Predicting 3200m Race Time Based On 1600m Race

3200m race prediction
I have never run the 3200m race before. I have done the 1600m and my best time is 6:37. Is it reasonable for me to run a 14 minute 3200m? I have 12 days to train for the race and I just learned I was running it.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your question. Twelve days... that's a very short window of time!

Let's get into:

1. 3200m race prediction based on 1600m time
2. Best way to prepare in the next two weeks

3200m Race Prediction Based on 1600m Time

3200m race prediction
First thing I did was to plug in your 1600m time of 6:37 into my Race Conversion Calculator.

The result?

The calculator told me that your 1600m time of 6:37 translates into a time on the 3200m of 13:47.

So, your estimate of 14 minutes is pretty darn close to that and a good time to aim for.

However... how accurate this estimate is is dependent on a few things:

How Close to Peak Fitness Are You Now?
First question to ask yourself is how close you are to that 6:37 shape today... Was that a recent time, do you regularly run in the 6:37 - 6:45 range or was the 6:37 an outlier? All of that will tell you how good of a predictor your 1600m PB is.

How Much Endurance Work Do You Do?
You are a fast runner. You can do the mile. When moving to the 3200m you will feel the difference in distance. It's tough to go fast for that length of time.

And the length of your long runs and the amount of mileage you cover in a week are going to be important determining factors. The longer that long run, the higher that mileage and the better your consistency in training, the easier it is to cover that 2 mile race in the time you want to race it at.

3200m race prediction
How Smart Do You Run Your 3200m?
I don't admire you. The 1600m is tough, the 3200m is tough. These middle distance runs that you kids have to deal with don't get enough credit in the adult running world for the difficulty they represent.

The thing that really helps with these races is experience... You more or less want to have failed a few 3200m races before. Maybe some you may have gone out too fast. Some too slow. But you build up that experience that tells you how to race the 3200m. That's not very helpful, I know, because you'll have to go into this race without that experience.

I guess what I am saying is, do your best at this 3200m and I hope you do well. If things don't quite work out, don't be too hard on yourself. It usually takes a number of attempts to get really good at a certain race distance.

Best Way to Prepare in the Next Two Weeks

3200m race prediction
Now, you only have two weeks until this race. The worst thing you can do is cram in a bunch of extra training to somehow get you magically better prepared for your race.

Getting better at running takes time. And I assume your coach has got a running program laid out for you. So, I would suggest you just follow that to the letter.

If anything, it might be useful to do a few Goal Pace Workouts. Maybe one this week, and one the next. Something like 4 x 800m at goal pace this week. And a bit shorter next week, e.g. 6 x 400m. This will get you used to running at 7 min/mile pace.

But don't do anything drastically different between now and the race. It is likely to backfire.

Lastly, have a read of my page in which I lay out a 3200m Race Strategy. Many 3200m races get lost in the first couple of laps. Keep your head in the game, don't go out too fast and enjoy your first 3200m experience!

All the best.
Kind regards,

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