RRCA Pace Chart developed by Amby Burfoot

What pace should you run?

Elite athletes do 70% to 90% of their training at an easy pace. They might do 20% at Tempo or Interval pace. They do some, but very little, at a faster pace. How can you run fast when so much of your running is at a slow pace? The answer is part “magic,” part “that’s how even world-record-holders train,” and part “that’s what the occcasional faster runs are for”

For simplicity’s sake, these tables provide only one training pace per runner. However, it should be understood that this is a midpoint pace – in the middle of the range of paces – and that somewhat faster and somewhat slower paces might be just as good as long as the runner feels relaxed and comfortable. A runner should aim for what feels easy and comfortable on the day. Do NOT always aim for the fast end of the range. No pace is gospel, it’s just a guideline.

Use of the pace charts assumes the runner is using recent data and is aligned with their current fitness levels. Don’t use data from 10 years ago, and don’t begin with a future goal time. To do so increases risk of injury and/or overtraining.

One recommendation before beginning a 12-16 week training cycle for a goal race is to build a base of 50 hours or 500 miles of easy running that includes strides 1-2 times per week. This phase increases mitochondria density and extends the capillary network that will enhance the next phase of training.

Remember: you are where you are. Predictions for a future race time are best made with distances closer to the goal race distance. A 5k is a better predictor of a 10k than a marathon, and half marathon is better predictor of a marathon than a 5k.

Lactate Threshold Tempo – Maximum of 20 minutes steady, maximum of 30 minutes broken into 5:1 ratios (5:1 examples – 3×5 minutes [15 minutes tempo] where after each 5 minute run there is a 1 minute rest. OR 3×10 minutes [10 minute tempo] with 2 minutes rest after each 10 minutes)

Intervals (600m & longer)- Single rep must be 5:00 minutes or less (so distances of 800m, 1000m, 1200m, mile is not applicable if over 5:00 minutes). Total amount of work should max out at 15 to 20 minutes. Recovery duration should be 50% to 90% of repetition duration.

Intervals (600 m & shorter) – Single rep must be 2:00 minutes or less (so 400m, 600m not applicable if over 2:00 minutes).  Total amount of work should max out at 15 to 20 minutes. Recovery duration should be 2 to 3 times as long as the repetition.

Adjusting for the Heat

Each runner is unique, but based on research the optimum running temperature is 55° F.  Anything cooler or warmer than 55° F and your performance is impacted.  For temperatures above 55°F, your body temperature increases, your oxygen uptake increases, your glycogen depletion is hastened and your lactate levels increase. 

In central Florida, there aren’t many 55°F days so it’s hard to learn what proper easy, tempo, and interval paces should feel like.  The double whammy effect of temperature & humidity may mean that your heart rate is 20 bpm higher than it would be at 55° F and low humidity.   

PACE CHARTS ARE BUILT FOR IDEAL CONDITIONS – so you need to adjust, slowing down 10%-20% may seem impossible, so try adding some walk breaks to keep your heart rate at the correct effort level for each pace range.

Your body doesn’t know the difference between a 10:00 mile and a 11:30 mile, so physiologically, you’re still getting the same benefit.  The same principle applies to interval workouts — slow down, but keep the effort level the same.

The following charts are viewable on a desktop computer.  

If you want to view them on a mobile device, please download the RRCA Pacing Guidelines PDF

 Race Finish Times – Use Recent Race Results then use the columns on the right to determine training paces. Training Pace for workouts – see guidelines above for maxium durations at each pace.  Easy/long pace should make up 70% – 90% of your weekly training duration.
 5k10k13.126.2 Easy/LongLactate
 Threshold
 Tempo
Intervals
 longer
than 600 m
Intervals
 600m
and shorter
Time0:14:000:29:061:04:482:16:42 0:05:520:04:520:04:250:04:03
Pace0:04:310:04:410:04:560:05:13
          
Time0:14:300:30:091:07:072:21:35 0:06:050:05:030:04:350:04:12
Pace0:04:400:04:510:05:070:05:24
          
