Running Pace and Different Distances

by John
(Williamstown, MA USA)

My daughter is starting to run cross country at her school. She is new to running and I would like to find every opportunity to encourage her and show improvement. The meets she runs in are different lengths (3K, 4K, 5K).



I'd like to be able to show her that her pace is improving each week -- and am wondering if there is a way to adjust pace over distances.

That is, I'd like to normalize all of her times from different-length races so we can compare them.

I understand this may not be how "real" runners think about it, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

running tips, cross country running
Answer by Dominique:


Hi there,

Thanks for your question about your daughter's cross country running.

There is a tool that will help you do exactly what you want, it is a race conversion calculator.

It allows you to work out what the equivalent time is on a different distance given a time in a distance you ran, e.g. you can work out that a 1:25 half marathon is roughly equivalent to a sub-3 hr marathon.

It is how "real runners" think, well, at least, I do use it. When I have got a 'big race' coming up I usually run a tune-up race a few weeks before, so I know what type of shape I am in and how fast I should be expecting to go on the big day.

Two warnings:

  • Your daughter will not be faster each and every week. It is more important to find a positive in every race and to make sure she has fun doing it. She will not run a personal best every week.


  • The race conversion calculator assumes that a person is well trained for both the events, i.e. the shorter and the longer distance. For kids there can be quite a big difference between a 3k and a 5k. So, be careful to assume that a 3k time one week will lead to the expected 5k time the next week. There is likely to be some difference.


  • Hope this helps.
    Kind regards,
    Dominique


    Click here to post comments

    Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Training Helpline.



    Like this page:


    Share this page:


    Like this site:


    [?] Subscribe To This Site

    XML RSS
    follow us in feedly
    Add to My Yahoo!

    Helpful
    Resources

    • Beginner Running Tips

      Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

    • Running for Weight Loss

      Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

    • Running Training

      The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

    • 5k Running Tips

      The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

    • 10k Running Tips

      The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

    • Marathon Running Tips

      The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!