When you first start running, you will come across the term “running pace”. This basically means how fast you run or how quickly you can run a specific distance whether it is 1 km or 5km.
Knowing your running pace will further improve your running performance and track your improvements.
In this article, I will answer questions that you might ask, such as what is a good running pace per km? what is the average running pace? How can I calculate my running pace? How to improve my running pace? Ready? Let’s get into it.
What Is The Average Running Pace?
For a beginner to intermediate runner, 7-9 mins is the time it takes to run 1km. For elite runners, it takes about 3-6 mins to complete 1km.
Some runners think that it is pointless to not know their running pace, this is bad thinking because knowing what your running pace is can help you calculate how long you can finish a race or a 5K time.
Though some of you may be wondering, how I can exactly calculate my running pace. Well, that’s the next question I’m going to answer.
How To Calculate Your Running Pace?
Pace = Time / Distance is a formula you have to remember in order to calculate your running pace. The website I use to do it is Omni calculator, which can calculate pretty much everything, including running pace.
The website will explain
- The difference between pace and speed
- How the running pace calculator works
- What is the average running speed is
I recommend using it because it is straightforward to use by simply putting your distance (km), time (hrs, min, sec), and pace (min/km or sec/km).
Other than using kilometer, mile, min. You can also use numerous units of measurement like millimeters, centimeters, meters, inches, feet, yards, etc.
How Can I Improve My Running Pace?
1. Start Slow
Like any other exercises that are new to you, running at a slow and steady pace will build your endurance up.
I also recommend not running long distances, 2-5 kilometers is the ideal distance when first starting. This will give you time to be able to focus practicing on your running form and technique, which is the next thing I’m going to talk about.
2. Improve Running Form And Proper Running Technique
Having good running form and proper technique is efficient in improving your running pace, running faster, conserving energy, running longer distances, and avoiding injury.
To improve your running form and technique, focus on your posture by having a straight back, relaxed shoulders and arms, and running with your head and chest up. Practicing this is very important because poor posture can lead to overstriding.
3. Resistance Training
Resistance training or strength training is beneficial in improving your running pace because it strengthens your muscles and joints which can prevent injury. Leg Exercises like lunges, jump squats, pistol squats, or any explosive leg exercises can help you with your running pace.
For your upper body, push-ups are your best friend in strengthening your chest, triceps, and shoulders. Trying out different variations of the push-ups will further increase your strength and skills.
4. Endurance Training
While running can greatly improve your endurance, consider incorporating HIIT into your training regime. Exercises like burpees, jumping jack, jump rope, plank, mountain climbers, and many more are a killer for your body especially if you have never tried them before.
I remember adding HIIT to my routine and I felt like I was gonna pass out because of how hard and exhausting it is, but that does not mean it’s harmful in any way and it is really effective. Just be careful and listen to your body, I highly recommend trying it out.
Also Read: Running Barefoot On A Treadmill
Aspects That Affect Your Running Pace
One of the aspects that affect running pace is gender. The male body is superior in muscle strength and has faster twitch muscle fibers compared to females.
The outcome is that guys can run faster and longer because of the amount of testosterone they produce and the larger capacity for hypertrophy. Women naturally have a low testosterone level compared to men.
Age is the biggest aspect affecting your running pace. Of course, as you get older, muscle reduces in strength and size, bones and joints get stiff and frail, sickness, etc.
But old age does not mean you can’t improve anymore. It’s just you can’t work out hard as you used to before.
I’ve seen ‘old’ people work out in the gym and run better than some teenagers who have the potential to be at their strongest material point.
Age shouldn’t hold you back from working out and being a stronger version of your past self.
Depending on your weight, it can make a huge or small difference in affecting your running pace. Heavier people tend to use more energy and effort to run than lighter people.
It’s good to calculate your BMI to know if your weight is in the healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range. Keep in mind that your weight fluctuates depending on your diet.
4. Running Cadence
A running cadence or often known as steps per minute (SPM) is your stride rate. The average running cadence is between 160-170 spm, any number lower than 160 spm means you are overstriding and have a lot of work and practice to do.
To improve your running cadence is by reduce your stride length. In other words, running with shorter and quicker steps. Imagine running on a very hot surface, you wouldn’t want your feet to stay even a millisecond on the ground.
Though this can take a few days or weeks of practice to do it perfectly as when I first tried changing my stride length, it felt unnatural.
So, What Is A Good Running Pace Per Km?
So to answer your question, A good running pace is about 3:45/km to 5:00/km. These are hardcore numbers to hit but they are really impressive if you can achieve them.
These numbers may seem impossible to attain, but I always believe that consistency and discipline is the key to achieving your goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is The Difference Between Running Pace And Speed?
Pace is used to measure the time or how long you run a mile or a kilometer. You can calculate or sense how long you can finish a certain distance. While speed is measured as distance per time (e.g. miles per hour).
Q: Should I Focus On Improving My Distance Or My Speed?
It’s better to focus on improving your distance over speed. Distance training will set up other things like running pace, endurance, and speed.
Q: How Can I Run Faster?
Like the answer I said in the previous question, increasing your mileage is what I recommend doing in running faster. Also, consider incorporating HIIT workouts into your training regime
Q: What Is A Good 5k Time?
25 minutes is a good 5k time for casual runners. But for more experienced runners, 20 minutes is the time it takes to run 5k.
Q: Do I Need To Have A Training Plan?
Building a training plan can have many benefits training on a specific goal, can help you improve, and to plan what kind of training you will do for the week.
I’m Ramona, a specialist in Crossfit and functional training. I am passionate about helping people reach their fitness goals, and I have been actively involved in the CrossFit community for over eight years. I’ve trained with some of the best coaches in the world, traveled to many different countries to learn from different experts, and completed numerous certification courses. Regardless of your fitness goals, I am committed to helping you achieve them through comprehensive, challenging, and effective workouts tailored to your lifestyle.