Marathon Pace Calculator
by S. Scott Zimmerman
Here's how to use the Marathon Pace Calculator. If you don't understand any
of these instructions or have other questions, please e-mail the author at email@example.com.
What Is MPC?
Marathon Pace Calculator is a programmed Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet that
calculates pace and splits based on a given marathon time. To calculate your
pace for each mile (or kilometer) and your mile (km) splits, you type your projected marathon time
(PMT) into the cyan-colored cell, and the spreadsheet automatically calculates
the average pace and the splits for each mile (km).
In addition, if your planned marathon has certain miles (km) in which you expect
to run faster or slower than the average, you can type a projected mile (km) pace (PMP)
into the yellow cell that corresponds to the mile at variance from the others.
How to Use MPC
To use MPC, do the following:
- Run Microsoft Excel and then open the file Marathon Pace Calculator Update
2. Your screen should look something like the figure below. If you want your
splits in kilometers, click the tab labeled "Pace Chart
Kilometers" at the bottom of the window. Also not that the latest
version of the chart includes your split at the 10K point and at the
- If necessary, click the mouse pointer on the cyan-colored cell near the
top middle part of the sheet to select that cell. You are now ready to type
- Type your projected marathon pace (PMT) in the format hour:minutes:seconds.
For example, if your PMT is 3:45:00, type 3:45:00.
- If you want to run an even-paced marathon, make sure all the yellow cells
are blank. If necessary, drag the mound pointer from cell A4 down to the
lowest yellow cell,
and press the Delete key. The figure above shows an even-paced 3:45
marathon. Notice that, in the upper right corner, the average pace appears.
The column labeled "Splits" gives you the projected times at each
mile. Off to the right, the splits for the 10K and half marathon appear, but
are not shown in this figure.
- If you expect to run certain miles slower than the average, perhaps
because of an uphill grade or because you slow down during the final 5
miles, or if you expect to run certain miles faster than the average,
perhaps because of a downhill grade, then click the mouse pointer in the
desired yellow cell to the left of the mile in which you want to change your
pace. (If you're dealing in kilometers, substitute "km" for
"miles" in this paragraph.)
- Type the desired pace into the yellow cell using the format
hour:minutes:seconds. You must include the hour position, even though
the mile pace is (almost) always in the minutes range. For example, if there
is a steep uphill section over miles 14 and 15 that you think you will run
at a 9:45 pace, type 0:09:45 into each of those cells. The results
appear as follows:
Notice that now, in the "Pace This Mile (Min)" column, the pace for
miles 14 and 15 have changed to those you typed in the yellow cells, and the
other pace values have automatically adjusted so that the marathon time is still
3:45. As you can see, to achieve a 3:45 marathon, you have to run the other
miles at a 8:29 pace, a bit faster than the overall average of 8:35.