This pace calculator computes your pace based on the distance traveled in a given amount of time. It can be used for running, walking, swimming, or any other distance-based activities. To use the calculator, provide any two values (distance, time, or pace) and click the "Calculate" button to find the third value.
How is pace calculated?
The formula for calculating pace is:
Thus, the pace of a person who ran 2 miles in 17.5 minutes is:
While the calculation of pace is fairly straightforward given measures of distance and time, depending on the desired units of pace, it may be necessary to make some conversions. Referencing the example above, we may instead want to determine the pace in hours per mile, seconds per meter, or some other measure. Below are some example conversions.
Hours per mile:
Hours per kilometer:
Regardless of the desired units, the conversion can be done using the same process shown for the examples above.
Pace vs. speed
Pace and speed are similar in that they both involve the same units of measurement and both describe movement at a specific rate. They differ in that pace is measured in units of while speed is measured in units of . In the context of units of measurement, they are therefore inversely proportional.
Speed indicates the rate of moving, but it does not immediately tell us the time it takes cover a given distance in the way that pace does. For example, consider a person who is running at a speed of 7 miles per hour (mph). While we know how long it will take them to run 7 miles (1 hour), we do not know how long it will take them to run 1 mile. A speed of 7 mph can be converted to a pace by taking the reciprocal of the speed:
Thus, at a speed of 7 mph, it will take 0.143 hours, or 0.143×60 = 8.58 minutes, to travel 1 mile.
Depending on the situation, it is more useful to know either the speed or the pace. For example, consider a person running a 5-mile race. If we are told that they ran the entire race at 7 mph, that doesn't mean much to most people. However, if instead we are told that they ran at a pace of 8.58 over the entire race, determining things such as how long it took the runner to complete the race is straightforward. In this scenario, pace would also give most people a much better idea of how fast the person is actually running, since many people are unlikely to be able to conceptualize how fast 7 mph actually is.
Now consider two cars racing around a track. We may be told that one car has a pace of 0.632 while another is traveling at a pace of 0.545 . Based on this information, while we know that one car is traveling at a faster rate than the other, it does not give us a great concept of how much faster or slower one car is than the other. In this case, speed may be a more useful measurement since 0.632 corresponds to 95 mph and 0.545 corresponds to 110 mph. Here we can see that the second car is traveling 15 mph faster than the first, which is likely to give a person a better concept of how much faster the second car is traveling.
As can be seen, while closely related, pace and speed can be used in different situations to help us conceptualize the rate of movement of an object.