 19:43

Yeah, it's definitely total time for the rep in the smartcoach. Otherwise it's telling me to run at 2:51/km, which is not a pace I can even do, let alone for 6x800m!

Disclaimer: 2:51 looks a bit bloody hardcore anyway. The McMillan calculator is offering me 2:54 to 3:01 for 800s. I think all the smartcoach paces are a bit on the quick side.

Edited: 28/08/2013 at 19:47
29/08/2013 at 09:29

@iteratin not so sure it is total time for the rep as (the one I have) is asking for 4X1600m @ 5:30. I think when it asks for a speedwork session it is saying how many meters to run for at mins / km.

Not 100% sure but using it this way certainly feels like a challenging but possible speedwork session.

29/08/2013 at 11:28

Hmm, that's odd, because 5:30/km would certainly feel very different to 5:30/1600m and wouldn't feel at all like speedwork if you could do the latter. Whereas I certainly can't run at 2:51/km, not even for 800m. I think the conclusion is that the smartcoach is a bit dodgy...

29/08/2013 at 12:55

Smartcoach uses time per interval, so run 800m in 5min 20sec. That is all I can add, other than it would be very unusual to prescribe speedwork intervals using pace in a training plan. Can't speak for the numbers that Smartcoach churns out - how they are calculated is ouside of my area of expertise

29/08/2013 at 13:56

Well, that's what I thought Also-ran, but Steve's programme seems strange because if he is finding 1600s at a pace of 5:30/km (8:48 per rep) to be a challenging workout, it's got no business telling him to run 1600 in 5:30 total. What numbers did you put in, Steve?

29/08/2013 at 14:35

Steve, the speedwork sessions are in metric as many runners do them on a track (not me as I am alergic to tracks).  Pace info is  substituted for time per rep. It is difficult to calculate pace on the fly on a track using gps- garmins etc are pretty useless as they plot a bowl of spagetti, so with experience you tend to focus on split times per lap etc. At least that is how I understood it

As Lit says lets see some numbers as 5:30 per 1600 (the way I saw Smartcoach) would be rather 'pacey'. I may have completetly misunderstood SmartCoach

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