Time0:15:000:31.111:09:262:26:28 0:06:170:05:140:04:440:04:21
Pace0:04:500:05:010:05:180:05:35
          
Time0:15:300:32:131:11:452:31:21 0:06:300:05:240:04:540:04:30
Pace0:05:000:05:110:05:290:05:47
          
Time0:16:000:33:161:14:042:36:13 0:06:430:05:340:05:030:04:39
Pace0:05:100:05:220:05:395:58:00
          
Time0:16:300:34:181:16:232:41:06 0:06:550:05:440:05:130:04:47
Pace0:05:190:05:320:05:490:06:08
          
Time0:17:000:35:211:18:422:45:59 0:07:080:05:550:05:220:04:56
Pace0:05:290:05:420:06:000:06:20
          
Time0:17:300:36:231:21:002:50:52 0:07:200:06:050:05:310:05:04
Pace0:05:380:05:520:06:110:06:31
          
Time0:18:000:37:251:23:192:55:45 0:07:330:06:160:05:410:05:13
Pace0:05:480:06:020:06:210:06:42
          
Time0:18:300:38:281:25:383:00:38 0:07:450:06:320:05:500:05:22
Pace0:05:580:06:120:06:320:06:32
          
Time0:19:000:39:301:27:573:05:31 0:07:510:06:330:06:000:05:31
Pace0:06:070:06:220:06:420:07:04
          
Time0:19:300:40:321:30:163:10:24 0:08:030:06:430:06:090:05:39
Pace0:06:170:06:320:06:530:07:16
          
 Race Finish Times – Use Recent Race Results then use the columns on the right to determine training paces. Training Pace for workouts – see guidelines above for maxium durations at each pace.  Easy/long pace should make up 70% – 90% of your weekly training duration.
 5k10k13.126.2 Easy/LongLactate
 Threshold
 Tempo
Intervals
 longer
than 600 m
Intervals
 600m
and shorter
Time0:20:000:41:351:32:353:15:17 0:08:150:06:540:06:190:05:48
Pace0:06:270:06:420:07:040:07:27
          
Time0:20:300:42:371:34:543:20:10 0:08:280:07:040:06:280:05:57
Pace0:06:370:06:520:07:150:07:38
          
Time0:21:000:43:401:37:133:25:03 0:08:400:07:140:06:380:06:05
Pace0:06:460:07:030:07:250:07:50
          
Time0:21:300:44:421:39:313:29:56 0:08:530:07:250:06:470:06:14
Pace0:06:560:07:130:07:360:08:01
          
Time0:22:000:45:441:41:503:34:48 0:09:050:07:350:06:570:06:23
Pace0:07:060:07:230:07:460:08:12
          
Time0:22:300:46:471:44:093:39:41 0:09:170:07:460:07:060:06:31
Pace0:07:150:07:330:07:570:08:23
          
Time0:23:000:47:491:46:283:44:34 0:09:300:07:560:07:160:06:40
Pace0:07:250:07:430:08:080:08:34
          
Time0:23:300:48:511:48:473:49:27 0:09:420:08:060:07:250:06:49
Pace0:07:350:07:530:08:180:08:45
          
Time0:24:000:49:541:51:063:54:20 0:09:450:08:120:07:350:06:58
Pace0:07:450:08:030:08:290:08:57
          
Time0:24:300:50:561:53:253:59:13 0:09:570:08:220:07:440:07:06
Pace0:07:540:08:130:08:390:09:08
          
Time0:25:000:51:581:55:434:04:06 0:10:100:08:330:07:540:07:15
Pace0:08:040:08:230:08:500:09:19
          
Time0:25:300:53:011:58:024:08:59 0:10:220:08:430:08:040:07:24
Pace0:08:140:08:330:09:010:09:30
          
Time0:26:000:54:032:00:214:13:52 0:10:340:08:530:08:130:07:32
Pace0:08:230:08:430:09:110:09:41
          
Time0:26:300:55:062:02:404:18:45 0:10:460:09:030:08:230:07:42
Pace0:08:330:08:530:09:220:09:53
          
