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OK, I'm probably being thick but why do we have both kilometres and miles on the go together?

As a relatively new runner I keep getting mightily confused - one minute I'm running a 10k, the next I'm running a 10 miler. Why isn't the 10 miler a 16K? I thought we'd gone metric. The marathon too is still spoken of as a 26.2 mile race.

When I run on the treadmill I run in KPH but whenever people talk about their race pace they quote minutes per mile. Why don't we just stick to one or the other.

Don't get me wrong, I'm am old fashioned gal and much prefer my miles to these new-fangled kilometres. I do, however, find it very confusing to have to work in both. I expect it's the same thing as the lbs/kilos problem with the supermarkets etc.
Posted: 30/08/2002 at 17:13


In the case of the 10m & 10k I think it's because the races wee originally started for those 'memorable' distances. The person who organised the first 10k didn't think 'let's do a 6.2 mile race' and conversely the first 10 miler wasn't organised as a 16.1k.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, I don't think the EU will prosecute you for running miles instead of kms!

I too was brought up on miles but find kms much easier to run!

Posted: 31/08/2002 at 08:55

It is odd isn't it?
I find I can cope with the mile / kilometre by thinking about one or the other - but I always work out routes in kilometres ( but talk about miles with other runners)

Its the same with volume - I can understand a pint of beer, but milk and petrol only make sense in litres.

As for inches, feet, pounds, rods etc., I didn't learn them at primary school in the 60s and I can't really cope with them now. (I'm a teacher and never cease to be amazed that many of my pupils work in imperial measurements)

Its about time that we went fully metric (apart from pints of bitter and 10 milers)
Posted: 01/09/2002 at 22:23

But think of all that endless mental arithmetic practice you can get from converting minutes per mile to kilometres per hour.

I find this is how I get through my long runs, by constantly calculating and re-calculating my averages, mile splits, km splits, etc, etc. Being blessed with the memory of an under-nourished goldfish, this keeps me amused for hours.

Posted: 02/09/2002 at 15:55

All this depends on where you live, I have to do all the calculations backwards when I come over to the UK. There may be less miles on a marathon course but they take a lot longer to go by!!!

Keep Running

Posted: 02/09/2002 at 16:48

hi everyone

we use only km for ours officials races . for exemple my time during a training is 5 mins/Km  . when i compare with you i know about the difference and tell to my friend abroad 8mins/mile . but mileage or km ....our nightmare we call it number 36 (22,5 mile) .

good run everyone 


Posted: 17/04/2009 at 12:45

Tim wrote (see)
I I therefore propose that we should use furlongs for distance, fortnights for time,

So then we coud quote recommended rehydration rates in firkins per furlong fortnight.
Posted: 17/04/2009 at 12:48

I just came home and realised that I no longer know how fast I am running becuase it's all in km's and I am used to working in miles from the UK.

I now just gamble all over the road and hope for the best

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 14:16

this original thread is nearly 7 years old!! good digging Enrico...

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 14:21

Not much changes in 7 years then huh? 

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 14:25

not with the km vs miles debate

PS - it's gambol........

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 14:40

That completely depends on where you are in world

Here in South Africa, it's a gamble to be on the road at all! 

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 14:43

The reason we have 5,10,20 milers is history. These endurance races have been around maybe 80 years, possibly longer. When the new wave of running started, I have no idea why a 10k was preferred over a 5 miler. Most infuriating though is running a 10k with mile markers.
Posted: 17/04/2009 at 15:39

whatever happened to decimal time.  10 hours a day with 100 minutes with 100 seconds

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 15:44

hi runners

hi marshallini (how are you?)

my opinion....fat buddha

it doesn't matter kms or miles you learn quickly 

nice week end

good run everyone

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 18:01

I thought I was the only one who did that Mark! I must think about other things during my runs, but all I remember doing is calculating how much further to go, how long i've taken per mile so far, when i'll finish if i maintain this pace, how much i need to increase my pace by if i'm going to finish in sub-x mins....

Yes, I'm a geek....
Posted: 17/04/2009 at 22:09

I'm a geek as well then, one reason I haven't got a garmin is it might take the fun out of that part of racing.

Ciao Enrico

Posted: 17/04/2009 at 23:03

hi everyone

hi marshallini i thought to be in your black list. (i'm happy no )

good morning to you . (excuse-me for my misteake )

if i run miles (for exp) my watch can help me to calculate kms (my case) but ....if is my watch broken there is a problem...some good advice... but like Shley told above during a race kms or miles is not a problem iis secondary n your mind important is to have fuel to arrive at finish.

good run everyone


Posted: 18/04/2009 at 08:00

I can't work pace in kms at all- yes I can convert 5miles into 8kms (and multiples of) but that's it!! 

Soooo if I usually run 10 min mileswhat is that per KM ?

Posted: 18/04/2009 at 10:52

Camlo, since a km is about 5/8 mile you will run a km in about 5/8 of the time it takes to run a mile.

If you are doing 10 min miles then that is 10 times 5/8 min kilometres. Thats 50/8 mins per km. Since there are 60 seconds in a minute, that's 50*60/8 seconds per km. Which works out at 3000/8 or 375 seconds.

375 seconds is 6 minutes 15 seconds.

Next week we move on to trigonometry. Please bring your rulers and protractors.

Posted: 18/04/2009 at 11:03

might be simpler just to divide by 1.6 (approx 1.6km to a mile):

10/1.6 = 6.25 minutes 

then convert the decimal to seconds (0.25 * 60 seconds = 15secs)

so thats 6m 15 secs

or to convert km to miles multiply by 1.6

Posted: 18/04/2009 at 16:08

I can only do integer calculations in my head while running. Not enough oxygen to spare for my floating point co-processor, I guess.
Posted: 18/04/2009 at 16:26

Or we already have memorised that a 10 km race is 6.2 miles, so a 10 min mile pace is 6.2 min k pace, which comes to 6:12, close enough.
Posted: 18/04/2009 at 20:46

It's quite worrying All Dearest that you joke about those sort of calculations, but that's EXACTLY what I do while I'm running round.....

oh dear

Posted: 19/04/2009 at 10:48

I'm another calculator whilst running. (though usually only on the treadmill cos you've gotta do something to keep yourself occupied!) I was most put out to discover that if I looked at teh display the tredmill did these calculations for me though.

Posted: 20/04/2009 at 15:01

one mile is 1604 metres.

Living in Germany I can't deal with miles any more, I agree with Swiss Bobby, running the FLM it seems to take ages longer to reach the next marker. Well, it is 604 metres further than 1km, or 1.5 times round a running track, unless your local track is 400 yards instead of metres.......shall I stop now? And I deffo can't relate to peeps talking about swimming laps in a 33 yard pool! Our local ones are all 50 metres.


Posted: 20/04/2009 at 17:23

1609.344 metres, actually. Unless you are talking about the US Survey mile, which is 1,609.347219 metres. 

The Meile was a traditional unit in German speaking countries, much longer than a western European mile. It was 24,000 German feet; the SI equivalent was 7586 meters in Austria or 7532.5 meters in northern Germany. There was a version known as the geographische Meile which was 4 Admiralty nautical miles, 7,412.7 meters, or 1/15 degree

Posted: 20/04/2009 at 17:30

And they still do have certain races using that trad unit in Germany. The Heddesheimer Meile is 7.7km. I think there's another in Karlsruhe, certainly there's a Badischer Meile.

My head hurts! I dropped math in the 3rd year of grammar school.

Posted: 21/04/2009 at 15:31

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