How do you know your race pace?

How do you know what your race pace is? Is it as easy as saying ok so I want to run 13 miles in 2 hours so my race pace will be 6.5mph? Or do you calculate it another way?

And is a "tempo run" literally a session run at your race pace?

Sorry if these seem like silly questions but I am still new and only just finding my way around all the training plans and running terminology!!





  • I decide what my target time for the race is, then work out the pace from that.

    I stick to that (or only very slightly quicker) for the first few miles, then if I'm feeling good I will pick the pace up a bit more.


  • Lardarse - thanks for the link, great tool image

    Kitten - LOL thats what I have been doing!!

    Wilkie - yep, thats what I thought i'd do too!!

  • Biker babe. You do a race or 2 first, and then you can use McMillan as a general guide, though it tends to have the easy paces a little sharp in my view.


  • Race pace can either be gauged by previous race efforts or by a time trial over the route in a training run. On race day you can expect to be faster though, so factor this in.

    McMillan is useful in establishing comparable race performances. In other words, if you were to run a 1 mile max effort time trial, then McMillan would give a pretty good guide as to how you'd do in higher distance races. But bear in mind that the greater distance disparity, the less accurate it will be......but its a good guide regardless.

    As for a tempo run...... a guide would be to do say 5 miles at 15 seconds per mile slower than your 10K race pace. By coincidence, 15 seconds per mile might be close to a person's half marathon race pace, but a tempo run would tend not to exceed 7 miles usually....... 

  • Thanks Stevie & Jamie.

    I put in my most recent 5k time and the estimated time it gave me for a half marathon was close to what I am hoping for when I do the Reading Half in March, so it looks like a fairly good calculator..


  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I just set off, run for a couple of minutes until I'm at the edge of death, back off a fraction, keep going. 

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