Time0:27:000:56:082:04:594:23:38 0:10:580:09:140:08:320:07:50
Pace0:08:430:09:030:09:320:10:04
          
Time0:27:300:57:102:07:184:28:31 0:11:110:09:240:08:420:07:59
Pace0:08:520:09:130:09:430:10:15
          
Time0:28:000:58:132:09:374:33:24 0:11:230:09:340:08:510:08:07
Pace0:09:020:09:230:09:540:10:26
          
Time0:28:300:59:152:11:564:38:16 0:11:350:09:440:09:000:08:16
Pace0:09:120:09:330:10:040:10:37
          
Time0:29:001:00:172:14:144:43:09 0:11:360:09:490:09:100:08:25
Pace0:09:210:09:430:10:150:10:48
          
Time0:29:301:01:202:16:334:48:02 0:11:480:09:590:09:200:08:34
Pace0:09:310:09:540:10:250:11:00
          
 Race Finish Times – Use Recent Race Results then use the columns on the right to determine training paces. Training Pace for workouts – see guidelines above for maxium durations at each pace.  Easy/long pace should make up 80% – 90% of your weekly training duration.
 5k10k13.126.2 Easy/LongLactate
 Threshold
 Tempo
Intervals
 longer
than 600 m
Intervals
 600m
and shorter
Time0:30:001:02:222:18:524:52:55 0:12:000:10:090:09:290:08:42
Pace0:09:410:10:040:10:360:11:11
          
Time0:30:301:03:252:21:114:57:48 0:12:120:10:200:09:390:08:51
Pace0:09:500:10:140:10:470:11:22
          
Time0:31:001:04:272:23:305:02:41 0:12:240:10:300:09:480:09:00
Pace0:10:000:10:240:10:570:11:33
          
Time0:31:301:05:292:25:495:07:34 0:12:360:10:400:09:570:09:08
Pace0:10:100:10:340:11:080:11:44
          
Time0:32:001:06:312:28:085:12:27 0:12:480:10:500:10:060:09:17
Pace0:10:190:10:440:11:180:11:56
          
Time0:32:301:07:332:30:275:17:20 0:13:000:11:010:10:160:09:25
Pace0:10:290:10:540:11:290:12:07
          
Time0:33:001:08:352:32:465:22:13 0:13:120:11:110:10:250:09:34
Pace0:10:380:11:040:11:400:12:18
          
Time0:33:301:09:372:35:055:27:06 0:13:240:11:210:10:350:09:43
Pace0:10:480:11:140:11:500:12:29
          
Time0:34:001:10:392:37:245:31:59 0:13:360:11:310:10:440:09:51
Pace0:10:580:11:240:12:010:12:40
          
Time0:34:301:11:412:39:435:36:52 0:13:480:11:420:10:540:10:00
Pace0:11:080:11:340:12:120:12:51
          
Time0:35:001:12:432:42:025:41:45 0:14:000:11:510:11:030:10:09
Pace0:11:170:11:440:12:220:13:03
          
Time0:35:301:13:452:44:215:46:38 0:14:120:12:010:11:130:10:17
Pace0:11:270:11:540:12:330:13:14
          
Time0:36:001:14:472:46:405:51:31 0:14:240:12:110:11:220:10:26
Pace0:11:370:12:040:12:430:13:25
          
Time0:36:301:15:492:48:595:56:24 0:14:360:12:220:11:320:10:35
Pace0:11:460:12:140:12:540:13:36
          
Time0:37:001:16:512:51:186:01:17 0:14:480:12:320:11:410:10:43
Pace0:11:560:12:240:13:050:13:47
          
Time0:37:301:17:532:53:376:06:10 0:15:000:12:420:11:510:10:52
Pace0:12:060:12:340:13:150:13:59
          
Time0:38:001:18:552:55:566:11:03 0:15:120:12:520:12:000:11:01
Pace0:12:150:12:440:13:260:14:10
          
Time0:38:301:19:572:58:156:15:56 0:15:240:13:030:12:100:11:09
Pace0:12:250:12:540:13:360:14:21
          
Time0:39:001:20:593:00:346:20:49 0:15:360:13:130:12:190:11:18
Pace0:12:350:13:040:13:470:14:32
          
Time0:39:301:22:013:02:536:25:42 0:15:480:13:230:12:280:11:27
Pace0:12:450:13:140:13:580:14:43
          
 Race Finish Times – Use Recent Race Results then use the columns on the right to determine training paces. Training Pace for workouts – see guidelines above for maxium durations at each pace.  Easy/long pace should make up 80% – 90% of your weekly training duration.
 5k10k13.126.2 Easy/LongLactate
 Threshold
 Tempo
Intervals
 longer
than 600 m
Intervals
 600m
and shorter
Time0:40:001:23:033:05:126:30:35 0:16:000:13:330:12:380:11:35
Pace0:12:540:13:240:14:080:14:54
          
Time0:40:301:24:053:07:316:35:28 0:16:120:13:440:12:470:11:44
Pace0:13:040:13:340:14:190:15:06
          
Time0:41:001:25:073:09:506:40:21 0:16:240:13:540:12:570:11:53
Pace0:13:140:13:440:14:290:15:17
          
Time0:41:301:26:093:12:096:45:14 0:16:360:14:040:13:060:12:01
Pace0:13:230:13:540:14:400:15:28
          
Time0:42:001:27:113:14:286:50:07 0:16:480:14:150:13:160:12:10
Pace0:13:330:14:040:14:510:15:39
          
Time0:42:301:28:133:16:476:55:00 0:17:000:14:250:13:250:12:19
Pace0:13:430:14:140:15:010:15:50
          
Time0:43:001:29:153:19:066:59:53 0:17:120:14:350:13:350:12:27
Pace0:13:520:14:240:15:120:16:02
          
Time0:43:301:30:173:21:257:04:46 0:17:240:14:450:13:440:12:36
Pace0:14:020:14:340:15:230:16:13
          
Time0:44:001:31:193:23:447:09:39 0:17:360:14:560:13:540:12:45
Pace0:14:120:14:440:15:330:16:24
          
Time0:44:301:32:213:26:037:14:32 0:17:480:15:060:14:030:12:53
Pace0:14:210:14:540:15:440:16:35
          
Time0:45:001:33:233:28:227:19:25 0:18:000:15:160:14:130:13:02
Pace0:14:310:15:040:15:540:16:46
          
Time0:45:301:34:253:30:417:24:18 0:18:120:15:260:14:220:13:11
Pace0:14:410:15:140:16:050:16:57
          
Time0:46:001:35:273:33:007:29:11 0:18:240:15:370:14:320:13:19
Pace0:14:500:15:240:16:160:17:09
          
Time0:46:301:36:293:35:197:34:04 0:18:360:15:470:14:410:13:28
Pace0:15:000:15:340:16:260:17:20
          
Time0:47:001:37:313:37:387:38:57 0:18:480:15:570:14:500:13:37
Pace0:15:100:15:440:16:370:17:31
          
Time0:47:301:38:333:39:577:43:50 0:19:000:16:070:15:000:13:45
Pace0:15:190:15:540:16:470:17:42
          
Time0:48:001:39:353:42:167:48:43 0:19:120:16:180:15:090:13:54
Pace0:15:290:16:040:16:580:17:53
          
Time0:48:301:40:373:44:357:53:36 0:19:240:16:280:15:190:14:03
Pace0:15:390:16:140:17:090:18:05
          
Time0:49:001:41:393:46:547:58:29 0:19:360:16:380:15:280:14:11
Pace0:15:480:16:240:17:190:18:16
          
Time0:49:301:42:413:49:138:03:22 0:19:480:16:480:15:380:14:20
Pace0:15:580:16:340:17:300:18:27
          
Time0:50:001:43:433:51:328:08:15 0:20:000:16:590:15:470:14:29
Pace0:16:080:16:440:17:400:18:38
          
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